Monthly Archives: August 2015

Posted In: 1:1

Heller photoRich Heller is currently the Marine Operations Manager for G Adventures and has been a member of the company’s marine programs since 2006. During his near-decade with G Adventures, Rich has had the opportunity to visit some of the world’s most remote and beautiful destinations, usually by boat. With years of experience guiding and supporting tours in the Antarctic and Southeast Asia, Rich brings a mix of field experience and passion for wildlife, remote destinations, and shipping that collectively assists G Adventures to create life-changing experiences for its travelers and partner communities around the globe. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Hey! You Never Know!

I received an email from an old friend and business associate this week that brought to light two important business lessons. I would like to share them both with you today.

We had lost touch along the way and after a year of futile attempts trying to contact him, his email came in via “Linkedin ” This is an online networking personal database based on the “who-you-know” theory of success. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Times have changed. There used to be a time when travel professionals went home with red smudges on their hands, welcomed and lauded by the travel suppliers. Not so much any more. If nothing else, today’s travel professional is a survivor. There have been countless times when the industry has been pronounced dead—or at least put on life support. Heck, even President Obama dissed us a few years back. But we learned how to survive. Some of it was trial and error; much of it was sheer determination and planning. We were told to nichify (yes, I invented that word) and we did. We were told that to compete against Travelocity, Expedia, and Orbitz, that we needed to add value to the equation and eschew the transactional nature of the business. But is that really simple to do? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Social Media and Authentic Creativity

For many travel professionals, social marketing and media has proven its worth. Those who have succeeded using Facebook, Twitter and the like to generate business are actively engaged  by being both creative and authentic. No doubt, the fundamental marketing tactics of local, community oriented public relations, networking, and advertising are far more important and necessary to most travel agents than any social marketing efforts will ever be. However, layer your social marketing tactics on top of a solid foundation of fundamentals and truly excellent results can be the order of the day. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – August 28, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

Only a Rip van Winkle could have missed the news of what is probably the most aggressive expansion ever in the luxury travel segment: Crystal Cruises’ addition of three new ocean cruisers, two new river “yachts,” a 62-guest yacht, a Dreamliner, a smaller jet to complement the Dreamliner, and a substantial stake in Lloyd Werft, the German shipyard that is building Crystal’s ships.

Celebrating its Silver Anniversary, 25-year-young Crystal Cruises is aiming to extend its luxury brand in the air, on the oceans, and on the rivers. Five ships are on order, a yacht is being refurbished, and there’s more to come. “We’ve only released a series of announcements thus far,” Rodriguez told me on Crystal Symphony last week. “There’s a lot more to come, but even with what we’ve released thus far, and as we continue to grow each of those brand extension experiences, it’ll be very exciting.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

I was reminded once again how impetuous behavior can cost you. This lesson came during a welcome reception on a cruise ship.

Three individuals “dumped their wagons” on an unsuspecting host at an opening seminar cocktail party right before my very eyes. I was both disappointed and taken aback. The host was shell shocked.

As most of you know, cruise lines do what they can to educate their distribution channels. We were all onboard as guests of a particular cruise line with hopes to become more versed in the product line. I was the motivational segment of the program. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Future Traffic Jams?

Susan SchafferThe popularity of river cruising is exploding. It seems like every time we turn around, there is either a new announcement of another company entering into the river cruise industry, or an announcement of an existing river cruise company’s fleet expansion.

This year alone, Disney Cruise Line announced its partnership with AMAWaterways to offer family-friendly river cruises, Crystal Cruises announced their foray into river cruising, Celebrity Cruises started to blend ocean and river cruises together, and it seems like new river cruises keep popping up every few months. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Want to know the secret to getting more clients? Making millions in the travel industry? Being wildly successful? So would I. Unfortunately, there really isn’t a magic bullet or pill to take for instant success.

What I do know is it takes hard work, dedication, education, getting out there, patience, and a positive attitude. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Here are the fifth, sixth and final questions devoted to FREE press coverage.

Often, it is not a dearth of ideas that may be slowing you down, but the technical details of submitting the press release.

Question #5: What other things should I send with my release? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

The other day at the airport, I was browsing the magazine rack and was instantly drawn to the gorgeous cover photos and the inspiring images inside each of the different magazines. It made me want to change my flight and escape to an exotic locale.

Then as I was in the gatehouse scanning my social feeds, I realized I was drawn to some posts over others for some of the same reasons as when I was flipping through magazines.

Are you like me when you pick up a magazine or read an on-line article? Do you scan the title, look at the photos and read the captions? Then, after all that, do you read the opening lines? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Worms For Lunch?!

Imagine yourself in a fine restaurant. Divine table settings, charming atmosphere. Royal Dalton China. Fine crystal stemware. The Maitre d’ offers you the daily special. You uncover the silver cloche… UGH!!! It’s a pile of worms! Grubby – creepy – crawly WORMS!!!

The French may have managed to get us to eat snails under the moniker of “escargots”, but this was beyond ridiculous even if it qualifies as a “Low Carb High Protein” meal! I would never go back to that restaurant, and I believe you wouldn’t either. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Formed in 1989, INFOX is a fulfillment house that works solely within the Travel and Tourism Industries, and offers coordinated methods for distributing products and promotional materials by meeting the specific needs of travel businesses in the United States and internationally. For 26 years, our goal has been to help businesses in the travel industry achieve their marketing goals through cost-effective distribution. The INFOX team is highly committed to quality customer service; our management staff has a combined total of 50 years of experience within the company, offering cost-efficient and effective service fulfillment, marketing, and transportation solutions. We take a proactive stand on product development and view our business relationships as partnerships, benefiting from a healthy flow of two-way communication. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

This is the third and fourth question devoted to FREE press coverage.

Often, it is not a dearth of ideas that may be slowing you down, but the technical details of submitting the press release.

Question #3: How often should I send press releases? Read the rest of this entry »

Priceless Cruising – The secret word is “flamingo”

I’ll bet many of you get frustrated because you send important information to clients in detailed emails… only to find it has not been read. This may or may not cause you additional work with their booking, but at the bare minimum can make their trip either more challenging, or they miss something completely because they didn’t read it. Right? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

This is the second of seven marketing tips devoted to FREE press coverage.

Often, it is not a dearth of ideas that may be slowing you down, but the technical details of submitting the press release.

Question #2: How do I establish credibility with editors? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

cindy-mitchellCindy Mitchell is the Concierge Director at Rental Escapes – her passion, interest, and experience in the Travel and Tourism industry drove her to focus on VIP and concierge services. She loves thinking outside the box to exceed her clients’ expectations of what their vacation can become.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

This is the first of four marketing tips devoted to FREE press coverage.

Often, it is not a dearth of ideas that may be slowing you down, but the technical details of submitting the press release.

I will address seven frequently asked questions over the next four days. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Last week, Travel Weekly published the results of the 2015 Consumer Trends survey. Any agent worth their salt should take some time to read the results, and adjust their business accordingly; or at least see if their business needs adjusting. The topic that caught my eye was that consumers say they will be (or have been) taking shorter vacations—quick getaways versus the 7-night or longer trips. I can concur with that from my own experience and have adjusted my business to meet that need.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Being Accessible

Mike Marchev has a saying every travel agent should repeat each day: “Your clients are somebody else’s prospects.”  With others in the marketplace vying for the attention of your clients, it is important for you to consider exactly how accessible the public perceives your travel business. Accessibility is sum of the characteristics that makes you easy to remember, easy to find, approachable, likable, and worthy of trust. Each of these elements are wrapped up in your approach to the market and should be given fair consideration as you position your company in your community. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – August 21, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain