The voice of the travel agency community

Overcoming Fear

I just returned from two trade shows where I had the opportunity to speak with lots, and lots, of travel professionals of varying experience. I’m absolutely convinced of the immense value of travel consultants mixing with their peers at such events.  Not only is there the opportunity to establish relationships with suppliers, but also to baseline your travel practice with others in similar circumstances to your own.  You will learn everyone struggles, everyone questions their own judgement, everyone is, on occasion, worried and maybe even afraid. Read the rest of this entry »

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas Delivers

Aaron Saunders, reporting for Avid Cruiser Read the rest of this entry »

ERICA_SCANNELLIIn my 6th grade yearbook, where other kids speculated on their futures as Olympic athletes, fire fighters, and millionaires, my career ambition was to be a Travel Agent. I didn’t re-discover this until recently and, looking back, it seems I was destined for this profession! I loved watching and reading about other people and cultures as a child; as a teen, I took my first international trip to Paris and I was hooked! Read the rest of this entry »

Just when you think you knew it all…

At a certain point in your career, you think you have seen it all. Even more dangerously, you might even think you know it all.  This past weekend, I  made what I now know was a complete rookie mistake and one that will have me revisiting all of my policies with a clear eye.

I have been lucky in my nearly 20 years in the industry. I have had very few clients have a need to make a claim against their travel insurance policy. I have had none make a claim against my agency or our Errors & Omissions policy. I thought I covered my bases until this weekend when a client ended up in the hospital with a punctured lung after falling from a horse. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hellar - Marine Operations ManagerRich is the Marine Operations Manager at G Adventures. Having worked with the tour operator’s marine programs since 2006, he has had the opportunity to visit some of the world’s most remote and beautiful destinations, almost always by boat. Rich brings a mix of field experience and passion for wildlife, remote destinations and shipping that help G Adventures create life-changing experiences. In addition to the tour operator’s Toronto headquarters, Rich has spent time working in the Antarctic and South East Asia.
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Thankful for cruising

I have found that Thanksgiving is a perfect time to spend some time reflecting on all the things for which I have to be thankful. I always start with the fact that I am still enjoying good health. This has become even more important now that I am in my early 70s. Then I reflect on how wonderful it was that I have such a great lady in my life–someone that enjoys cruising as much as I do. This also seems more important now that we have more time to get away on cruises. I still find a way to justify my cruises as part of my continuing travel education, as I can come back and share my experiences with the travel agents that use my agent mentoring program. Read the rest of this entry »

With over 80 years of industry experience, SITA World Tours has built an excellent reputation in the world of luxury travel as the preferred Tour Operator for exotic destinations. By partnering with travel agents and offering customized opportunities, SITA has delivered the comprehensive services and values that luxury travelers appreciate. Read the rest of this entry »

9 things I learned in my first 9 years

When I started my business in November 2005 I didn’t really have much of a plan. I had a lot of hope, ambition, and education, but no real work experience in the industry, and wasn’t exactly sure of where I was headed.

When I look back at the last nine years, I’ve had a lot of successes and a handful of failures as well. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way: Read the rest of this entry »

PR can play an enormous role in providing your travel agency with the credibility you need to grow. I am often surprised how little attention the entire range of public relations strategies receives from travel agents. For those of you engaged in building a local, community based practice, there may be no more important arrows in your marketing quiver.

Public relations includes media (articles about you), speaking opportunities, events and publication (articles by you). In each of these efforts, your personality is at the core of the marketing tactic. When the public reads an article about your agency, hears you speak, works with you at an event or reads an article you have written, they engage you as an individual, not as a faceless company. That encounter is intensely personal and carries an authority that an advertisement cannot. Read the rest of this entry »

Draped in Mayan heritage with acres of unspoiled coastal land, Costa Maya is filled with rich, cultural influence and vast, natural beauty. Part of the Mexican Caribbean, Costa Maya has the highest concentration of Mayan archaeological sites and the largest Mayan population in Mexico. Follow the footprints that lead you into the historical past that make up this spectacular city! Read the rest of this entry »

Joe MaloneyJoe Maloney began his career in the travel industry in the late 80s, working as a Tour Director throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe. He transitioned into travel sales and marketing in the mid-90s, and has been involved in developing sales through various channels ever since. Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes it is frustrating that people do not understand that our work involves traveling and working; not traveling and vacationing. It happens all the time; and for me, just last month.

I went to the Feria De Turismo Cultural Mexico (Cultural Tourism Fair in Mexico) in October. It was a last minute decision, but I was so glad I got the opportunity to attend.  It was my first visit to San Miguel and it was fantastic! Read the rest of this entry »

Previously known as Bombay, Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and the most eclectic and cosmopolitan city in the region. Over the years, Mumbai has transformed itself into a thriving, diverse metropolis capturing the many faces that make up today’s India. The old coupled with the dynamic new are reflected throughout the city, yet, the heart of Mumbai remains immersed in Indian customs, values, and traditions.
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transamtravel-logo1With so many nicknames, like “Daughter of the Baltic” and “miniature St. Petersburg”, it is hard to imagine one place could account for such a variety of traits and characteristics. Founded in 1550, Helsinki, Finland has developed into a thriving modern city and a major European destination, offering tourists rich history, a variety of culture, and beautiful landscapes.  Read the rest of this entry »

Labeled as the “richest city in the world” by Fortune Magazine, Abu Dhabi’s rapid development, advanced urbanization, and relatively high income of its population has transformed the city into a cosmopolitan metropolis and a world power. As capital, Abu Dhabi is the center of the United Arab Emirates’ political and industrial activities, as well as the cultural and commercial hub for the country. Read the rest of this entry »