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That sound you hear is time passing. Things are winding down, and there are less than six weeks left in 2014. Whatever has happened during the  year, you can make 2015 more productive by gearing up for the creation of  a business plan. An important part of every business plan, and a good start at generating the appropriate mindset,  is a marketing calendar. Too few travel consultants incorporate the use of a marketing calendar in their practice. Yet, without a marketing calendar, many opportunities for strong marketing efforts slip by either unnoticed or weakly implemented.

Effective marketing drives sales. Period. But to be effective over the long term, marketing cannot be haphazard or random. Planning a marketing strategy with a calendar in front of you will ensure firstly that you are incorporating a variety of marketing efforts into your plan and secondly that you are doing so in synch with your clients’ own planning. Read the rest of this entry »

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas Delivers

Aaron Saunders, reporting for Avid Cruiser 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 »

Disgruntled client? Ignore at your peril

Wouldn’t it be nice if owning a business came with a foolproof owner’s manual?  Just imagine being able to turn to “chapter 5″ when something went awry and the manual would tell you exactly how to get back on track. Well, wake up, no such manual exists; however, I can give you a single, two-word, tip that might prevent 99% of the mistakes you might make.  Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hellar - Marine Operations ManagerRich is the Marine Operations Manager at G Adventures. Having worked with the tour operator’s marine programs since 2006, he has had the opportunity to visit some of the world’s most remote and beautiful destinations, almost always by boat. Rich brings a mix of field experience and passion for wildlife, remote destinations and shipping that help G Adventures create life-changing experiences. In addition to the tour operator’s Toronto headquarters, Rich has spent time working in the Antarctic and South East Asia.
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Come prepared

My message this week is short and sweet. Come prepared.  Those two words will serve you well in almost any business situation. It was reinforced to me at a recent trade show I attended where I saw plenty of people unprepared to do business.

People exhibit at trade shows ready to do business and wanting to do business. They come to the show wanting to meet new prospects. They come to the show with very good intentions. But Read the rest of this entry »

With over 80 years of industry experience, SITA World Tours has built an excellent reputation in the world of luxury travel as the preferred Tour Operator for exotic destinations. By partnering with travel agents and offering customized opportunities, SITA has delivered the comprehensive services and values that luxury travelers appreciate. Read the rest of this entry »

9 things I learned in my first 9 years

When I started my business in November 2005 I didn’t really have much of a plan. I had a lot of hope, ambition, and education, but no real work experience in the industry, and wasn’t exactly sure of where I was headed.

When I look back at the last nine years, I’ve had a lot of successes and a handful of failures as well. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way: Read the rest of this entry »

The word “radical” denotes the idea of getting to the root of a problem. When mathematicians want to find the square root of a number, they use the radical symbol to express the equation. For travel agents, getting radical on a problem means seeking out its cause. One of the best ways to do so is to work backwards and ask, quite simply, “WHY?”

Long ago, we discussed the sales funnel. There, we examined the sales process and noted that at every step of the way, potential clients fell out of our sphere of influence. As we looked to the sales funnel, we noted that a lot of clients were being lost at the top of the sales process and fewer as we went along. However, the further along in the sales process any given client was, the more time and energy we had invested in the client. Read the rest of this entry »

Draped in Mayan heritage with acres of unspoiled coastal land, Costa Maya is filled with rich, cultural influence and vast, natural beauty. Part of the Mexican Caribbean, Costa Maya has the highest concentration of Mayan archaeological sites and the largest Mayan population in Mexico. Follow the footprints that lead you into the historical past that make up this spectacular city! Read the rest of this entry »

Joe MaloneyJoe Maloney began his career in the travel industry in the late 80s, working as a Tour Director throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe. He transitioned into travel sales and marketing in the mid-90s, and has been involved in developing sales through various channels ever since. Read the rest of this entry »

The time has come to write my last Travel Agent diary entry. Time certainly does fly and that couldn’t be truer than in the travel industry. Back in January when I started my entries we had many projects that we were looking to roll out over the course of 2014. As one could imagine some of those projects were a hit, others did not pan out at all as we expected and a couple were pleasant surprises.

My entries followed along how those projects affected my day-to-day travel agent tasks and hopefully some of my experiences may be of help to some of you. I even had an entry that was pretty much me venting. I wasn’t sure if I should share, but I figured I am human; and as travel agents we sometimes just throw papers in the air, put our face in our hands and just let it all out. Read the rest of this entry »

Whether you are trekking through the luscious landscapes of the Peruvian Amazon, admiring the ruins at Machu Picchu, or finding your way through Pisac’s Indian Market, Peru provides visitors with countless opportunities to learn and explore. Tourists travel from around the world to get a glimpse of the historical Inca civilization that once resided in these mountains, yet, there are many other landmarks and adventures just waiting to be discovered.

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transamtravel-logo1With so many nicknames, like “Daughter of the Baltic” and “miniature St. Petersburg”, it is hard to imagine one place could account for such a variety of traits and characteristics. Founded in 1550, Helsinki, Finland has developed into a thriving modern city and a major European destination, offering tourists rich history, a variety of culture, and beautiful landscapes.  Read the rest of this entry »

Labeled as the “richest city in the world” by Fortune Magazine, Abu Dhabi’s rapid development, advanced urbanization, and relatively high income of its population has transformed the city into a cosmopolitan metropolis and a world power. As capital, Abu Dhabi is the center of the United Arab Emirates’ political and industrial activities, as well as the cultural and commercial hub for the country. Read the rest of this entry »