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“For any man of good will, there is work to be done here, effective, virtuous, satisfying work which can give rich meaning to one’s own life and to others” ~ Abraham Maslow

What do you want? It is amazing how difficult the answer to this simple question can often be.  Perhaps it really isn’t such a simple question, and  it’s even a little bit dangerous.  Most of the decisions we make daily revolve around our desires, yet it can be hard to decide what we really want to have, what we want to do and what we want to be.

The question of desire is not insignificant to building your travel practice.  We engage in what we do, regardless of our profession, because of our desires.  We want to be a travel professional, we want to travel and help others to travel, we want to provide material and psychological stability  for ourselves and our families.

Getting a bit of clarity on our desires can help us achieve. Read the rest of this entry »


Crystal Mozart stands apart because of its width alone. At 22.85 meters (roughly 75 feet), Mozart is nearly twice the width of the standard river cruiser. With so much real estate, Mozart can boast features that most river cruise vessels cannot, such as an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, a spacious gym, four restaurants, an ultra-wide sundeck with a retractable bar and much more.

Of course, all that space comes at a cost. Mozart can navigate up the Danube not much past Passau. That’s not a huge handicap. The section of the Danube that Mozart can cruise is among the most popular stretches on the river, with marquee attraction such as the Melk Abbey and the Wachau Valley, and storied cities like Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava. 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 »


Do Your Social Ads WOW? – 5 Ways to Out Perform

What would you do if you worked in a brick and mortar storefront business and your walk-in traffic dropped by 50%?  Yikes, you’d probably be thinking about moving or advertising, right?

Well, as a travel, tourism or hospitality pro, moving is probably not in the cards.  So that leaves advertising.  Now that organic social reaching is dropping quicker than you can say ‘travel’ (some estimate a 50% drop year over year), we need to power up our social ad strategy.

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First United was dragging passengers off a plane to accommodate a crew shift; and now, less than two weeks later, American has hit a woman in the head with a stroller and a flight attendant has challenged a passenger to a fight. What is happening to the “friendly skies”?

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Direct Channel

I have been fortunate to have spent most of my career as an agent, agency owner, and in consortia management. But as a former cruise line sales executive, I also have the luxury of the supplier perspective on many subjects that affects travel professionals every day.

Some years ago, while the owner of a successful cruise agency, I was interviewed by a major travel industry trade publication for my opinion, on what was and is still a very sensitive subject. The question put forth was “Do you believe that cruise lines should continue to grow their direct business channel?” My answer might surprise you. I responded, “Yes, absolutely.”

The reason, while not a popular one, remains as valid today as it did then. Cruise lines (and other suppliers) are not charitable organizations. They are for profit corporations – just like yours and mine. In most cases, they are part of very large public companies which demand ever increasing shareholder value.

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Until I went on a Caribbean cruise recently with a bunch of girlfriends I always thought “duty-free” was just another excuse to get all those vacationers into the shops to stuff their shopping bags full of items that could be had back home for roughly the same price. I learned on this trip that I was completely wrong.

This time, because some of my girlfriends were actually going to the pre-port shopping talks I have always avoided, I decided to give it a chance. Previously I had traveled with my husband, who was about as interested in shopping as he is in packing a rabid marmoset into his suitcase. Read the rest of this entry »


Join ASTA’s 2017 Research Family

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is calling on agency members to participate in the 2017 ASTA Research Family survey program. ASTA members who are chosen and who fulfill the survey requirements will earn a $60 credit toward their 2018 annual dues when they renew.

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CCRA is a diverse family of brands designed to facilitate commerce between travel professionals and industry suppliers;  Not quite a host or consortia, and definitely not your typical association, CCRA provides innovative marketing programs, booking tools, education and training, and even accreditation for their elite customers through their travel commerce network. Built by travel professionals from all corners of the industry, CCRA is passionate and undoubtedly committed to the success of both their travel agency and suppliers.

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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 »


With 10% as our growth target, it is time to get busy. You should now have a list all of your clients, and I want you to now categorize them into three specific tiers.  For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to them as “A,” “B,” and “C.”

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Founded in 2004, Vacations By Rail is dedicated to the belief that the journey to a destination should be just as important and exciting as the destination itself. The company strives to give clients the journey and destinations they desire. Read the rest of this entry »


unspecifiedTerri Burke (MCC, CTC) has an extensive and varied travel background spanning over 30 years.  Her travel industry career began as a frontline agent and includes executive positions with supplier and retail industry leaders including Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America, Cruise Planners/American Express, AAA National and the Globus family of brands. As part of her travel industry career, she has successfully developed and coordinated two award-winning online travel agent universities and is a champion of travel industry education and accreditation.  Through the Avalon Waterways Specialist program, Burke inspired travel professionals to become certified with this important online river cruise training tool.

 

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Akaroa may only be a small part of New Zealand, located 52 miles from Christchurch, but it is not one to be missed. Surrounded by beautiful bays and harbors, and lush with French and English history, Akaroa is a destination with more to offer than meets the eye. Spend your days outside, and your early evenings wine-tasting in this small piece of New Zealand paradise.

Thanks to Shore Trips, the supplier sponsor of this column, you can use this 60-Second Geography article in your own travel agency’s newsletters and websites.

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Athens is the city of classical wonders; a land of gods and temples, of sports and plays, where scholars and philosophers first dreamed up democracy; a must-see city for anyone visiting Europe. Step into antiquity. Step into Athens. Step into the past and discover breathtaking sites from one of the most important civilizations to ever flourish.

Athens is located in the southern side of Greece along the peninsula of Attica. Protected by mountains and nearly surrounded by water, Athens is a city with a bit of something for everyone. Adding appeal to the destination, the hot summers and mild winters encourage visitors year-round.

Tourist traffic has risen over the last few decades in reaction to the city’s rehabilitation of travel infrastructure. There is a state-of-the-art international airport, a new motorway and an expansion of the city’s metro system. Athens is an anachronism; an ideal destination for those who wish to look into the past while staying comfortably put in the present.
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The largest amphibious invasion in history took place on the beaches of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. Allied forces from the United States, Canada, Britain and France waded ashore that day to establish a beachhead in the north of France. Sailing from bases on the southern coast of England, the forces landed on five French beaches with the codenames Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah. The successful invasion paved the way for the eventual victory of Allied forces in Europe and the end of World War II. Read the rest of this entry »




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