Monthly Archives: June 2011

Posted In: Deck Plans

Extend Your Cruise In Europe

European cruises are like exquisite appetizers. Your ship gives you a taste of the delicious culture capitals, allowing you to decide which cities and countries are most intriguing and appealing. Each stop on the cruise ship’s itinerary is designed to provide convenient access to the primary attractions, but the cruise ship must maintain a schedule, limiting port calls to 10 hours, occasionally overnight.

For a fuller flavor of any European destination, a few extra days in one of the Continent’s great cities allows you to explore more and get a sense of the rhythms and personalities of the place. To take full advantage of the trip across the ocean, more and more experienced travelers are taking the extra time before or after their cruise, extending their stay in Europe to learn and enjoy a particular place. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

That’s Life

I have no intentions of stealing Old Blue-Eyes’ thunder –he was the first one to suggest this option in his song, “That’s Life.” At face value, this option comes with limited future promise. There must be another way.

With all the negativity being printed and relayed to us every day by the media, it seems only natural to think this is an acceptable alternative to what ails you and your business. But not for me … and I am hoping, not for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Phoenix by VacationRentals4Agents

Phoenix – a city commonly depicted in cartoons with cowboys, red-rock buttes and cactus.  The desert character provides a foundation that is present in few places in the U.S., and America’s fifth-largest city boasts this with pride.  At the heart of the Sonoran Desert and at the beginning of the Grand Canyon, the city meshes old and new, embracing history while pushing forward into the digital era.

Resting upon the timeless Southwestern backdrop, Phoenix is the ideal location for family vacations, extended weekend trips or a romantic getaway.  With resorts and spas fused with Native American influence, golf courses that are playable year-round, parks with trails intertwined in them, plenty of sports venues to enjoy just about every sport imaginable, and of course, a broad spectrum of shopping malls and boutiques that give almost any other state a run for its money.

Remember that travel agents can use 60-Second Geography articles on their websites and in their newsletters! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Dakar by Hariworld

Whether it is the modern and vivacious city, the lively nightlife, or the coastal region of the Petite Cote, which offers a relaxing seaside retreat, Dakar is quickly emerging as a travelers’ ideal destination.
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I know I have spoken about keeping things personal in prior columns; but I truly believe that is the one thing responsible for increasing our business. If I speak to someone who brushes me off because they are on their way to a tennis match or soccer game, I write it down so I can ask them about the game the next time we speak or when I shoot them an email.  If they mention their child is sick, I flag it in my Outlook to email them a couple days later–just a quick note “to see if you child is feeling better.” Not only does this give you that personal connection to them for their vacations but you will be top of mind for them to refer business. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Two Ears, One Mouth

OK, we all have heard the idiom (title) before. And there is good reason. Every day, you are bombarded with all sorts of important information that, quite honestly, you might miss if you aren’t paying attention. While many conversations may seem mundane, they usually are anything but. How many times do you get rejected? What do you do? Do you write it off and move to the next prospect? Or do you perhaps learn from it and go back for a second or third helping of “no?” Let’s take a look at two conversations that might be happening in your travel life right now. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – June 24, 2011

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

AMAWATERWAYS recently announced details of its new specialty theme cruises, due to set sail this summer and fall. Featuring specially tailored shore excursions and complimentary onboard programming, these voyages highlight two distinct areas of interest: “In Celebration ofWine” and “Jewish Heritage.”
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Posted In: TROTips

So, you’ve made the plunge – you downloaded WordPress and installed it on your web host.  You’ve selected a theme and are ready to make it yours.  Here are six basic set-up tasks you will want to complete before you get too far into customizing your theme and adding content.
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Posted In: Point-to-Point

At some point, there will come an opportunity to either sell your existing agency or to buy one to grow your business. It may never come to fruition, but if you are serious, there is no reason to not have a successful transaction.There is a market out there and unfortunately, we have seen more deals fall apart simply due to sellers and buyers not keeping their heads in the transaction.  With that said, I offer ten “Dos” and ten “Don’ts” for selling your agency. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Riviera Maya by Vacation Express

The Yucatan – most famous for Cancun and its wild lifestyle – shouldn’t be the only mental picture in your mind.  Things have changed quite a bit, and now is the ideal time to explore what’s happening just south of there, within the region better known as the Mayan Riviera.
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Posted In: 60-Second Geography

The Cycladic Islands, properly termed The Cyclades are a Greek island group in the Aegean Sea, south-east of the mainland of Greece. The Cyclades is where the native Greek breed of cat (the Aegean cat) first originated.

