The voice of the travel agency community

The importance of being empathetic

This week I ran across a quote that will forever be a favorite: “Courage is the foundation of integrity.” I love this quote not only for its plain simplicity, but also because it surpasses all of the political ties these days threatening any significant or momentous thought. Nearly all of us can agree.  I searched for its origin, but the quote is ascribed to a number of people.  If you have a definitive source, please let me know. Read the rest of this entry »

A lot of cruise passengers depart the dock in Kusadasi, visit the ancient historic site of Ephesus, and think they’re done. Having padded the fabled Marble Road (which connects the Celsus Library and the Great Theater in Ephesus), they check Kusadasi off their lists. Been there, done that. Read the rest of this entry »

Leslie Nearon 2One of the things I like most about working at OASIS is my boss KeIly Bergin and our marketing director Lisa Baron. I love working with both of them and helping our agents; there is never a dull moment.

The primary focus of my job is to train our agents on our proprietary booking engine and reporting tool. Every booking that the agents make must be reported so that we can track and pay commissions. Our booking engine also shows rates and promos for all major cruise lines, and my training helps our agents find the perfect cruise for their client. It is a one-stop-shop, if you will, which makes booking a cruise very fast and convenient.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cruises, airplanes, and the Ebola scare

And just like that, panic starts its slow creep into the psyche of the traveler.  As I said last week, the risk of an every day traveler contracting the Ebola virus is near zero.  It still is nearly impossible for the average traveler to contract it and I stand by my original assertion—however non-medically backed it may be!

But this past week, we saw failures in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that leaves me wondering if Ebola has the potential to become the epidemic the media has portrayed due to the sheer ineptness of the people charged with protecting and preventing it in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

dan chapelle

Dan Chappelle is the Vice President of Sales with Windstar Cruises. His company has had a stellar year, receiving several high honors as leaders in the travel industry. We caught up with Dan to ask what separates Windstar Cruises from the competition and what other opportunities his company has underway.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tell the whole truth

It’s been a busy year for me — speaking at industry events, presenting webinars and conducting training programs for travel pros.  In nearly every program I try to focus on, or at least highlight, the importance of communicating your real value.

Far too often, travel consultants assume that their clients already know all the work that goes on “behind the scenes” to craft the perfect trip.  With all the flashy and seductive online alternatives competing for their attention, it’s a very risky assumption to make. Read the rest of this entry »

Establishing itself as a true originator of the touring vacation 1928, the Globus family of brands has spent over 85 years consistently bringing new, fresh and inventive ideas to the world of travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping my act together

I was recently thinking about what tools I used to keep myself in order. Let’s face it, this industry lends itself to disorder at best, to chaos at worst.

Back in August 2010 I declared Microsoft OneNote the next best thing since sliced bread.  I fell in love with OneNote.  I lived, breathed, and died by OneNote.  And for the record, I still use OneNote.  But I have been introduced to and have also fallen in love with Evernote.  It’s the next best thing since…well, OneNote.

There is a definite learning curve to working with Evernote.  But once you get the handle of it, it can be a powerful tool.  And you don’t have to give up OneNote if you want to continue using it as well. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most valuable aspects of good PR media placement is the fact a similarly placed advertisement may have cost more than your entire advertising budget! Whatever the value you place on the PR you receive from media, ensure you get the highest and best return by leveraging the article or video using the tips TRO is providing this week.  Doing so will practically guarantee many more people see the PR placement and you benefit from the additional exposure.

Yesterday we provided the first two steps you should take after receiving good PR.  Today, let’s cover two more. Read the rest of this entry »

Far and High Adventure Travel
specializes in small group tours, private journeys, trekking and hiking trips, and solo/independent travel. Specifically, the company offers trips to Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Bhutan, and Mongolia. Far and High Adventure Travel’s main operations are based in Kathmandu, Nepal while their sales and marketing, tour development and customer service teams are headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read the rest of this entry »

Alejandra Elejalde, Marketing Director of Solar Tours

photo - Ale

Originally bon in Peru, Alejandra Elejalde arrived to the United States with her parents when she was 15 years old. After living in Virginia for some time, her family eventually moved to South Florida where she would complete high school. Alejandra later obtained a double major in Business Administration and International Business and Business Management from Florida International University.  Read the rest of this entry »

Every fall most of us attend one or more of our industry conferences and I am no exception.  I just returned from our consortia’s conference, which was held in Florida this year.  Putting a national conference together is no easy feat, as organizers are challenged to accommodate business updates, training, networking, keynote speakers and fun all in a short amount of time.  So I always try to be understanding and put my best foot forward.  Although, a couple of days ago I felt that if I talked shop to one more person I was always going to spontaneously combust! Read the rest of this entry »

Bordered between Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, Belize is a country repleted with natural attractions such as Mayan ruins, large cave systems and wildlife reserves. Read the rest of this entry »

Ravindra Lal is the Regional Manager Sky Bird Travel & Tours Eastern Region. He heads the Sales and Operations for Sky Bird’s Airline Consolidation business in the East Coast. Read the rest of this entry »

Weddings can be expensive: cost of a wedding planner, catering, floral arrangements, small -and I do mean small- gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen are just the tip of the iceberg. Read the rest of this entry »