The voice of the travel agency community

Planning a 2015 Perspective

To change ourselves effectively, we first must change our perceptions.” ~ Stephen R. Covey

The end of a year inherently is a time of transition, a good time to assay our perspective.  Each of us has spent another year in our business and personal lives moving forward, back, laterally and standing still in turn. Hopefully we have progressed a bit on whatever journey  we earlier set ourselves and feel as though our time has been well invested. Inevitably, however, we have our regrets, things we would now do differently, take more chances or perhaps fewer depending on circumstance.  Read the rest of this entry »

“I’ve stepped on all six continents!” Um, make that seven.

I love the story that Seabourn Quest’s Expedition Team Leader Robin West tells about the guest who stepped off the Zodiac onto the mainland of Antarctica (versus the islands we’ve been visiting until today). With his feet firmly planted, the guest confidently proclaimed that he had conquered all six continents. His enthusiasm trumped his faulty math, however, and indeed, he had achieved something that many of us aspire to achieve. 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 »

Travel professionals — one team

I am lucky. I live in Annapolis, home of the United States Naval Academy and have been fortunate enough to attend many Army-Navy football games. Saturday was the 115th game and Navy won the battle again for the 13th consecutive year. But while these kids (I can call them that now that I am old) battle it out on the gridiron, there is one underlying message that is always palpable.  Read the rest of this entry »

iceland pro cruises

Gudmundur Kjartansson, a native Icelander, is the co-owner of Iceland Pro Cruises and Iceland ProTravel companies. With over 20 years of experience in Iceland tourism and selling trips to Iceland abroad, Gudmundur is launching the cruise line Iceland Pro Cruises specifically focused on Iceland as the destination. Read the rest of this entry »

Holiday frustrations

“While we can all become frustrated and discouraged, we must remain in the end a people prodigiously resourceful – resilient – and creative.”

Don’t ask me where I saw this quote but it caught my attention when I saw it.

I think it is safe to say that at times, many of us allow ourselves to be —- frustrated. Confused. Doubtful. Queasy. Anxious. Scared. Hesitant. Sad. Resentful. Soured.

I’m betting you can come up with a dozen or two more terms that might fit your negative mood now and then. And sometimes the holidays prove to be fertile ground for frustration. Read the rest of this entry »

All Leisure Holidays Ltd is the sales and marketing office in North America for All Leisure Group PLC, a publicly traded company in the United Kingdom under the symbol ALLG. All Leisure Group PLC has six brands under their corporate umbrella, including three escorted tour brands that do not trade outside the UK, as well as three globally marketed cruise brands specializing in discovery cruising: Voyages of Discovery, Swan Hellenic and Hebridean Island Cruises. The three cruise brands are all a part of All Discovery Cruising and are distinct with their own customer profiles and price points. They are each combined in their focus on enrichment and discovery cruising, which is about combining the chance to relax at sea on small ships featuring stylish on-board amenities and hospitality, with the opportunity to discover the world’s greatest sites and cultures in the company of experts. Read the rest of this entry »

Dealing with holiday deal overload

Oh the holidays and the deals out there. Even the travel vendors got into the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy. We just got done with Thanksgiving and I easily had 200 emails from travel vendors sending me their specials. In fact, I was receiving Black Friday and Cyber Monday email specials from vendors, well before Thanksgiving; and like most of the traditional retailers, they are trying to get a head start. Read the rest of this entry »

Do you have a written marketing plan? Do you have a written marketing budget? If not, you don’t have both oars in the water. Many travel professionals “wing it” and begin marketing at the first sign of business slowing down.  The problem with doing things that way, of course, is timing.  The business you have today likely resulted from your marketing efforts months ago. Likewise, your marketing efforts today may not pay off for some time.

Budgeting enforces the discipline necessary to actually calendar your marketing efforts. When spending real dollars, travel agents become very cognizant of the return on investment. In addition, the marketing budget can and should include such essentials as marketing collateral(business cards, flyers, capabilities brochures), websites, advertising, dues to local organizations and promotional items, all professionally produced. Having a marketing budget, and then wisely spending it, ensures that the travel agency is doing everything necessary to keep its profile high enough to gain mindshare in the community. Read the rest of this entry »

Accredited as the most award-winning river cruise line in the industry, Viking River Cruises provides remarkable value while placing high on competitive rankings, like Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List, Reader’s Choice, and Best Small Ships awards and Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. Read the rest of this entry »

FullSizeRenderSince 1995, Paul F. Kok has been working at the Avila Hotel, a resort that stands out as a hotel with a special Caribbean flavor and intimacy, with beautiful landscaping and lush gardens, private beaches, and the personal touch of management and staff for which Paul is highly responsible. The main promotion of the hotel over the years has been by word of mouth via enthusiastic guests, which has resulted in a high number of repeat guests, including high ranking officials from the Dutch Government and CEO’s of companies from the Netherlands.

Read the rest of this entry »

Where did the time go? It seems I just started writing my diaries yesterday and now it is over!  I have to say that it’s been a great experience writing the diaries this past year. I have learned a lot about the industry, my own business, your business and a lot about myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Between the surprising history and architecture, world-class beaches, top-rated diving and snorkeling, and unexpected culture and cuisine, the island of Curaçao is thriving with adventure immersed in ambience. Surrounded by the pristine waters of the Caribbean and lush coastal landscape, Curaçao is more than what meets the eye. Read the rest of this entry »

Operating since 1970, Goway Travel has been providing unforgettable travel experiences for travelers from all walks of life. As North America’s leading travel provider to Australia & the South Pacific, Asia, Africa & the Middle East, Latin America & Antarctica and the world’s most Idyllic Islands, Goway offers a wide variety of travel ideas ranging from fully independent travelling, to escorted tours and adventure touring for the more adventurous trekker. Read the rest of this entry »

Back-Roads Touring’s small group tours take you into the heart of regional Italy, allowing you to explore areas beyond the well-worn tourist trail. Imagine learning how to cook the perfect pasta with a chef deep in the heart of Tuscany, relaxing in the tranquillity and serenity of Lake Orta, the Italian Lakes’ hidden gem, exploring Pompeii and Paestum with local guides who bring these incredible archaeological sites to life, learning about the origins and transformations of the Mafia in Sicily and dining in traditional restaurants from the Osterie d’Italia Slow Food Guide in lesser known Puglia.  Read the rest of this entry »