Monthly Archives: June 2012

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – June 29, 2012

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: The 365 Guide

One of the criteria used by search engines to determine page rankings for your travel agency centers on the number of links inbound to the travel site from other quality sites. Sometimes called “back links”, inbound links to your site give the search engine spiders more avenues to your site and act as a key indicator of the importance of your site to others. A link from a site that is a high quality site in and of itself is more important that a link from a “low quality” site.

The single best way to create high quality links inbound to your site is by populating it with quality content about travel. If your site becomes the “go-to” resource for a given topic, for example “travel for the disabled”, then other sites discussing these matters more generally will link to yours Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

If you’re a fan of fall colors and local history, few voyages can top the vibrant splendor of a cruise through Canada & New England. Typically a week in duration (though sometimes a few days more or less), “classic” Canada & New England voyages leave from one of New York’s three cruise terminals: Manhattan, Brooklyn or Bayonne, New Jersey. (7-night Canada & New England cruises also depart from Boston). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Once you have chosen a set of appropriate keywords for use in your site, it is time to consider the next two steps: creating a search engine friendly web design and integrating appropriate content with your keywords into your site. It is easy to let the tail wag the dog when it comes to keyword analysis, web design and content. Pages and pages of website content are written with the sole purpose of attracting the attention of the search engines and achieving a higher ranking. Writers force keywords into their content like ornaments Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Hariworld Travels Profile

Since 1968 Hariworld has been providing the North American Travel Community with the most affordable fares on the broadest choice of Carriers to worldwide destinations.

Hariworld offers an unrivaled web-based booking engine that allows agents to book contracted and commissionable published air fares, choose trip itineraries, purchase tickets and add their own markups with a few clicks of the mouse.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

The first and best rule of search engine optimization for travel agencies is to have strong, original content on your site that is truly relevant and useful to your viewers. As we have discussed in our previous articles this week, smart travel agencies with web site strategies give first consideration to their human viewers and secondarily optimize the site for search engine visibility.

Begin with the central theme of your site. As we earlier indicated, niche topics can achieve a higher ranking more easily than broader, generalized topics. Within the context of your core theme, you want to write content that readers will find useful, that is updated or supplemented often. Integrate your keywords into the articles you write in a completely natural manner. Don’t force the keywords and make the text awkward and hard to read.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

How full is your glass?

I suspect that most of us are glad this recession appears to be waning, as there is no question that we have seen years full of challenges for both travel suppliers and travel agents alike. And, while there are some positive indications that immediate future looks better, there are a lot of travel professionals who are not so optimistic.

We all know that for four years (2008-2011) the travel industry slowed. Travel suppliers were forced to come out with some innovative offers, most of which included lower prices, which resulted in lower commissions for travel agents.  But, many agents faced the problem head on by aggressively marketing the resulting great offers. And guess what happened? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

There is no shortage of experts on the topic of SEO and keyword analysis. This brief introduction will attempt to place the topic in the context of travel marketing and will hopefully point you in the direction of other resources. The phrase “keyword analysis” refers to the study of how people search for information on a search engine for a given topic. Tomorrow we will discuss how to incorporate those keywords into your web site content in a manner that is effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Keyword analysis assumes that people are predictable when they utilize a search engine for research on a topic. There is plenty of good reason for this assumption, and it is the heart of keyword analysis. Staying with yesterday’s example of Hawaii honeymoons and weddings, let’s take a look at how we might conduct keyword analysis Read the rest of this entry »

Why has Mexico become the target of our client’s fears once again? People are requesting the Caribbean or U.S. destinations – anything except Mexico!

Our agency in located in a Northwest suburb of Chicago. I wonder if our clients have turned on their radios or opened up their newspapers? The crime in Chicagoland is out of control. My friend has been on the Chicago Police force for 20+ years. He has been warning friends and family of the current dangers in Chicago. He said that they just can’t get it under control. Just last week there was a shooting at the Lincoln Park Zoo, on Michigan Avenue, and a throat slashing in Wrigleyville. These are all tourist areas of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Ensuring that your travel agency website is visible and relevant to the internet’s search engines is an important strategic objective. Because travel is such a large segment of the transactional traffic on the internet, however, many travel agents feel daunted by the prospect of having to compete with the thousands of other sites for search engine ranking. Yet, with a bit of planning and commitment, a travel agency web site can find itself high in the rankings of the major search engines. The resulting traffic and potential for new sales opportunities can certainly justify the effort and time necessary to accomplish search engine optimization. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I don’t mean to sound vain, but I pride myself on my expertise and knowledge. You should too! Whenever I become involved in any endeavor, I really try to become as much of an expert as I can. I take the time to do extra research. I ask for opinions from other experts. I learn from my mistakes and I am very willing to share my knowledge with others. Sometimes I am a fast learner and other times it takes more time to become proficient.  And I am sure you are no different.

