Setting Goals for Your 2018 Business Plan

Just 6 more weeks and 2018 is here. I like both endings and beginnings, the opportunity to evaluate how the year has gone and the opportunity to plan for the next. I’m hoping you have begun to work on a business plan for next year. If you need a bit of help, here is an article abstracted from a new project Anita Pagliasso and I have undertaken at Travel Professional Academy. It will help you get a real jump on writing a business plan.

Keep in mind as we build your business plan that marketing has two fundamental objectives:

  • the retention of existing clients; and,
  • the acquisition of new clients.

Your existing clients are your base and represent your steady income. New clients represent growth and replace clients you may lose or fire along the way. Whatever steps we take in building a plan, we will want to ensure that we are acting to either retain desirable existing clients or acquire desirable new ones.
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Jump in as we learn about Travel Show Marketing Group, and their place in the travel industry. From tradeshows to Hosted Travel Agent programs, Travel Show Marketing Group does it all.

Travel Show Marketing Group (TravelSMG), an independent event organizer which caters to the B2B leisure travel agency channel, has implemented a number of new initiatives crafted to enhance the overall travel agent and supplier engagement experience, while offering a plethora of unique educational opportunities.

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9 Blog Hacks to Save you Time

  1. You’ll have a 20 hour work week with a computer (circa 1989)
  2. A vacuum robot will make your life easier
  3. Blog writing can be easy

Which of these statements is true?

If you chose C, you’re absolutely right!  Whether you LOVE to write and can’t wait to write your next article or if you HATE to write and procrastinate, you’ll find some reassurance and tips here.

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7 tips to keep you or your team motivated

The day in and day out of work  can take a toll on us all. And when that happens, we check out. A Dale Carnegie study found that as many as 45 percent of the workforce is not engaged and another quarter are actively disengaged. Yikes!

Whether you have a team of employees running your agency, or a team of one, keeping engaged and appreciated is key to your success. Failure to keep engaged and appreciated can result in your employees looking for greener pastures—or even yourself looking to bail on the industry.  As Jack Torrance said in he Shining—all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  Be sure to reward those who work for you…even if it is only you.  And remember, it does not need to be extravagant. The results will pay dividends.

Here are seven simple, inexpensive ways to keep motivated and engaged. Read the rest of this entry »

What Are You Worth?

Our industry has become its own worst enemy. According to a survey by Pam Danziger in her book “Let Them Eat Cake”, she cites that the majority of consumers pay full price for luxury experiential goods – except travel.  64% of individuals surveyed said they got a discount or a deal.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a $299 Cancun package or a $100,000 World Cruise, over the years as an industry we have promised the customer, they always will get the lowest price available. Even if that happens after the sale has been completed.  Here are the cold, hard facts of this promise / guarantee:  The lower the price, the lower the commission.  Because you have set the expectation, you have to watch every promo, every one week & flash sale to keep your promise.  That’s a lot of work!

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Winter is Coming!!

More accurately, WAVE SEASON IS COMING!! That thought is just as frightening for some in the travel industry as “winter is coming!” is to characters in Game of Thrones. There is general panic, anxiety and night terrors. It used to be that wave season didn’t kick in until after the new year rolled around, and it last for six to eight weeks. Then it began lasting longer.  Nowadays, for some travel agents, it feels like wave season can last three to four months (feeling like an eternity). As for when it starts, it’s feeling like November is the new January.

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We live in a world where we are always plugged in: email, phone calls, social media, and text messages are hard to ignore. Imagine a place where you can unplug from the real world and immerse yourself in the beauty of the nature around you. Thanks to the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association this is an achievable and highly enjoyable experience.

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A Whodunnit of Detectives

I don’t know what the collective word is for a group of detectives, but I’m throwing my hat in the ring with this definition. Many of you will instantly recognise the images in this column because many of your clients may have organised their social calendar just to watch next week’s episode of Inspector Morse, Lewis, Poirot, Miss Marple or Foyles War to name just five of the popular British TV series screened on PBS in the past few years.

When imaginatively blended with our castles, stately homes, privately owned gardens, cathedrals, pubs and tea rooms, they and their counterparts can be converted into money making, customised UK tours.

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I am having some trouble narrowing down my niche.

I wanted to start a travel business because my family and friends are always asking me to help them find affordable airfare and accommodations for various locations.

I think I want to do budget/bargain travel because so many people think that travel has to be expensive. Have you seen anyone specialize in shoulder season travel?

Also, I am big into yoga, wellness, and I’m a mom! Definitely want to add that into something. Can I have a few niches?

Thank you for your time!

Natalia Carden,

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Cozy Canals in Scandinavia with Holidays with Downtown

Scandinavia is a region full to the brim with rich heritage and stellar beauty. If it isn’t on your travel list it should be, as Scandinavia blends the wilderness with the cozy, comfortable streets of historic cities and cultures. Thanks to Holidays with Downtown, the supplier sponsor of this article, you can make a trip to Scandinavia the relaxing getaway you deserve.

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Todd Powell, CEO and Co-Founder, Vacations By Rail

Todd Powell, CEO and Co-Founder of Vacations By Rail, fell in love with the art of rail travel studying abroad, and has extensive experience traveling through Europe, the USA, and Canada by rail. With the support of the Vacations By Rail staff, Todd evaluates rail journeys based on an array of things including personal experience and extensive customer feedback. Todd Powell worked in many different areas of the travel industry, from management to marketing, before the creation of Vacations By Rail in 2004 which has since become one of the United States’ largest producers of rail vacations and trail tours throughout the world.

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New England Charm with American Cruise Lines

The region of New England is compromised of six states with no shortage of sights and activities to offer visitors and residents alike. With beautiful and diverse scenery and history, the New England region is a vacation destination with fun for the whole family. Thanks to American Cruise Lines, the supplier sponsor of this article, it will be a breeze to explore all that New England has to offer.

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Explore the End of the World with Australis

Specializing in “End of the World” cruises that explore the pristine waterways of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego at the bottom end of South America, Australis has 25 years of experience in operating expedition cruises. They were also named one of 2017’s Best Small-Ship Ocean Cruises by Travel + Leisure. Owned and operated by Chileans, their goal is providing Australis passengers from around the world with an unforgettable cruising experience.

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