Monthly Archives: December 2008

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Bliss Honeymoons: A different approach

Are you looking for a change of pace? Maybe you are looking to add some pizzazz to your existing business? Interested in a program that is recession-resistant? One that offers all of the tools you need to succeed? You know, one of those “just add one qualified agent and a bunch of enthusiasm” and hang on experiences? Maybe you need to take a look at a Bliss Honeymoons dealership.

While honeymoons are perhaps the oldest segment of leisure travel, they are also one of the most consistent. People will marry, and they will travel. Often, the honeymoon is THE single most important trip of a person’s life. Mess one up, and you might not ever book another. If you are looking to specialize in honeymoons or are looking to add a honeymoon specialty to your agency, take a look at Bliss Honeymoons for a different perspective at a reasonable cost. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Destination Greece: Who do you Trust…?

No, this article is not a reference to Johnny Carson’s 60’s ABC show… It rather addresses a real life current issue related to global markets and more specifically the tourism market.

Admittedly, web technologies and the Internet have contributed to a large extend in consumers being able to enjoy solutions that really fit their requirements. From customizing pizza toppings in online pizzeria stores to designing one’s personal insurance plan the rational is the same; let the clients get exactly what they want.

However, when it comes to travel plans and arrangements we have a totally different ball game. Here clients wish to place trust on human beings, sharing their views, approving or modifying their proposals, presenting them with alternatives and of course supporting them when away from their base. Similarly, travel agents establish cooperation with tour operators they trust, with real entities specializing in travel operations, knowledgeable and capable of offering their clients high quality services.

It is obvious that TRUST is the main factor in this chain of services. Trust between the tour operator and the travel agent propagating over to trust between the travel agent and the traveler.

Well, search no more; Destination Greece is your trusted expert to Greece!

Why?

First and foremost, because we realize how important trust is in a special business field such as travel and tourism.

Second, because we know Greece as well as Greeks do. We know the country, we speak the language, we know the people, we live and breathe the Greek tourism market.

Third, because although we are a US-based tour operator, we offer our services locally at the place where your clients are namely in Greece. We don’t run things remotely from an office six thousand miles away. Instead, we are there for the travel agent’s peace of mind and the traveler’s best experience in Greece.

But then there is more:

We are happy to know our cooperators understand the importance Destination Greece attributes to consistency in our itineraries and quotations, as well as on the high level of standards of our services.

We eliminate from our quotations all small print conditions, all hidden fees and provide a crystal clear document outlining exactly what services our quotations correspond to.

We strive to provide added value in all our services so that the clients get the best deal for their money.

We take pride in the excellent comments we receive both from travel agents and their clients. We go the extra step to ensure that when clients depart they will carry with them lifelong memories of an amazing, unique experience in Greece as introduced to them by Destination Greece.

Last but not least, Destination Greece provides customized itineraries and quotations for Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Italy within 24 hours, on a 24×7 basis.

We invite you to register with Destination Greece and to experience the high quality personalized services we can offer to your clientele. We look forward to receiving your feedback at: services@DestinationGreece.com and to talking to you on our Toll Free: 1-888-GREECE-8.

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Earlier this week, Mike Batt of Travel Leaders suggested that 2009 will be challenging and that agents will have to fight for their business; he even suggested stealing it! TRO Publisher, Richard Earls feels that 2009 will be harder (not worse)—and there is a distinction. I agree.

For a moment, let’s not discuss the acquisition of new business. Let’s discuss taking steps to insure the old business. It doesn’t matter if you have been in the industry one month or one century. It does not even matter if you have never sold a cruise, or sold ten thousand. In every sense, to some extent, you are your own brand. And you are valuable. And all too often I have seen agents allow someone else to steal their brand without a fight.  As Mike said, you will need to fight, and when it comes to your personal brand there is no fight more worthy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

3 clients in 30 minutes, here’s how!

After thirty minutes of my time, I have three new clients. One client wants a two week customized honeymoon to South America, the other two clients want to go to Tahiti.

Let me first explain to you that 100% of my business is generated online. The Internet has been the vessel that drives my business. It’s my bloodline And I have discovered a way to generate sales without breaking the bank.

If you look at other commission based industries such as real estate, you can see that they are way far ahead of the technology game than most travel agents are. Why? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Offer A Free Report

As a travel consultant, it is important to remember that you have expert insight into a topic of keen interest to consumers. One of the best marketing strategies is to offer a useful free report on a travel topic in which potential clients might have an interest. Here are some possible topics: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Voyages of Discovery: A different Love Boat

The Love Boat was boring. Aside from the weekly drama, it was the same darned ports time and time again. Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco–Yawn. Well thankfully her sister ship the Island Princess will never succumb to such mundane ports of call while she is sailing as the M/V Discovery for Voyages of Discovery.