We hang our shingle (or our URL) out as travel professionals. We explain what we do ad-nauseum–to consumers, to the press, to our employees, to our supplier and to our friends and family.  We network. We travel. We read. We research. We surf the web. We attend training. We listen to webinars. We speak with suppliers. All of this together makes us what we are-professionals! We are experts in our field. So why are there clients and prospects that just don’t get it and feel they know better?  Why call us in the first place? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – June 22, 2012

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

Carnival Breeze is a great ship for families and for young couples. Do you fit into this category? If so, read on. Your ship may have come in. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

We always hear talk about consolidators and how they have great fares for agents to pass along to their clients. Consolidators are a good way to improve your bottom line and to increase the value you provide to your client. But many travel professionals just don’t know where to start. The first step is to select a consolidator with a good reputation. The second step is to make sure that particular consolidator serves the markets you sell. And the third step is to establish a relationship with the consolidator and learn how easy it is to add this valuable asset to your business. This week, we will look at GTT Global.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Go fish!

“Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker start preaching to the choir in campaign aimed at Scotch lovers.”

This headline grabbed my attention not long ago. The gist of the article was “Fish where the fish are.” Apparently, there was an intense competition between “white” spirits and “brown” spirits. This competition was heating up and apparently, there was a need to change the strategy for selling more booze.

Rather than remaining focused on stimulating demand among consumers who do not already drink Scotch, the campaigns concentrated on wooing consumers who already do drink Scotch. Read the rest of this entry »

Simply Europe Travel – Potentials and peeves

I’m sitting here singing that little ditty from Napoleon Dynamite, titled, “Yes, I Love Technology”, if you don’t know it, YouTube it!

I am a big fan of technology.  I enjoy setting up and using systems in order to offer effective service to my clients.  I embrace new technology, and over the last few years have been learning to use Social Media, including the newest in that category–Pinterest.

Several people I like and trust are using Pinterest and I am excited because of its marketing potential.  I can’t wait to find different ways that I can use some of my existing clients’ photos (with their permission) to get new referrals from potential travelers.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

 

Dr. Zack Protogeros is one of the owners and a member of the founding team for Destination Greece. Dr. Protogeros has held the position of Marketing and Technology Director since 2008. Destination Greece is a US-based tour operator offering high-quality personalized services to clients visiting Greece, Egypt, Turkey and the Mediterranean with a local presence in Athens, Greece. You can read his previous 1:1 interview from January 2011 here.

TRO: What inspired you to work in the travel industry?

ZP: I guess it was not just one thing. I still remember the excitement new places brought while traveling to places like Santorini, Delphi, Meteora and Crete. And then more while in Giza, Alexandria, Ephesus, Istanbul… I came to realize and appreciate the sense of freedom inherent in traveling. And I came to discover the things we all share and which unite us all, people and cultures. That’s when I knew I wanted to share my knowledge and experiences from Greece with everyone. What best way to do it than help people realize their travel dreams to Greece? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

We all have to eat. Many of us have mortgages, car payments, college tuitions, and other expenses to pay in order to survive. We should never apologize for making a dollar; and personally, I am very open about my need to be profitable to my clients—they get it.  But what about exaggeration in your marketing efforts? Is there such a thing as too much? I think there is.

On Sunday, I was groggily watching the Today Show on NBC when a commercial for a travel agency aired claiming to be the “Official Agency for the Cruise Industry.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – June 15, 2012

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Not too long ago Chuck Flagg discussed his experience as a hole-in-one sponsor at a local golf tournament. He covered some great information; and you know what? It does not have to be limited to hole-in-one contests.

For anyone who knows me, I don’t like to limit myself to the tried-and-true. Instead I look for ways to be different and stand out. Now don’t get me wrong, I love hole-in-one contests and will jump at the chance to sponsor one when the right tournament comes along. But not everyone golfs. And at best you’ll have a maximum of 144 golfers at a golf tournament, and if spouses attend the celebratory lunch (or dinner) and awards ceremony, you might top out around 300 participants total.

So I like to find ways to supplement the occasional hole-in-one sponsorship with other marketing opportunities. Here are a few that I have run across recently, and that I am contemplating: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Cork for Cruisers

There is Ireland, and there is Cork. The way some of the inhabitants of Ireland’s second largest city see it, theirs is the true capital of the Irish Republic. Some will even go a step further, jokingly (one might assume) referring to the city as “The People’s Republic of Cork.”

Most countries probably have a city – or a region, even – that is inhabited by people so proud of the place on earth that they call home that they consider themselves more or less self-sufficient. Norway has Bergen, the UK has Manchester, and Spain has Barcelona. Ireland has Cork. Read the rest of this entry »