The voice of the travel agency community

Revisit Your Marketing Calendar

Maybe you have noticed the “new car smell” is gone off of this year.  Already we are deep into 2015. It’s time to get moving. Every reader of my travel marketing column knows I think written business plans are important. Organization is essential. Clarity of expression and correctly assessing markets are requirements. But not a one of these is worth anything without ACTION. Along with every Marketing Plan (what to do) you need to write an Action Plan (how and when). Too many times we over-plan and over-perfect and in the process lose valuable opportunities to others who are quicker to act. It’s time to take another look at our marketing calendar. Read the rest of this entry »

Look closely. Can you see the orange parkas against the Windex-blue glacier? They’d be easy to miss, the 10 or so Seabourn Quest guests in the Zodiac, exploring a massive glacier on one day of our voyage to Antarctica. I remember the day well. A group of us were on another Zodiac, far enough away for me to snap this photo with a zoom lens. We were all mesmerized by the magnitude of the place, a vast emptiness, except for mountains of rock, ice and snow all around us. Read the rest of this entry »

ERICA_SCANNELLIIn my 6th grade yearbook, where other kids speculated on their futures as Olympic athletes, fire fighters, and millionaires, my career ambition was to be a Travel Agent. I didn’t re-discover this until recently and, looking back, it seems I was destined for this profession! I loved watching and reading about other people and cultures as a child; as a teen, I took my first international trip to Paris and I was hooked! Read the rest of this entry »

Adam HodgeAdam Hodge is a digital content editor at Goway Travel, a travel provider that has been in operation since 1970. Adam earned a degree in Business Commerce from Ryerson University in 2008 and has been with Goway since 2010, both as an agent and as a member of marketing personnel. We spoke to Adam about what it takes to create social media content of the highest caliber in the travel industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Assure your emails are read; 5 keys

I am a huge believer in the power of email. Huge! While it is often easier to get more reach with social media today, email still remains the more powerful medium. Social media is like Wal-Mart. People will come in, look around, maybe spill something in aisle 15 causing a disruption, and leave. They may buy. But more often than not, they will leave without a purchase. Email is different. Email is more like your house. You have sent them an invite to a party and they have accepted because they want to be with you; not because they just happened to be in the neighborhood. So, it only makes sense that email is a more powerful sales and marketing tool…if used correctly. Unfortunately, most emails disappear without a trace.  Here are 5 keys to making yours more effective: Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing What I Know As I Go

Have you set your goals for 2015 yet? Do they include becoming more organized and maybe a little less frazzled this year, as you aim to increase your luxury travel sales? Mine do, as it seems they do every year. In this world of luxury travel, staying organized, focused and efficient, along with being ridiculously detail-oriented, has to stay top priority pretty much all of the time. The start of a new year is a perfect time to create a “Vision Board” or maybe, as I did this year, an ongoing “Vision Journal” that can be started in January and added to throughout the entire year.
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Susan SchafferI recently wrote about making more money with cruise groups and selling more luxury cruises. This time, I want to discuss other ways of increasing your income when selling cruises; the ancillary products that many travel agents seem to be letting slip through their fingers. If you have ever taken a sales class, you’ve probably heard the term “cross selling.” Read the rest of this entry »

Do you have your act together?

Which of these two stories defines your organization?

#1 – I do the work.

I called a store and asked about a replacement glass cover for a kitchen light fixture. I was told that I would have to take a picture of the part and come into the store since they did not have a computer. I am not saying a computer makes or breaks a business. I am saying that the burden was quickly transferred onto my shoulders and what at first appeared as an easy fix was becoming more difficult by the second.

Or this one? Read the rest of this entry »

GOGO Vacations is a leading US travel wholesaler, providing the very best in products and packages to travel professionals. Their unwavering commitment to the travel agent community is one that runs strong and deep, offering support and responsiveness that is unparalleled in this space. Read the rest of this entry »

Tripology–does it work for you? Or not?

I have been using Tripology since its infancy back in 2007 and with good success through its trials and tribulations as a small business in midtown Manhattan, to almost disappearing totally, to being bought by Rand McNally, to now as part of USA Today. I have had many colleagues in the industry that have also met with success using Tripology, but it is not for everyone. Tripology is a good lead service that works if you are willing to work it. It especially works for those who truly have a niche or true specialization. Is it perfect? Not at all! Read the rest of this entry »

Truth: Selling is like a game of darts.

Everybody who has ever had anything to do with sales was taught early on that “sales was a numbers game.” Make enough calls, meet enough people, shake enough hands, send enough proposals … and the business will follow.  Read the rest of this entry »

Rental Escapes is a leading luxury villa rental and concierge agency based out of Montreal, Canada. Their website features a curated collection of the world’s finest private villas and estates. Read the rest of this entry »

LeeAnn Roper Cumbow’s career within the world of travel began in 1992 with Northwest Airlink as one of their flight attendants. In 1997, she shifted gears and launched her career with Vacation Express as one of their travel agents. She immediately caught the attention of Vacation Express executives, and in 1998, Cumbow became their Business Development Manager for Memphis.
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Hi everyone! I’m Susan, but everyone calls me Smitty; and I am an independent contractor with Priceless Cruising. I specialize in ocean and river cruises and have been in business since 2006, having earned my ACC with CLIA in 2013. So…a little about me and how I fit into the travel industry!

I love to cruise and more importantly, to send people on cruises. On our first cruise in 1991, our agent never really ‘prepared’ us. She just said it would be wonderful and we would have a great time. We did, but on the last day when they told us to put our luggage out in the hall at night, I had no idea that was part of standard cruise routine. Lesson learned. Read the rest of this entry »

Imagine a destination that encompasses everything you could ever want out of a vacation and more. Picture sandy beaches, snowcapped mountains, rolling hills, coastal roadways, aquariums and zoos, historical landmarks, bars and cafes, wineries and vineyards, and abundant wildlife. A destination like this seems almost too good to be true. Think again. Let Down Under Answers take you on an unforgettable journey through one of Australia’s most fascinating and diverse regions: Victoria.

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As Israel’s leading luxury hotel chain, Dan Hotels provides a unique hospitality experience at international standards, with its properties continually ranking in annual listings for the best hotels around the world. Read the rest of this entry »

A dreamland full of fairy tale-like castles, charming villages, picturesque landscapes, literary legends, and historical landmarks, it’s no wonder why Ireland is one of the most sought out tourist destinations in the world. Immerse yourself in Irish culture as you embark on an adventure through Ireland with Journeys Connect.  Read the rest of this entry »