The voice of the travel agency community

10 Early Warning Signs of a Problem Client

Raise your right hand if have ever had a problem client, the type of individual that made you reconsider your entire career as a travel professional. Keep your hands raised. Now, raise your left hand if you currently have a problem client. Even at this distance, I can see most of you have both hands in the air. Go ahead and lower your hands, you are going to need them to assist some of these clients to the door. Read the rest of this entry »

Today, I am in Budapest to board the new Scenic Jasper. Our cruise takes us to Vienna, by way of Linz, Durnstein and Melk, for christening events on April 21.  What can I expect while on board? Well, Scenic is hanging its hat on a couple of key differentiators:

  1. to be the most all-inclusive of all river cruise companies (even prepaid gratuities are included on ship and ashore); and
  2. its innovative space ships.

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med-1For me travel has been an all-consuming passion,  both personally and in my profession. Aside of course from the obvious, travel is the one thing I love.

I was born in Marcona, Peru, in a mining camp where my dad, a Wyoming native and ex-Navy warrior, met my mother, a mild mannered, flower loving, ex-middle school teacher (talk about opposites attract,!). As a family of three we moved to Venezuela when I was 6 and set roots there for 20 years. My dad traveled the world as a Mining Consultant and my mom was a Travel Agent, and together we had our share of amazing adventures. No surprise I chose travel and tourism as my career! My professional career started right after high school working for American Airlines, going to college and getting my Travel and Tourism Management degree. I bring about 20 years of experience to Europe Express, combing the back-end knowledge of a world class GDS, Amadeus and the front-end experience in Sales from Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line. Read the rest of this entry »

Even at its best, when presented with tact and grace, criticism can be hard to take. When phrased as a complaint, criticism can be even tougher to endure. There is no doubt we have fostered a culture of complaint in our economic, political and social system. We have even trained people to complain as a way of getting windfalls in free services and goods. Complain loudly enough and you get your way we seem to be saying. Read the rest of this entry »

10 travel marketing tips from 10 people who know

Times are tough for business. It has nothing to do with the economy or the state of the travel industry. Business is tough—period. If it were easy, everyone would own their own. So, how do you hedge your bets toward success? I am a firm believer in listening to others who are more successful than you. With that in mind, I asked several very successful agencies how they did it and came up with these 10 marketing tips. Try one, two, or all 10 and see if they work for you—and let us know. Read the rest of this entry »

Luxury Travel: Not a 9-5 Career

It’s no secret that running your own luxury travel business comes with a set of demands that aren’t for anyone who likes to close up shop at 5 pm daily. The nature of this business, along with the expectation for consistent and rapid responses, dictates that it’s pretty challenging to completely turn off the phone and email (despite knowing that doing so is good for your health). As a student in the art of meditation who is constantly striving for balance and better time-management, I am actually the perfect example of a business owner/travel advisor/entrepreneur that struggles at times to get the balance just right. Read the rest of this entry »

Susan SchafferMany travel consultants assume that if they don’t have enough clients, they cannot afford to turn away anyone. Recently a travel consultant expressed envy that others could turn away clients (or fire them). She assumed they had enough business so they weren’t desperate for clients, giving them the luxury to fire difficult ones. Translation: she felt desperate for clients herself, and any clients were better than no clients, to the point that she didn’t feel that she had the luxury to turn away anyone, for any reason. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you ever heard the story of the girl who was helping her mom prepare a Sunday meal of roast beef and vegetables?  The little girl watches her mother cut the sides off the beef before she puts it into the roasting pan and curiously asks her why she does that. The mother’s answer is simple … because her mother did it that way. They dig deeper and ask Grandma why she cuts off the sides of the beef before roasting it, and Grandma gives the same answer…because her mother did it that way. Luckily Great Grandma is still alive, so they call her to ask her the same question and she replies that the oven she used to have was so small, cutting off the sides of the beef was the only way it would fit in the oven. Read the rest of this entry »

