Monthly Archives: June 2015

Posted In: TRO SMITH

What Travel Agencies Can Learn From Zappos

Is it possible for customer service to become a cult? I think so. Many companies tout customer service as their key differentiator. No company I have ever seen carries through on that mission like Zappos. They even have a name for it internally: the WOW philosophy. The CEO is Tony Hsieh – Author of “Delivering Happiness” and he occupies a cubical in the middle of their offices along with the employees with whom he works. If you order shoes from Zappos, shipping is free. They also pay for the shipping on returns. There is no limit on returns either, and you can return a pair of shoes up to 365 days after purchasing them. If the customer wants shoes that are not in stock, call center employees will find the shoes on a competitor’s web site and direct the customer there. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

History, art, and warm coastal beaches: three words that perfectly sum up the country of Italy. The different regions of Italy each have their own personalities, some a vibrant blend of Italian and neighboring regions, others a laid-back Mediterranean coastal town. It’s no wonder Italy is the height of European history and culture, and Central Holidays is your guide to this amazing country.

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Posted In: Outposts

Vienna has always been known for its dedication and love of the arts: from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s tenure there after his time composing in Salzburg to the modern-day fame of the Vienna Philharmonic. During the summer, Vienna transforms into a haven for music and art lovers, presenting dozens of festivals and events celebrating its pride in the arts. From youth festivals to magnificent opera, from grand orchestral performances to celebrations of centuries on horseback, there is a breath-taking performance around every corner. Let the Vienna Tourist Board share the best of their beloved Vienna with you this summer! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

2. Contact the people who are meaningful to you and your business regularly.
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I have to admit this year has been very busy up until this month. I find myself behind in tasks that involve marketing, learning, and the dreaded office organization. However, as we all know, they are vital to our success even though our clients aren’t always directly affected by them. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Support@

Chris Eason HeadshotI began my career in the travel industry in 2002 as a sales person for a hop-on, hop–off trolley tour company in historic Boston.  Prior experience in the hospitality industry and spending the previous 23 years in Beantown made me a good fit for the position. I grew up here, went to college at Northeastern University, and was (and still am) an all-around Bostonian. My favorite part of the job was welcoming people from different parts of North America and all over the world to “my” Boston.  I appreciated that they chose to visit my city on their vacation, and I wanted them to leave saying the people of Boston are friendly, helpful, and welcoming.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

DSC_2068Levi Sanchez began with Blue Sky Tours 17 years ago and currently holds the position of Travel Agency Engagement Manager. He has worked extensively in various departments within Blue Sky Tours, and worked on the promotion of Hawaii to the travel agency community through his extensive knowledge of the region.  He is involved with travel agency engagement, policy, training, technology, and product strategy within Blue Sky Tours. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

For the next five days, Mike is going to remind us of some important Customer Service Wisdom to improve your relationship with your current clients and cultivate new ones with prospects! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Have you seen it? There has been a subtle shift in the cruise lines lately: changes in dining options, changes in drink options, etc. While the cruise lines have always been notorious for developing the latest and greatest kitsch—surfing, boxing, bowling, roller coasters, zip lines, etc., they have also been equally notorious for nickel-and-diming the guests to bolster the bottom line. But is that changing? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

An Axe to Grind

“If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.”Abraham Lincoln

Louie was one of the hardest working men I had ever met. A restaurant owner, he was up first thing in the morning, worked all day in the kitchen and on the floor and went to bed late at night. The next day, he would do it all again. I was amazed at his ability to put in those hours and I was sure that his new venture would be a great success. A year later, he was out of business. I told Louie’s story to one of my business mentors and he shook his head knowingly. He was not surprised at the restaurant’s failure. “Too many business people have to work hard because they don’t work smart.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – June 26, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: The 365 Guide

“What’s that sound?  I didn’t notice it yesterday? There it goes again!”

These were my exact words a week or two back when my clothes dryer began squeaking for what I could best determine was for no reason whatsoever. Like many people who share my upbeat attitude toward life, I knew that it would probably go away as fast as it came. I went back to living my life. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

You Are Not a Specialist

Susan Schaffer“I specialize in all cruises, all-inclusive resorts, honeymoons, escorted vacations, Disney, Europe, Alaska, and much more.” Or how about, “I specialize in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.” Until there are multiple planets we can ship clients to, specializing in Planet Earth is not a specialty. And you cannot specialize in “and more.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Sitka – Alaska’s Gem

When cruising the Alaska Panhandle, you will find that the major ports of call are becoming quite commercial with a plethora of gift shops and jewelry stores. The main streets of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway are starting to resemble St. Martin or Barbados with the same familiar retail establishments selling diamonds, gemstones, and gold watches at so called “bargain” prices. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

It’s Friday. It’s the first Friday of the official summer. Let’s keep this short, sweet, and powerful. Your business is nothing unless you market it. That is pretty plain and simple. If people do not know you are there, how can they purchase from you? The answer is simple—market yourself. Here are five down and dirty ways to do just that! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

The Favorite Doesn’t Always Win

Back in 2002, after a horse called Sarava won the Belmont Stakes (70-1 odds), I wrote a piece reminding you how the simple practice of “showing up” can prove to be the secret formula you are looking for.

I was not discounting practice and preparation. I was not suggesting that you wait until the stars are aligned properly along with a dozen other important aspects of success. I was saying that “showing up” is an integral part of the whole. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

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 »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Relax And Get Away With Rental Escapes

Based out of Montreal, Canada, Rental Escapes is a concierge agency that also specializes in luxury villa rentals. We focus on creating unforgettable getaway experiences in villas around the world, with over 2,700 of the world’s most exquisite luxury villas and estates in destinations such as the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Europe, and everywhere in between. Our client’s care and experience is our number 1 priority, and all guests can expect to have their dream getaway come to life.
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Posted In: The 365 Guide

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

I spotted a headline that read, “Young entrepreneur has business bean for marketing coffee.”

The article was about a ten year old “yoot”* named Stephen who was running a three person business from his front lawn, all the while learning about the rudiments of turning a buck. Little does he know that what he is learning today will serve him well for the next 50 + years. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

The future is very bright for the travel industry. It’s true – demand for luxury travel grew in 2014 (and continues into 2015), many agencies are reporting a banner year, and experts expect travel to continue to grow into 2016 and beyond. How do you cultivate your share? With a plan.

Really, there are five steps you must take to monetize your passion for travel. As we begin to think forward to 2016 I suggest you find a plan. Follow the five-step plan below to cultivate your own banner year. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

The ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan is larger than the entirety of Western Europe, and the largest landlocked country in the world. Bordering four other Asian countries, Kazakhstan is one of the most affluent of the Central Asian countries due to its rich resources of oil and valuable minerals. This affluence is discernible in the European architecture and ambiance of its two largest cities, Astana and Almaty, both of which will be in the spotlight of the international community in the upcoming years. Astana will be the host city for the International Specialized Exposition of 2017, and Almaty is one of the final two chosen cities to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The people of Kazakhstan are considered the warmest and kindest in Central Asia, and you will experience unrivaled hospitality by the Kazakh people as you explore its greatest cities. Read the rest of this entry »