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Mistakes get a bad rap.  Experience may be a rough teacher, but like the curriculum taught by Ms. Lambert (3d Grade, Knob Elementary, Princeton, West Virginia), you tend not to forget the lessons. Still she haunts my dreams.

My father consoled me with one of his aphorisms: “If you are not making mistakes, you are not trying hard enough.”

When we make a mistake, we are taught to apologize.  Good advice.  If we are not smart enough to admit our mistakes and apologize for them, we implicitly  explain their origin all too clearly.  But simply apologizing for mistakes under-values their worth. Read the rest of this entry »


Today we’re in a gorgeous Greek town known as Symi. We’re going to hop on the island’s only tour bus with a local guide, head up to the upper town, walk along some narrow streets, visit a beautiful church and an abandoned fortress, and then make our way back down to the waterfront. We’ve got a lot to see, so let’s get going.

Situated just 25 miles northwest of Rhodes, Symi feels about as authentic as you can get when it comes to a traditional Greek fishing village.

Actually, Symi is known for its sponges, and many a Symian has been active in sponge diving in his lifetime. Those who operate the sponge shops along the waterfront have some great stories to tell about the prosperous days of the sponge industry. Don’t be shy about chatting with them. Read the rest of this entry »


Danielle van der Kwartel close upIf someone had asked me 25 years ago where I saw myself, I would have never imagined my current life. After graduating from school in the Netherlands, where I was born, I was accepted at a management-training program with Hyatt International in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. At the moment, I wasn’t even aware where Puerto Vallarta was and I had no plans to end up staying in Mexico. Little did I know!

When I arrived in Mexico, I did not speak the language and I learned it in three intense months. After four months in Puerto Vallarta, I had fallen deeply in love with Mexico, its people, and its culture, and knew I was never leaving. Read the rest of this entry »


Inspiring Clients to Travel

People have always shared their travel dreams and adventures with others. Early on, travel magazines, brochures, home movie projectors and Polaroids were the media of choice. Now, the game has gone digital, but the themes are largely the same: “I love to travel and I know you do too. Where should I go next? What should I do? What should I see?”

In fact, travel appears to be one of the six most discussed topics on social media. This tells us if we do our marketing well we can generate thousands, even hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic followers, evangelists all.  Of course, if we do it poorly we can spend a lot of money and time only to decide marketing doesn’t work. Read the rest of this entry »


The travel industry does not live in a vacuum

 

Hopefully as you grow your business you are taking advantage of all the mistakes people who have come before you have made. I know I have made more than my share of them. Hopefully, you are also taking advantage of the successes they have experienced. Learning from others usually is a tremendous asset to any business. But the one question I have for you is “where do you look for these warnings and inspiration?” Read the rest of this entry »


What makes you special?

Torstein Hagen founder and Chairman or Viking (River) Cruises, said in a recent interview. “We are focused clearly on what we are and the number of things we are not.”
In a world where everyone and every business from Costco to Sea Ray Boats seems to be selling travel, how can you not only survive but thrive to build the business and lifestyle of your dreams?

If you want to stand out among the plethora of options – get clear on who you are and who you are not. Ask yourself these two simple questions. “What makes me special?” and “What do I want to be known for?”
Read the rest of this entry »


Do you have clients that get caught up in analyzing cruise itineraries, and are concerned about “too many” days at sea? Days at sea get a bad rap. I find this happens mostly with new cruisers who aren’t familiar with days at sea. Many neophytes think days at sea will be boring. This is where we hear the worry about being “stuck” on a ship with no escape. The majority of my seasoned cruisers appreciate days at sea as a form of relaxation between their activity-packed port days. It’s a matter of educating the unexperienced cruisers so they will also appreciate their days at sea. Read the rest of this entry »


Part of the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) wide-ranging benchmark reporting program, the upcoming annual ASTA Financial Benchmarking report provides a bountiful amount of data and information on the financial trends of ASTA agency members including revenue, sales, transactions, number of clients, profit and so on. This information will be very beneficial to current and prospective ASTA members, consortia, franchise companies, host agencies and supplier partners alike. Read the rest of this entry »


