The voice of the travel agency community

5 Ways to Stay at the Top of Your Game

Wanna shoot some hoops? Game of chess? Play monopoly anyone? Answer “yes” to any of these questions and, depending on who asked, you suddenly find yourself in a more or less competitive situation. Sometimes, a lot more competitive.  Competition is a good thing.  It keeps you sharp, it hones your skills.

It can also be tiring, draining and worrisome. Just try being a travel consultant. Read the rest of this entry »

I spent six nights on Scenic Jasper, sailing from Budapest to Vienna. Along the way I met the company’s owners, Glen Moroney and his wife Karen; key executives; and a slew of North American travel agents and journalists. The consensus, and I am in agreement, is that Scenic serves up a quality experience at a high level. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Travel, storytelling, and social media marketing

“A human life is a story told by God and in the best of stories told by humans, we come closer to God.” – Hans Christian Anderson

What is your reaction when someone says “Let me tell you a story?” Most likely you listen attentively. The human mind loves a good story. Some portion of our psyche seeks a beginning, a middle, and an end. Every story has characters, a setting, and a series of incidents resulting in something memorable. Sound familiar?

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Warning, divided road ahead

To me, the only thing better than feedback, is good feedback. All too often, we allow our clients to take their trips, come home, and hibernate. Often, we do not even know for sure if they really did return. So, when I get some good solid feedback, I am thrilled. And it is not only when arranging travel. We often get feedback here at Travel Research Online. 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 SchafferAfter years of attending networking events, I have learned to really scrutinize business cards that I have collected. I have also watched what others have done with the business cards that they collect. One particular gentleman in my networking circles is very pragmatic: if someone’s business card doesn’t fit into his business card binder, he tosses it. Nothing annoys him more than oddly shaped business cards. He also discards any cards that do not easily describe what the business does. For example, my business name (Ships ‘N’ Trips Travel) makes it easy for him to know that I’m in the travel industry. If my business name was The Schaefer Agency, without a tagline describing my business, no one would know what kind of agency I operate (Insurance? Real estate? Talent acquisition?). Read the rest of this entry »

Host agencies and an inconvenient truth

I have a friend who once joked, “I’ve decided to stop chasing those get-rich-quick schemes to concentrate on the get-rich-instantaneously schemes.” I think of him from time to time when I happen to come across yet another pitch from a host agency.

Now mind you, I have nothing against host agencies. They fill a valuable role in the travel distribution system and they can be invaluable to home-based travel agents just starting out in the industry. Read the rest of this entry »

The Czech Republic is a modern and dynamic destination, with a rich history and unique natural beauty.

The CzechTourism agency, along with its offices abroad, ensures its successful presentation on the domestic and foreign markets. The Czech Tourism Authority is a contributory organization of the Ministry for Regional Development and was established in 1993. Its significant partner agencies include domestic tourist regions, cities, municipalities and businesses. Read the rest of this entry »

So, you still want to be a travel agent, travel the world and make a lot of money. Not so fast. There is a lot to learn before you are ready for that first client.  Before the commissions and fees start to roll in, you really need to know a little bit about yourself and how you fit into the industry. What’s next? Let’s start with the basics–where, when, how, what and why. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t give me that again. Don’t tell me how next month is going to be different. I’ve heard it all before. You’ve heard it all before. I’ve said it all before, and so have you.

Next month blah, blah, blah. But, what if… Read the rest of this entry »

Home to the most powerful and formidable empire in ancient history, Rome is a city that still embraces its past. From the Colosseum, to the Circus Maximus, to the Pantheon, the fallen Roman empire is still alive and well everywhere you look. Let Shore Trips guide you through Rome, and discover a world you’ve only ever read about!

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MarieWalkerPic-1A visionary and expert strategist, Marie Walker has a successful track record of overseeing and directing high-impact marketing campaigns, public relations, and promotions of destination islands in the Caribbean region. A Caribbean national with over 30 years of destination tourism marketing experience, she is armed with an unparalleled passion for the tourism industry. Formerly with the Jamaica Tourist Board, Anguilla Tourist Board, and TurnStyle Marketing, Marie opened the first Anguilla National Tourist Office in North. Today she is Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority. Read the rest of this entry »

Lately, a lot of people have been asking me for travel advice. Not much of a surprise, really, what with me being a travel agent and all. My specialty is currently cruises, but I’ve been doing travel for a very long time, so I’ve gathered quite a bit of information outside of my niche. That’s good, because the questions I’ve been getting recently haven’t been cruise-related. Read the rest of this entry »

Built by the visionary Maharaja JaiSingh in the 18th century, Jaipur is a beautiful city full of colorful buildings and amazing history. From the world’s largest stone sundial to ancient palaces, Jaipur has something for the explorer within everyone. Come and see the “Pink City” at its best with Adam Travel!

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Railtours Ireland First Class, operating since 1998, is Ireland’s premier rail touring operator. Trains are the most comfortable mode of travel in Ireland, and our Tour Hosts will enhance your experience as we cruise towards our destinations, and remain with you through the complete tour. Over half a million visitors to Ireland have enjoyed our tours, and we have achieved a “Certificate of Excellence” four years in a row with TripAdvisor, thanks to our first class customer service and legendary hospitality. Sit back and relax as your train glides through the ancient and historical heart of Ireland! Read the rest of this entry »

The largest of the Caribbean islands, Cuba is a charming mix of colonial aesthetics, vintage cars, and a local musical blend that is unrivaled. During its heyday in the 1950’s, Cuba was a popular destination for American tourists because of the distinctive European flair of the country. The architecture is exquisitely preserved from the days of colonists and Caribbean pirates, with cobblestone streets, huge, bombastic town squares, and opulent buildings. Beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters top off all the amazing sights that the island has to offer! Read the rest of this entry »