The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, including the major ones of Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited.

The islands are simply the peaks of a giant underwater mountain range with the exception of Milos and Santorini which are volcanic. The climate is generally dry and mild and does not support too much in terms of agriculture. Wine, fruit, wheat, olive oil, and tobacco are about all these islands produce.

Remember that travel agents can use 60-Second Geography articles on their websites and in their newsletters! Read the rest of this entry »

Journeys Unlimited – Accountability

Hello Again! Before I begin each diary entry, I review my previous segment. What had I shared that was noteworthy? Have I met my goals? Am I staying on track with the marketing plan? Am I leading by example? Or, in spite of my written word, am I completely off target? Last time I talked again about my goals of specializing and not being all things to all people. I was to sell myself, and not the product. And, I am proud to say that I have been true to this goal for the first two quarters of this year. For the most part, I followed the marketing plan I had written. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

 

Fiona Jeffery is the founder and chairman of Just a Drop, a U.K. based charity that focuses on supplying sustainable clean water sources for communities in need.  Ms. Jeffery is also a Chairman of the World Travel Market.  She has been an avid proponent of responsible and sustainable tourism for many years, and founded the World Responsible Tourism Day at World Travel Market. In 2008, Ms. Jeffery was named Shine Woman of the Year.


TRO: What inspired you to establish Just a Drop?

FJ: It was 1998 and I was pregnant with my second child, my daughter Lauren.  I was also responsible for running the World Travel Market.  I became very conscious that I was pulling the world of tourism together to do business.  Having children helped me to realize even more just how precious their lives are and I wanted to give back to the areas in which the World Travel Market was operating.  That inspired me to investigate different things we could do.  I knew I wanted to do something global and environmentally sound, as well as to aid children.  That’s when I came across the issue of clean water.  I learned that that the lack of clean water is the biggest killer of children under the age of five throughout the world.
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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Come on, did you really think that I was that stupid? I’m not going to name any names for the simple reason is that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  I like supplier “A” but my colleague hates them. It is a give-take, love-hate, relationship between travel agents and the suppliers. But there is something we can learn.

First, there is no golden child of suppliers. There is no supplier which will do it all right all the time. Once we get over that, we can dissect bits and pieces of each supplier to come up with an utopian suppler. Here is my wish list! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – June 17, 2011

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Do you take your own advice?

How many times a week do you talk to a client who tells you how stressed out they are? Work, the kids, and the house – egad they just need to unplug and get away for a while and recharge! We nod and smile knowingly. “Yes, yes…it’s very important for not only your mental health but your physical health as well to get away from all the everyday stresses!” We tell them, “Not only will it make you feel better, but you will be a better employee, parent and spouse when you take a little time away.” Then away we go to plan an awesome adventure for them.

Hmm…let me ask you though, when was the last time YOU went on vacation?
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Posted In: Deck Plans

Liverpool for cruise passengers

It’s difficult to mention Liverpool without conjuring up images of yellow submarines and strawberry fields. In short: the Beatles. Any overview that is serious about Liverpool can hardly let it be. So, yes, if you have the slightest interest in Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, Liverpool is inescapable. That being said, Liverpool is so much more than the city where the iconic rock group emerged. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Sky Bird Travel & Tours

Established in 1976, Sky Bird Travel is one of the nation’s leading airline consolidators and proud to be known as “Your Global Partner” for more than 35 years. Sky Bird assists professional travel agents and travel consortia derive the greatest possible revenue streams from their air bookings. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

A three pronged attack

Last week I had the opportunity to address a group of people representing  a Fortune 100 company.

I opened my discussion by asking the audience to lift one leg off the ground and to hold that position. This was an easy exercise and they all were able to balance on one leg. I congratulated them for their athletic prowess and quickly reminded them that this was quite likely their current state of “balance.” I suggested that they probably felt “balanced” in their jobs and in their personal lives.  But, it would be very easy, to approach each executive and knock them off-balance effortlessly with a single finger since they were standing on only one leg. I could destroy their balancing act with very little effort. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Belize by Solar Tours

Belize may be a small country, but there’s still plenty to see and do.. Though many visitors simply come for a single location to fish or scuba at an island resort, the entire country is an easily accessible natural playground. Do yourself and your clients a favor a take a few moments to explore Belize and the many itineraries offered by Solar Tours who sponsors this article and makes your use of it in your own newsletters and websites possible. Read the rest of this entry »