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The voice of the travel agency community

The importance of being empathetic

This week I ran across a quote that will forever be a favorite: “Courage is the foundation of integrity.” I love this quote not only for its plain simplicity, but also because it surpasses all of the political ties these days threatening any significant or momentous thought. Nearly all of us can agree.  I searched for its origin, but the quote is ascribed to a number of people.  If you have a definitive source, please let me know. Read the rest of this entry »



A lot of cruise passengers depart the dock in Kusadasi, visit the ancient historic site of Ephesus, and think they’re done. Having padded the fabled Marble Road (which connects the Celsus Library and the Great Theater in Ephesus), they check Kusadasi off their lists. Been there, done that. Read the rest of this entry »


Leslie Nearon 2One of the things I like most about working at OASIS is my boss KeIly Bergin and our marketing director Lisa Baron. I love working with both of them and helping our agents; there is never a dull moment.

The primary focus of my job is to train our agents on our proprietary booking engine and reporting tool. Every booking that the agents make must be reported so that we can track and pay commissions. Our booking engine also shows rates and promos for all major cruise lines, and my training helps our agents find the perfect cruise for their client. It is a one-stop-shop, if you will, which makes booking a cruise very fast and convenient.

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Cruises, airplanes, and the Ebola scare

And just like that, panic starts its slow creep into the psyche of the traveler.  As I said last week, the risk of an every day traveler contracting the Ebola virus is near zero.  It still is nearly impossible for the average traveler to contract it and I stand by my original assertion—however non-medically backed it may be!

But this past week, we saw failures in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that leaves me wondering if Ebola has the potential to become the epidemic the media has portrayed due to the sheer ineptness of the people charged with protecting and preventing it in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »


dan chapelle

Dan Chappelle is the Vice President of Sales with Windstar Cruises. His company has had a stellar year, receiving several high honors as leaders in the travel industry. We caught up with Dan to ask what separates Windstar Cruises from the competition and what other opportunities his company has underway.  Read the rest of this entry »


Tell the whole truth

It’s been a busy year for me — speaking at industry events, presenting webinars and conducting training programs for travel pros.  In nearly every program I try to focus on, or at least highlight, the importance of communicating your real value.

Far too often, travel consultants assume that their clients already know all the work that goes on “behind the scenes” to craft the perfect trip.  With all the flashy and seductive online alternatives competing for their attention, it’s a very risky assumption to make. Read the rest of this entry »


Establishing itself as a true originator of the touring vacation 1928, the Globus family of brands has spent over 85 years consistently bringing new, fresh and inventive ideas to the world of travel. Read the rest of this entry »


Keeping my act together

I was recently thinking about what tools I used to keep myself in order. Let’s face it, this industry lends itself to disorder at best, to chaos at worst.

Back in August 2010 I declared Microsoft OneNote the next best thing since sliced bread.  I fell in love with OneNote.  I lived, breathed, and died by OneNote.  And for the record, I still use OneNote.  But I have been introduced to and have also fallen in love with Evernote.  It’s the next best thing since…well, OneNote.

There is a definite learning curve to working with Evernote.  But once you get the handle of it, it can be a powerful tool.  And you don’t have to give up OneNote if you want to continue using it as well. Read the rest of this entry »


One of the best possible things to happen to a travel practice is to get a much deserved bit of good PR.  A positive public relations media placement ensures more people will hear about your travel practice in a forum providing near instant credibility. The third-party aspect of public relations has the same impact as a testimonial – people inherently trust the experience of others more than self promotion. Read the rest of this entry »



Far and High Adventure Travel
specializes in small group tours, private journeys, trekking and hiking trips, and solo/independent travel. Specifically, the company offers trips to Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Bhutan, and Mongolia. Far and High Adventure Travel’s main operations are based in Kathmandu, Nepal while their sales and marketing, tour development and customer service teams are headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read the rest of this entry »


photo - Ale

Originally bon in Peru, Alejandra Elejalde arrived to the United States with her parents when she was 15 years old. After living in Virginia for some time, her family eventually moved to South Florida where she would complete high school. Alejandra later obtained a double major in Business Administration and International Business and Business Management from Florida International University.  Read the rest of this entry »



These past months, it seems like all I have heard about is who is going on which FAM trip.

There are so many FAM trips scheduled for late summer and into fall, which is the perfect time for many resorts to accommodate agent visits. There is no way we can do them all; so we just have to decide which ones make the most sense for your marketing efforts, business plan, and budget and roll the dice.

How do you decide which FAM you will attend? What do you do if there truly is more than one essential FAM in the same month?  Do you only do the one or do you bite the bullet and do both?  Can you really take the time from your business to do more than one FAM in the same month? Read the rest of this entry »


As the sun brushes over the shores of Copacabana and the blanket of cobalt waters of Lake Titicaca, you are presented with a view of the snowcapped Andes teasing the clouds above. Read the rest of this entry »


Ravindra Lal is the Regional Manager Sky Bird Travel & Tours Eastern Region. He heads the Sales and Operations for Sky Bird’s Airline Consolidation business in the East Coast. Read the rest of this entry »


Weddings can be expensive: cost of a wedding planner, catering, floral arrangements, small -and I do mean small- gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen are just the tip of the iceberg. Read the rest of this entry »