What travel professional doesn’t love travel? A hallmark of practically for everyone in this industry is their passion for travel, and it shows.  Is it possible, though, that our love of travel gets in the way of our travel business?

Many, if not most, travel professionals back into their careers.  Most business people choose their area of expertise, train for the necessary skill sets, and then launch out into the field of their choosing.  The path from neophyte to professional is logical and surrounded by training and support mechanisms.

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It is hard to imagine a more beautiful setting than Amalfi while at anchor. From the perspective of the sea, you can take in the whole town and its gorgeous backdrop. Amalfi is nestled in a ravine at the foot of Monte Cerreto, which rises to more than 4,000 feet. Amalfi was the capital of the Duchy of Amalfi, an important trading center between 839 and around 1200. In the 1920s and 1930s, Amalfi thrived as a popular holiday destination for the British upper class and aristocracy. With some imagination, you can envision lovely ladies in white dresses clutching parasols over their shoulders along with dapper gents strolling alongside. Read the rest of this entry »

P11-821ecThere’s never a boring day for me! I’m always busy and always thinking of new ways to support our Travel Leaders Franchisee’s! My focus is to help them grow their business by supporting and developing programs and tools for their Host Agency program. I interface with multiple audiences that include existing Agency Owners, Managers, and Independent Contractors (ICs), as well as prospective ICs, industry Host experts, and vendors. Not to mention a smart and proactive internal team at TLFG! I am most proud of the newly launched Travel Leaders Hosts website which links ICs to Owners. I love being that middleman and seeing the success stories emerge! Read the rest of this entry »

How to Create Shareable Social Content in Less Time

Do you have plethora of photos?

What about a variety of videos?

How about a bunch of blogs?

What do we do with it all?

For many of us in the travel, tourism, and hospitality world we have bits and pieces of content floating around, waiting to be pulled together into shareable content. This re-worked content can take on new life and can live in a variety of different social and traditional marketing campaigns. Read the rest of this entry »

Clients will always bring a smile to your face

February can be a stressful month for many. We have Valentines Day (and if anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears), we are in the midst of Wave Season, toss in a little Zika Virus and… well, you get the picture. So, I wanted to take a little time to maybe elicit a smile.

Recently an old article from the Tropical Nomad re-surfaced Read the rest of this entry »

If you are going to be successful selling luxury travel to high-end clients, you need to know firsthand what you are selling. This has been a cornerstone of my philosophy since launching my business 10 years ago, and came as a natural extension of years spent traversing the world as a travel journalist. I realized early on that I needed to see the places I was writing about in order to do them justice, and the same holds true now when I am editing choices and curating vacation plans for my sophisticated clients.

There is just nothing that can replace firsthand knowledge, especially when you are dealing with so many requests for places and properties around the world. And, while it’s impossible to get everywhere and know everything, it’s never too late to get started on getting out there and visiting as many as you can! Read the rest of this entry »

Susan SchaeferIn the midst of addressing client concerns about the Zika virus, we now also have clients freaking out about the recent storm that hit Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. If you missed the story somehow, Anthem left Bayonne, New Jersey on Saturday, February 6th and on Sunday it was caught in a severe storm. Cruise ships have faced inclement weather in the past, and will do so again in the future. When the storm is too large to “go around,” the ship’s captain is not always left with a lot of options. Read the rest of this entry »

Daniel Zim - Head ShotTRO is proud to introduce a new column this week: “Ex Bona Fida”. This monthly column will feature lawyers and accounting professionals providing valuable insight into the legal and tax world of the travel industry. Our first column is by Daniel Zim, an attorney specializing in travel law who has worked with such agencies as American Society of Travel Agents, Inc. (ASTA), Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), the U.S. Department of Transportation and state seller of travel programs.

Most law-abiding travel agencies do their best to comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Some do not, risking prosecution and hefty fines. Still, others find the right buttons to push and the right people to speak with. One very familiar company with a unique business model may have done just that, receiving what appears to be a waiver of literal compliance with two DOT rules – the code-share and baggage fee disclosure rules.

For years, Priceline has dominated the opaque online travel space, selling airline tickets while withholding from the consumer the name of the carrier, including the schedule and applicable baggage fees until after the consumer makes a nonrefundable purchase. Yet, it is confounding that Priceline is even able to offer these services legally and intuition tells me that Priceline must have obtained informal permission from DOT for its opaque booking practices. Read the rest of this entry »

Is that garlic I smell?