Aircalin is New Caledonia’s international airline, and for over 30 years, Aircalin has been instrumental in furthering New Caledonia’s economic development, and providing New Caledonians with a gateway to the world. Blessed with an outstanding wealth of unspoilt scenery, New Caledonia has always had the huge potential for tourism. Promoting New Caledonia worldwide by developing international visitor flows is one of Aircalin’s key missions. Read the rest of this entry »

So, you want to be a travel agent…

Love to travel? Want to get paid to travel? Travel for free? Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Like the serpent offering Eve the apple in the Garden of Eden a lot of these offers are very tempting. Travel is sexy, travel is fun, travel is something a lot of us aspire to do. These ads hit all the right buttons–love, free and get paid. Buyer beware–If it sounds too good to be true it usually is. Read the rest of this entry »

I was reminded recently how this thing called “trust” really works. Trust is an intense concept. It takes months, if not years to establish… and mere milliseconds to destroy. Once you have it, however, you become an authoritative figure worth listening to.

My Inner Circle Sales & Marketing Group features an “open” phone call now and then where members get to talk, share, and collaborate. Read the rest of this entry »

The largest city in Peru unreachable by road, Iquitos is only accessible by boat or plane. In the past, the rubber and oil trades dominated and brought wealth to the region, the prosperity of the time still visible in some of the older homes. Today, it flourishes in the Amazonian jungle with it’s friendly people juxtaposed with its vibrant nightlife. Whether you come to visit the famous Amazon river or to stroll through the market of Belén, there is something new for you to discover in Iquitos. Read the rest of this entry »


Eliana was born in Cusco, Peru. While living there she focused her life around conservation, adventure travel, and the ecotourism industry, designing tours that explored the incredible diversity of nature, culture, and history that Peru has to offer with one of the premier inbound tour operators in the country. She spent over four years working in the Peruvian Amazon as a licensed guide for companies involved in ecotourism. Afterwards, she spent two years as a tour leader traveling throughout Peru leading families and small and medium-sized groups specializing on itineraries focused on history, culture, and nature.  Since moving to North Carolina, Eliana has continued her career in tourism working as a travel consultant designing customized itineraries to all of South America, specifically in ecotourism, nature, and history. She has traveled throughout South America and Central America, including throughout Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, and Costa Rica. Eliana is a dedicated travel pro with extensive experience in customer service and travel planning.

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Are you a bride? Getting married? No! Well, the truth is, neither am I but I sure feel like it. As a Romance Travel Designer, I talk to a lot of couples who are overwhelmed with the planning and decisions that comes with wedding and honeymoon planning. As an entrepreneur, I can identify because I feel just like a bride – I have tons of decisions to make, a mountain of information to sift through and a plethora of tools to choose from.

Last month, I felt like I had garnered a lot of information about running a successful Facebook advertising campaign and did so with some decent results. Woohoo, this is certainly going to help me reach millions of people, I can “set it and forget it” and just move on to the next big thing on the agenda, right? Well, not so fast Read the rest of this entry »

If you’ve been dreaming of an Australian vacation scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, exploring rainforests, or just lying on the beach, then Down Under Answers has the perfect solution for you!

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Croatia may be Europe’s best kept secret. With amazing architecture, a diverse history, and a more recent fame in Hollywood, Croatia is an amazing melting pot of Slavic, Roman, and Greek cultures. Let Central Holidays guide you to breathtaking Croatia!

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If you’ve ever closed your eyes and pictured Greece, the glistening white buildings, azure waters, rocky protrusions, and clean sugar sand, then you have already seen the beauty of the Cyclades Islands. This archipelago in the Aegean Sea contains 2,200 islands, only 33 of which are inhabited. These islands have inspired modern art and Greek culture, and are still home to ancient Greek ruins, fascinating in their architecture. Because of its picturesque scenery, the Cyclades tend to be somewhat crowded, but the beauty and tranquility of the islands are more than worth the small inconvenience. Read the rest of this entry »