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There is absolutely no doubt that a failure to plan is one of the biggest mistakes many business people make.  Without a solid business plan, even the best travel consultant can fail to act consistently in any given aspect of their practice. Planning is truly essential.

But so is action.

I see far too many travel professionals planning their lives away, getting ready to act and then…not acting! Too many times we over-plan and over-perfect and in the process lose valuable opportunities to others who are quicker to act.  Read the rest of this entry »


“There are two kinds of people. One kind, you can just tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keep moving, changing… They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing.” – Gail Godwin Read the rest of this entry »


KateI can’t believe it was 26 years ago that I got my first job in the travel industry. My parents had just returned from a big trip overseas booked through Austravel and noticed they were advertising for an administrative assistant in their Bristol, UK office. We always traveled a lot as a family and it seemed like a good fit for a young 18 year old just starting out in her career. I applied, got the job, and never looked back! I quickly moved into their ticketing department and spent a year there, but always yearned to be more involved with the customers and the process of planning their holidays. I moved into sales and was hooked. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with potential travelers and also loved the travel that we got to experience. Read the rest of this entry »


What Travel Agencies Can Learn From Starbucks

No doubt, you have a local coffee shop that you absolutely love and that serves better coffee than Starbucks; and I know, friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks. I get it. Starbucks is a mega-chain, an 800-pound gorilla masquerading as a quaint neighborhood establishment. There is a lot of truth in that, except for one thing: Starbucks manages to be both a national chain and yet, at the same time, very local. Read the rest of this entry »


A lion named Cecil: A cautionary tale

Walter James Palmer was simply a well-to-do dentist in suburban Minneapolis who enjoyed hunting. Until the online world turned against him for killing Cecil, a much beloved lion in a Zimbabwe reserve. Right now, the facts are still emerging. Palmer thought his hunt was legal and proper. But the Court of the Internet has a different opinion. Aside from Bill Cosby, Walter Palmer is now the most hated man on the planet; and right or wrong, this hunt has likely destroyed his life. As travel professionals, we need to pay attention for a few reasons. Read the rest of this entry »


A few weeks ago, I was up on stage in Las Vegas, having been invited by Travel Research Online to give the opening presentation to a robust crowd of independent travel advisors at the Home-Based Agent Forum. While much of what I told them is second-nature to me by now (after 10 years as a luxury travel specialist), preparing for my speech was a terrific way to remind myself of key and basic tenets to success in this business. Read the rest of this entry »


Susan SchafferAccording to the Cyber Cruises order book, there are over fifty cruise ships (a combination of ocean and river vessels) on order for delivery between 2016 and 2020. Fifty. I imagine there are some ships that will be retired during that same time frame, but there won’t be nearly as many retirees as there will be new floats. That will be a lot of new berths to fill, which can be good news or bad news. Read the rest of this entry »


Travel Less, See and Discover More

Many years ago, I formed my love affair with North America by taking advantage of Greyhound’s amazing offer of 99 days of travel for $99. I spent nearly 5 months touring your fine country and still have the Rand McNally map to prove it.

While you and your customers may not have spent as long falling in love with the UK, many will thank you for suggesting a London and York holiday. Here are some reasons why they’d willingly let the train take the strain out of the fast 2-hour journey between the two locations. Read the rest of this entry »


In 1986, Glen Moroney began hosting packaged holidays for Melbourne-based seniors’ clubs along Australia’s famous Great Ocean Road, all the way to the small coastal town of Warrnambool. Warrnambool Scenic Coach Tours quickly became successful in a relatively short amount of time, and gave Glen the opportunity to expand, offering more variety in his tour itineraries. By the late 1980’s, Warrnambool Scenic Coach Tours was expanding rapidly and offered tours to destination events such as the World Exposition of 1988 in Brisbane and Australian premier of The Phantom of the Opera, creating the recognition of Warrnambool Scenic Coach Tours as Australia’s largest coach operator bringing guests to the musical phenomenon, which played in all of Australia’s major capital cities. The high quality of the tours and their ever-increasing popularity became the catalyst for the company’s name change to Australian Scenic Tours, and led to the purchase of their first coach 1989. The steady growth of the company ensured the commission of a custom-built fleet of 5-star Mercedes Benz coaches. Read the rest of this entry »


