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Client Knowledge

Recently, I was speaking to a colleague about a new sales person he had just employed. The sales person was complaining the company did not have a  presentation brochure. If only the company would produce a professional presentation, the sales person assured his boss, the sales would come flying through the door. My friend wanted to know what I thought, and I told him.

I told him he needed to better train his new sales person. Read the rest of this entry »

Follow Aaron Saunders and Ralph Grizzle as they cruise the Arctic and Greenland on two voyages on Silver Explorer. From July 2 through July 12, Aaron will be on an “Expedition Svalbard: Tromso to Longyearbyen” on Silver Explorer. Beginning August 27, Ralph reports from Greenland as Silver Explorer sails on a seven-day voyage roundtrip from Kangerlussuaq. Read the rest of this entry »

Chris Eason HeadshotI began my career in the travel industry in 2002 as a sales person for a hop-on, hop–off trolley tour company in historic Boston.  Prior experience in the hospitality industry and spending the previous 23 years in Beantown made me a good fit for the position. I grew up here, went to college at Northeastern University, and was (and still am) an all-around Bostonian. My favorite part of the job was welcoming people from different parts of North America and all over the world to “my” Boston.  I appreciated that they chose to visit my city on their vacation, and I wanted them to leave saying the people of Boston are friendly, helpful, and welcoming.  Read the rest of this entry »

What Travel Agencies Can Learn From Zappos

Is it possible for customer service to become a cult? I think so. Many companies tout customer service as their key differentiator. No company I have ever seen carries through on that mission like Zappos. They even have a name for it internally: the WOW philosophy. The CEO is Tony Hsieh – Author of “Delivering Happiness” and he occupies a cubical in the middle of their offices along with the employees with whom he works. If you order shoes from Zappos, shipping is free. They also pay for the shipping on returns. There is no limit on returns either, and you can return a pair of shoes up to 365 days after purchasing them. If the customer wants shoes that are not in stock, call center employees will find the shoes on a competitor’s web site and direct the customer there. Read the rest of this entry »

Independence Day has come and gone, and now we are looking down the barrel of the second half of the year. It’s halftime, if you will; and a perfect time to take a minute to look at what went well the first half of the year and what needs to be adjusted to make sure the second half performs as planned to make your goals.

In a football game, the coaches take the 15 minutes at halftime to formulate the next 30 minutes of play and so should you. Read the rest of this entry »

Working with that Special Client

Lauren Liebert is a Honeymoon and Vacation Specialist at Ticket to Travel, a San Jose-based travel company that specializes in customized itineraries. Lauren has been with Ticket to Travel for over a decade and makes it her goal to provide her clients with the best service available. Today, Lauren specializes in booking trips for high-end clientele. We spoke to Lauren about luxury booking and how to excel at making upscale reservations. Read the rest of this entry »

Susan SchafferLet’s start with a disclaimer. I’m not an attorney. I don’t play one on TV. And I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. With that said, I want to talk about liability; our liability. With the recent tragedy of a flightseeing plane crashing in Alaska with Holland America passengers onboard, a lot of questions are being asked about travel agent liability in situations like this.

Whether a travel professional can be held liable (i.e. because they specifically suggested the excursion and/or booked it for the clients), is a decision for the courts to make. However, there are business practices that you can put into place to help you mitigate your liability. Read the rest of this entry »

Can you hear the magic

Like a lot of people my age, I recently received my first pair of hearing aids. Apparently, my ability to lip-read and mentally fill-in the missing bits had developed unconsciously over the years, masking the extent of my loss. Eventually I could no longer compensate and I am now the owner of two behind-the-ear life changers.

As the audiologist had warned me, the first day was overwhelming. I was suddenly awash in chaotic cacophony coming from all directions. I developed a headache, couldn’t focus, got dizzy, and felt nauseous. Read the rest of this entry » found inspiration for its name from Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, his 15th century painting depicting the Roman goddess, Venus, emerging from the sea on a giant clamshell. Originally, Venere was launched as a resource for Italians looking to go on a romantic getaway. After its launch in 1995, was on a fast track to provide travelers and travel agents with booking options throughout Italy, Europe, the US, and the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Do as I say; not as I do

After a recent conversation with a colleague at a trade show, I had a bit of a revelation. We tell clients to work with a professional to book their travel, and we can give them a laundry list of reasons why. We advocate working with a professional, but then we often don’t practice what we preach. When it comes down to us enlisting the services of professionals, many travel professionals resist. They mimic those consumers that they despise, the ones that won’t work with a travel professional and just book online or direct. Read the rest of this entry »

New Orleans is where I first read the four words in today’s title, and they immediately caught my attention. I was waiting for a flight to Atlanta while reading the Sunday edition of The Times – Picayune, wondering what the heck a “Po’ boy” was on the breakfast menu.

Refuse to be bored read the headline. Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Wen has worked at for just over 3 years and is currently the Sales Director at the company. Born and raised in China, Peter came to the United States to peter wen headshotpursue a graduate degree and eventually graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Master’s degree in Economics in 2012. Although working in the travel industry wasn’t his first choice, he found himself highly passionate about helping travel agents know more about the ancient country of China. His ultimate goal is make China a more popular destination in the industry and help travel agents realize how easy and profitable it is to sell China packages.   Read the rest of this entry »

DSC_2068Levi Sanchez began with Blue Sky Tours 17 years ago and currently holds the position of Travel Agency Engagement Manager. He has worked extensively in various departments within Blue Sky Tours, and worked on the promotion of Hawaii to the travel agency community through his extensive knowledge of the region.  He is involved with travel agency engagement, policy, training, technology, and product strategy within Blue Sky Tours. Read the rest of this entry »

I have to admit this year has been very busy up until this month. I find myself behind in tasks that involve marketing, learning, and the dreaded office organization. However, as we all know, they are vital to our success even though our clients aren’t always directly affected by them. Read the rest of this entry »

History, art, and warm coastal beaches: three words that perfectly sum up the country of Italy. The different regions of Italy each have their own personalities, some a vibrant blend of Italian and neighboring regions, others a laid-back Mediterranean coastal town. It’s no wonder Italy is the height of European history and culture, and Central Holidays is your guide to this amazing country.

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Las Vegas needs no introduction: “Sin City”, “The Entertainment Capital Of The World”, and “The City Of Lights”, all spot-on descriptions of this dusty desert city. While most think they know the real Las Vegas, all glitz and glamor with sequins falling from the sky, there is so much more beyond the Strip and all its casinos. You can scale rust-colored sandstone canyons, enchanted by dazzling acrobatics, and visit some of the best entertainment of the past and present.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vienna has always been known for its dedication and love of the arts: from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s tenure there after his time composing in Salzburg to the modern-day fame of the Vienna Philharmonic. During the summer, Vienna transforms into a haven for music and art lovers, presenting dozens of festivals and events celebrating its pride in the arts. From youth festivals to magnificent opera, from grand orchestral performances to celebrations of centuries on horseback, there is a breath-taking performance around every corner. Let the Vienna Tourist Board share the best of their beloved Vienna with you this summer! Read the rest of this entry »