South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s most awarded airline, offers flights to more places in Southern Africa than any other airline. Together, SAA and our regional partners, South African Express, Mango, and Airlink, offer service to over 75 destinations throughout Africa. SAA’s route network means greater convenience, with through check-in and baggage handling, affordable fares and a wider choice of flights for your clients travelling to, from and within the African continent. Read the rest of this entry »


Anita Pagliasso took a leap of faith in 1992. Following her passion for travel, she switched gears from owning a successful and thriving electronic manufacturing rep business in the heart of Silicon Valley, CA., to opening her home-based travel business, Ticket To Travel. In 1993, Anita accepted Gary Fee’s challenge to become the San Jose/Bay Area Chapter director, which during parts of her 20 plus year reign became the OSSN flagship chapter. 

Anita serves as the Conference Director for the Travel Agent Forums, where she is responsible for educational content, securing relevant authors, keynote speakers, travel industry top executives, and co-coordinating panels and panelists, all while working closely with the staff at Travel Show Marketing Group.  Read the rest of this entry »


Another Example of “The Incredible Truth”

This once was somewhat amusing. It has become downright annoying and totally confusing. The message is incredibly sad, but comes with an enormous opportunity. I am betting that I have your attention.

I once had a drainage problem in my backyard. I tried everything that did not come with a price. Nothing worked. It is time to pay the fiddler.

I called an equipment rental company and left a detailed message indicating that my wallet was out and I was meaning “business.” That was ten days ago. No call back. Read the rest of this entry »


River cruising may just be the most authentic, inspiring way to see and experience the world today.

On the world’s rivers, travelers bend and wind through historic and dramatic landscapes reminiscent of impressionist paintings depicting vineyards, castles atop hilltops and medieval villages from the days of yore. And while river cruisers enjoy access to thriving cities like Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Amsterdam and Prague byway of the world’s rivers, they also have the opportunity to step back into history and experience lesser-known towns and hidden landmarks time – and most travelers – have passed by.

Here are 4 off-the-beaten-path destinations and experiences found along Eastern Europe’s rivers.

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Jane Behrend July 2016 headshot

An expert in adventure and wildlife destinations worldwide, Jane Behrend started her own travel marketing company in 1989 after learning the business as an account executive in public relations and advertising sales. She started off as the Southeast USA sales rep for African Travel, Gametrackers Botswana, and 4th Dimension Tours before helping Volcanoes Safaris relaunch tourism to Rwanda and Uganda in the North American market.

In 2008, Jane re-branded her business as Emerging Destinations, a company that represents cool companies in cool places around the globe. She chose the name because her passion is working with areas where tourism is relatively new and still off the beaten path.

Born in South Carolina and raised in three Southern states, Jane is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Journalism, and recently earned the Certificate of Hospitality Marketing from Cornell University. Together with husband Chris Behrend, she has raised two children and a foster daughter.

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Taiwan is a dynamic and affluently cultural country, apparent to any visitor lucky enough to grace its shores. The natural beauty of Taiwan is still relatively untouched, with soaring cliffs of marble and jade, mineral-rich hot springs, and sparkling lakes where the sky meets the water. Even the largest and most bustling of cities honor the traditions of generations past in their architecture and way of life.

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For many travelers from the United States, Croatia has somehow managed to remain hidden. For those looking for a fresh destination, magnificent beaches, impressive vistas and prime boating, yachting and hiking opportunities, however, Croatia offers one of the most picturesque with excellent traveler infrastructure and facilities. The variety of Croatia’s topography and cultural attractions has few rivals. Beaches and crystal blue waters, mountains and castles, the walled city of Dubrovnik as well as magnificent churches and monasteries. Vacationers from every corner of the world visit the relaxed ambiance of this hidden gem and many predict Croatia is on the verge of being the next destination on everybody’s list.

Read the rest of this entry »


The largest lake in South America, Lake Titicaca has seen its fair share of civilizations come and go over the centuries. On its islands and shores you will find the decaying remnants of ancient Incans reflected in the calm waters of the lake. In fact, according to the Incans, the sun and moon were both birthed within the waters of the Lake.  Aside from its rich historical and cultural heritage, Lake Titicaca offers simplicity in abundance: blue skies, clear waters, and beautiful scenery as far as the eye can see. Read the rest of this entry »




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