The voice of the travel agency community

All Thumbs

Technology is a wonderful thing.  On our desktops are portals into the sum knowledge of mankind.  Have a question?  Get an answer.  Better yet, we are no longer confined to our desktops as phone-sized devices allow us to carry our wireless connectivity with us wherever we go. Via social media, email, and texting, we are instantaneously and forever wired to each other.

Except when we aren’t. Read the rest of this entry »

There are few things that can beat biking with friends, whether old ones or new ones. When the weather is good, as it always seems to be in Corfu, and you add that gorgeous island landscape into the mix, you have a day that feels like you’re pedaling through paradise — and indeed that’s how I felt as we pedaled well-maintained bikes along roads without a lot of traffic. Read the rest of this entry »

med-1For me travel has been an all-consuming passion,  both personally and in my profession. Aside of course from the obvious, travel is the one thing I love.

I was born in Marcona, Peru, in a mining camp where my dad, a Wyoming native and ex-Navy warrior, met my mother, a mild mannered, flower loving, ex-middle school teacher (talk about opposites attract,!). As a family of three we moved to Venezuela when I was 6 and set roots there for 20 years. My dad traveled the world as a Mining Consultant and my mom was a Travel Agent, and together we had our share of amazing adventures. No surprise I chose travel and tourism as my career! My professional career started right after high school working for American Airlines, going to college and getting my Travel and Tourism Management degree. I bring about 20 years of experience to Europe Express, combing the back-end knowledge of a world class GDS, Amadeus and the front-end experience in Sales from Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line. Read the rest of this entry »

Facebook’s Custom Audience feature  is one of the more interesting innovations the social media platform has introduced. If you are willing to summon the courage to upload your client list to Facebook, the Custom Audience system will match your clients with their own user list. You can then create ads to reach only the Custom Audience intersecting the two lists. Facebook indicates your list will be hashed and encrypted prior to the upload process so, in theory, your actual data is not transferred to Facebook. However, Facebook can then match the hashed data against their own lists to build your Custom Audience. Read the rest of this entry »

Yeah, whatever…

Recently I read an article on customer service that struck a chord with me. It discussed a phrase we hear all to often and one that I find myself uttering more often than I should. The phrase, in essence, diminishes the value you bring to the transaction and worse, may leave a bad taste in your client’s mouth. And, I bet you are guilty of using it as well. Want to know what it is? Read the rest of this entry »

Decisions, decisions, decisions. This is what I feel like my life as a luxury travel business owner has been all about lately and is probably something most of us in this industry can relate to. Every day, there is a series of decisions to be made ranging from which hotel should I book the client into for his last-minute business trip to who should I hire as additional support to is it time to fire a particular client to what time should I leave for the airport to catch my 6 a.m. flight? Small decisions, big decisions, it varies everyday, but what stays consistent is that I need to remember to stop and think each decision through (if only momentarily) before making the mistake of not following my gut. Read the rest of this entry »

Susan SchafferIt happens to the best of us – life interferes with work. In the corporate world, or storefront agency model, there are other agents on hand that can pick up the slack. So if you call in sick, have a family emergency, or life gets in the way in others ways, there is someone available to take care of your clients in your absence. Read the rest of this entry »

Help, I’ve been newsjacked

Help, I’ve been newsjacked! The term may not be a household one, nor even a familiar one to you; but, you certainly should know about it…and more importantly consider using it when the timing is right because it is a very effective means to get your message out in a controlled manner.

“Newsjacking,” is a term popularized by marketing guru David Meerman Scott, and it’s a technique any travel agent can use. Here’s how it works: Read the rest of this entry »

Launched in 1979 as Jersey European Airways, Flybe has grown over the years to become the UK and Europe’s largest independent regional carrier, with an extensive route network encompassing over 35 European airports and 36 UK airports.  Read the rest of this entry »

Why you need a business plan

How many of you have a good business and marketing plan? If you are serious about growing your travel business it’s important to have one even if you work your business part-time. A business plan helps you stay organized, on track and holds you accountable. Some components of a business plan include your value proposition, an operational, and financial plan. It doesn’t have to the size of a college textbook. Keep it simple. Read the rest of this entry »

“More-On Marketing” is my latest project and the first in a series of business-development books is now ready for distribution to interested parties.

You have heard of the Dummies Books, and are probably familiar with The Idiot’s Guides. Enter my “More-On” Series. Read the rest of this entry »

For over 21 years, Buffalo Tours has been the leading tour operator in Southeast Asia, offering the best in customized and private guided tours to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. Today, as Asia’s leading destination expert, we also provide remarkable cultural experiences and destination support for Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. With decades of award-winning experience, we are now serving the US market from the West and East coasts for your convenience. Read the rest of this entry »

Xavier MasuleXavier Masule is the Chief Commercial Officer for Air Namibia. He brings over 15 years of airline experience to the table, with previous roles in finance as the Senior Manager at Air Namibia. Xavier received his MBA from the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) in Cape Town, South Africa.



Read the rest of this entry »

Being a one-person operation, how do you juggle it all? I mean we are running a business with all the behind the scenes tasks that come along with being self-employed. We are the face of our business, working directly with clients, potential clients, and peers, and then there is our personal life. I struggle with how to accomplish all of this daily, and I am sure many of you do as well.

Now that things have finally slowed down a little, I’ve been thinking about where my time is being spent. It can get a bit overwhelming at times. I have difficulty just keep up with the requests, consultations, and reservations. With a limited number of hours in the day, something has to get pushed aside, but what? How do you prioritize what is most important, next important, and so on? Read the rest of this entry »

A cold and desolate wasteland thousands of years ago, Alaska was settled by different Inuit tribes, who found that despite its icy exterior, the land was fertile with fish and game. Today Alaska has become a hot spot for cruises and visitors from all over the world who want to explore its native culture, arts, and breathe in its untouched tranquility. Let ShoreTrips guide you around one of the last true frontiers in Alaska!

Read the rest of this entry »

Jauntee Travel Group is the leading global travel provider for catered vacations to Croatia & the Adriatic coast. Offering 10 years of travel experience from native experts in the region, Jauntee features small-group tours and customized private tours to Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania and Italy, as well as many other prominent countries throughout Europe in both Eastern and Western Europe. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, with ground operations in Croatia, including English-speaking private drivers, Jauntee caters to discerning travelers who seek extraordinary experiences with impeccable service. Read the rest of this entry »

The largest metropolitan area in Belgium, Brussels has come a long way from its medieval founding. Originally a 10th century fortress town, Brussels today is the epicenter of European politics as the de facto capital of the European Union. The culture of Brussels is an odd juxtaposition all on its own: politicians walking with immigrants, modern buildings next to 19th century mansions, French spoken alongside Flemish. This bizarre blend of new and old has created a unique culture that can only be found in Brussels. Read the rest of this entry »