The art of the sale

Several months ago I was shopping with my daughter. We walked in a well-known store. We were the only ones in the store besides the two sales associates. Neither associate bothered to greet us, acknowledge us in any way, or even remotely show that they saw someone walk into their establishment. Instead they proceeded to talk to each other and completely ignore us. My daughter and I walked out disgusted and appalled by their behavior. Read the rest of this entry »


Greet; Listen; Ask; Follow-up.

I once was asked to improve the already admirable selling skills of two dozen professional (incoming) telemarketers. My challenge was to help telephone call specialists to develop meaningful relationships during a single phone call. The ideal scenario would have this initial call resulting in future business. This is what is known as a tough assignment. Read the rest of this entry »


Peter Wen has worked at Chinatour.com for just over 3 years and is currently the Sales Director at the company. Born and raised in China, Peter came to the United States to peter wen headshotpursue a graduate degree and eventually graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Master’s degree in Economics in 2012. Although working in the travel industry wasn’t his first choice, he found himself highly passionate about helping travel agents know more about the ancient country of China. His ultimate goal is make China a more popular destination in the industry and help travel agents realize how easy and profitable it is to sell China packages.   Read the rest of this entry »


Perry Portrait 1 BWLiterally growing up in the travel business through his family’s agency, Perry Lungmus found an early passion to explore the world. He gained hands-on travel sales and marketing experience while sharing that passion, which eventually led him to a 25-year career of leadership roles with several of the world’s top luxury tour companies and travel agency groups. Today, based in Seattle, Lungmus leads the development of a multi-faceted luxury and experiential travel program for brands within Travel Leaders Group, North America’s largest travel agency network, offering specialized sales, marketing and training support for thousands of Travel Leaders agents. Read the rest of this entry »


Just last week I had a great reminder about the importance of patience and how limits can be tested.  To set up the story, it’s best if I share that my travel agency isn’t my full-time job, so I generally work evenings and Saturdays on client proposals, bookings, education, etc.  I received a call on a Tuesday evening and was unable to answer so I sent it to voicemail.  Then, I received another call.  Then one more.  I stopped what I was doing and listened to the voicemail aware that none of my clients were traveling at that time so it shouldn’t be a last minute emergency, but was curious as to what the urgency was for three calls in a row.  It was a new client and her first voicemail was over 4 minutes long.  I knew from the start this wasn’t going to be easy. Read the rest of this entry »



The French Riviera has always been the quintessential idea of a relaxing European vacation: beaches, crumbling castles, and exquisite culture and art. That legacy continues on today in villages like Antibes, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Éze, and Monte Carlo. Let ShoreTrips guide you to the most breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, perfume-laden rose gardens, and to artistic inspiration itself.

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Las Vegas needs no introduction: “Sin City”, “The Entertainment Capital Of The World”, and “The City Of Lights”, all spot-on descriptions of this dusty desert city. While most think they know the real Las Vegas, all glitz and glamor with sequins falling from the sky, there is so much more beyond the Strip and all its casinos. You can scale rust-colored sandstone canyons, enchanted by dazzling acrobatics, and visit some of the best entertainment of the past and present.

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Guilin is widely known by locals and tourists alike as one of the most stunning and picturesque regions in all of China. Children’s books call it “the best under heaven” and politicians introduced foreign dignitaries to China as their pride and joy. The city is surrounded by two rivers, four lakes, and large Karst mountains, and is favored for its fresh, clean air compared to larger Chinese cities. Guilin has kept up with the more contemporary cities like Beijing and Xi’an with a vibrant array of nightlife. Read the rest of this entry »