Voyages of Discovery is certainly not for everyone, but for the right client (more on that in a bit) this cruise might just be the icing on the cake of travel experiences. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

2009 – Harder than 2008, Not Worse

When you view travel agent message boards, one question seems to be on a lot of minds: will 2009 “be worse than” 2008? Ok, here’s the good news – for many of you, 2009 will be a better year than was 2008.  However, there is a caveat to this prediction.  Next year will almost certainly be harder than was 2008.  The distinction in an important one, and should not be overlooked in your analysis of next year’s business plan.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Be relevant

Last week I brought up the question of the relevancy of a travel agent to a supplier. And I firmly believe that if you are not proving your relevancy, you indeed are irrelevant on that side of the equation.

But what about the consumer side? Hopefully, each time you interact with a client or a prospect you are proving your relevancy to them. Hopefully, you have taken advantage of TRO’s 365 Guide. Hopefully your clients are getting your message.

If they are not, they are going someplace else and in today’s environment (and I am not talking necessarily about the economy), someplace else might be a very bad place. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Write your own personal ad

In my last column,  I wrote an article about how the rules of dating can be applied to your business. Today, I would like to delve into that theory a little deeper.

Anyone who has been in sales for any period of time has been told time and time again that they need to “qualify” their clients for the best fit. While that’s a good idea, I think that qualifying yourself may be an even better idea.

You don’t have to spend too much time on any travel agent message board to find an agent with a client horror story. You hear them all–the client who wanted a round the world luxury cruise for $500.00, the client who called screaming from their destination because the water in the pool was the wrong shade of blue, or the client who blamed their agent because they contracted food poisoning while traveling. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Blue Sky Tours: Hawaii powerhouse

Gasoline prices. Milk prices. Airline prices. Cruise prices. Hawaii prices. Now if you think back to your childhood days of Sesame Street, one of these things is not like the other. Can you guess which one doesn’t belong? Of course it is Hawaii prices! All of the others have increased in price over the year. That’s right, Hawaii is a bargain right now and you need to let your client know about it! And when it comes to selecting a supplier for this Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Hawaii on a Budget

Here’s a great secret – you don’t have to spend a fortune to spend time in Hawaii.  Don’t get me wrong – if you want to stay at first class properties, fly in the front of the plane and eat at some of the world’s finest restaurants, Hawaii will certainly afford you the opportunity.  However, it is also possible to visit Hawaii, see the sites, eat well and experience the Islands up close and personal without breaking the bank.

Airfares are a real trick, but here’s the trick – don’t buy a published fare!  Any good travel agent Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Are you still relevant?

Are you still relevant? Are you really?

Over the years I have had the chance to talk to literally thousands of Business Development Managers, District Sales Managers, Executives, Owners, Partners, Founders, Directors and every other title you might come up with for a supplier representative. One constant among 90% of them is that they truly believe in the agency distribution system. But, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Connecting with your suppliers

My DSM Rocks!

Just how many agents can say that about their District Sales Managers? How many agents actually know who the DSM for their preferred suppliers are? Sure if you sell half a million dollars worth of their product they are banging down your door offering support, co-op funds and a brainstorming mind. However, what if you have come across a product that you just know you would be successful selling but don’t have the booking history to garner all that attention? How do you convince your area Reps that you are serious about their product and worth the effort of support? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Turning Away Business

As hard as the average travel consultant works to build a clientele, it is difficult for many to imagine actually turning away business. Yet, there are times when the smart travel agent should refuse a particular request. Here are a few examples of good reasons for not taking on an assignment. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Success in the travel industry is based on trust, knowledge and value. It doesn’t matter if you are a consumer looking for a travel professional or a professional looking for a tour operator—these are the three critical traits that will define your success. If you are a travel professional looking for a supplier that exemplifies all three, look no further than Homeric Tours.

Homeric Tours was founded in 1969 by Nikos Tsakanikas and still remains the same family owned, financially stable tour operator today as it was nearly 40 years ago. While Homeric Tours is undisputedly the number one tour operator to Greece, the past 40 years has seen them expand into other areas and has them looking to the future with a keen eye for what the travel professional and their clients are seeking. Read the rest of this entry »