The lovely little town of Delray Beach is situated along the pristine beaches of South Florida between the towns of Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach, 15 miles south of West Palm Beach. That’s a lot of beaches.

That smell wafting in the background is from Delray and it has nothing to do with tidal wash or expired sea creatures. It is coming from Old School Square where the Annual Garlic Festival is taking place. I went. I browsed. I smelled. Boy did I smell! Read the rest of this entry »

Cosmopolitan Travel Service has made a name for itself in the travel industry as the fastest growing air consolidator for the past decade. Since 1970, CTS has been evolving to constantly meet the needs of our clients.

Headquartered in Detroit, we also have branches in New York, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Dallas, Washington DC, Lima Peru, and Athens Greece. Cosmopolitan also employs some of the most knowledgeable staff in the industry with an average of 15 years in the business. Read the rest of this entry »

Stop! Listen to what you don’t want to hear

We all have challenges hearing!  Let’s face it, we often hear the actual sounds and verbiage, but fall a bit short on the analysis and next step. It’s critical to the sales process and the success of any business to not just hear, but to actively listen. You must process and act on that information! One hurdle to get over for any good listener is that people may be telling you what you DON’T want to hear, thus changing the course of your interaction and your ultimate sales outcome. Do not dismiss this information or assume anything; it’s all critical to forming a strong relationship and securing a sale. Read the rest of this entry »

“If you stay focused on how much benefit a prospective customer could gain from working with you, you’ll stay in the go zone.”

Snap Selling– Jill Konrath, page 161

Chapter 19: Aligned: Assessing Business Value

Long and short, this quote reminds us of the importance to stay customer-focused. You have the experience. You have the contacts. You have the supplier support. And if you’ve been in the business for any amount of time at all, you have true life examples to draw from. Read the rest of this entry »

With over 27 years’ experience, Journeys Connect is a privately owned wholesale tour operator offering group and specialty vacation packages to destinations throughout Europe. Our dedicated team works to understand as much as possible about your customers’ goals and needs, and are committed to delivering excellence in product, value, and destination knowledge.

Journeys Connect group and specialty services are available exclusively on a Business-to-Business basis, to travel industry professionals. Read the rest of this entry »

Phil CappelliFollowing 16 successful years in the luxury escorted travel industry, Phil Cappelli was named President of Insight Vacations, USA in 2014. Cappelli began his career in the travel industry with Tauck as a Reservations Supervisor in 1998 and was promoted with rapid succession, eventually becoming the Director of North American Sales. Travel Agent Magazine featured Cappelli as a “Rising Star” and selected him for their coveted “30 Under 30” program based on his influential work following the 9/11 tragedy and contagious enthusiasm for effective communication and teamwork.
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I am Monique Gramby, Romance Travel and Cruise Specialist for White Sand Travel and I also hold the title of Business Manager. As a whole, our Agency consists of various specialties in different areas including destination weddings, honeymoon travel, and cruises. I particularly enjoy family travel with my husband and teenage daughter. Before I go any further, let me just say how excited I am to be a part of TRO Diaries! Read the rest of this entry »

Settled right in between France and Monaco, Villefranche is a small fishing village that exudes all of the charm and exquisite beauty that comes to mind when one hears the phrase “French Riviera”. This lovely town offers all the French atmosphere and charisma without the overwhelming crowds, including beautiful beaches, fantastic medieval structures, and intriguing art and museum displays. ShoreTrips is your ticket to this warm and welcoming strip along the Riviera!

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With 43 years of experience in the industry, Aegean Mediterranean Cruises & Tours has become an industry leader for it’s original and featured destination, Greece. Over the course our company’s history, we have grown to include a dozen countries in our portfolio of destinations throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. Our flagship office can be found in Athens, and representative offices/affiliates in almost every town, village, island, city or resort area we work with.

Our services range from the typical tour coordinating you would expect from a major tour operator, to specialized services, such as special interest tours/groups (especially university and student groups), incentive groups, destinations weddings and events, conference planning, religious groups and pilgrimages, private yacht charters, villa rentals, and luxury travel services. Read the rest of this entry »

New Zealand has earned a reputation in the past few decades as a truly mesmerizing visual backdrop for some of the most epic films ever put to screen; but many neglect to explore the cities, the urban areas of New Zealand, full of the same natural beauty and more. One of these incredibly cities is Auckland, a city full of history, culture, and just as much heart-stopping flora and fauna as you could dream of in the countryside. Down Under Answers is your ticket to exploring this amazing city filled with color and surprises around every corner. Read the rest of this entry »