Monthly Archives: October 2016

Posted In: 1:1

FOTO BOTTINI 1 (Small)The Regional Director for Aerolíneas Argentinas, Marcelo William Bottini manages all commercial and administrative operations for offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.

Mr. Bottini began a remarkable twenty-seven year career with VARIG Brazilian Airlines in 1979 working in back-office support and ultimately rising to the level of President and Chief Executive Officer. As CEO, he led VARIG Brazilian Airlines through reorganization to be recognized as the Best Airline by industry peers by successfully restructuring it after it was sold in a public auction. During nine months of intense and brutal negotiations, involving government, creditors, unions, employees, and others, a unanimous decision on the complex Recovery Plan was reached, avoiding the failure of the largest and best known airline in Brazil. Read the rest of this entry »

“Always try to say it in less words. Trust your own voice and use humor whenever possible.”

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley, page 203

I often get caught in my own trap. I begin writing and before I know it, my creative side takes over and I begin entertaining myself. I’ve been known to make myself laugh more than once before my wife steps in and reminds me to “focus” on the task at hand.

Being the first to admit that I was not a member of the “A” student crowd, I am still not sure what a dangling participle is, and even if I am spelling it right. That is one reason why I enjoyed reading EVERYBODY WRITES so much. I understood what the author was telling me. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

My town is not that big. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances that own small businesses and I try to support them as much as possible. So, when the Executive Director of a small non-profit asked me to be a judge for a kids Halloween Walk they were having, I said sure. I figured I had no plans for what turned out to be a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Annapolis. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Sweating the details

It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

So often our business plans focus on quarterly and annual plans, eventualities so large we forget the small details of which they are made.  For example, “Customer Service” is a grand concept, encompassing a great many ideas and strategies. But in reality it is the smiles, the kindnesses, the empathy, and the concern for the well-being of the client bringing those ideas to life. It’s easy to lose the details in our devotion to our grand plans, but success really is built out of the myriad small tasks making up our day to day activities. Perhaps we owe some consideration to details. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Adventures Ashore: A Stroll through Cesme, Turkey

Today we’re in Cesme, Turkey. We’re going to head up into the hills for a panoramic view over the city, come into town for a walking tour, visit a Greek Orthodox church and see a centuries-old castle. We’ve got a lot to do, so let’s get going.

The name Cesme derives from the Turkish word for fountain. We learned that the name probably comes from the many Ottoman fountains throughout the city. Çesme was once the region’s major port. The city marked the end of the infamous Silk Road. Read the rest of this entry »

“Expect failure with many of your tests. Expect success with few. But those few will make you smile.”

Guerilla Marketing Attack by Jay Conrad Levinson, page 137

I remember when I first read that nine out of ten movies produced end up losing money. The single movie that proves profitable is more than enough to carry the losers while lining the investor’s pockets handsomely. For some, this is a tough pill to swallow.

Turning to a subject closer to home, many of your ideas, projects, groups and meetings will fall short of your initial expectations. This is no reason for you to cry foul and give up in disgust. Your very next effort could be the one that launches you and your business into the big leagues. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Posted In: Soundings

Susan Schaefer

The luxury cruise BDMs don’t seem to come to town as often as their mass market counterparts. But when they do make an appearance, I always hear travel agents lament about how they wish they had luxury clients to book on those ships. My response to them: you do, you just don’t realize it. The majority of my clients are not independently wealthy; nowhere close to it. They do manage to travel comfortably, although not over the top.

All the same, I can sell clients on cruising Regent Seven Seas, especially when they are celebrating something momentous, like a 50th anniversary or 75th birthday. It doesn’t mean they’ll book RSSC every year, but they are open to the idea when it’s something truly to be celebrated. And we’re not necessarily talking about booking them into the new 4,400 square foot Regent Suite on the Seven Seas Explorer (that only prices out to $5,000 per person per night). But here is the key: luxury does not mean $5,000 per person per night. Luxury does not have to mean selling the house and two kidneys in order to pay for the trip of a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Social Marketing Q&A – 6 Burning Questions

Travel and tourism pros come up with the most amazing questions.

At conferences and on webinars, I hear some intriguing questions from pros in our industry.  Let’s explore 6 top questions and dive into some solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

“One of the best things about today’s customers is their appreciation of top-notch service. They see it when it is there, and they tend to patronize businesses that consistently offer it.”

Guerilla Marketing Attack by Jay Conrad Levinson, page 149

My wife and I were recently having dinner at a hotel restaurant in Reno, NV. By my definition it was just another hotel and just another hotel restaurant. It was time to eat and the convenience of this eatery took precedent over hunting for the perfect culinary experience in Reno.

That is when Casey appeared on the scene and began to perform his subtle magic. What he did exactly is not the point of today’s insertion. The fact that we both took immediate notice to what he did and, more importantly, appreciated the way he did it is the point. Read the rest of this entry »

“With the influx of small businesses in all categories of products and services, only the most aggressive marketers will survive.”

Guerilla Marketing Attack by Jay Conrad Levinson, page 77

I am not certain that I care for the word aggressive here, but I know what the author is trying to say. I might have chosen the words, serious, persistent, creative, focused, thick-skinned, or whacky. Aggressive conjures up thoughts of fisticuffs. Maybe it is just me.

With thanks going to the fluctuating economy, the introduction of the Internet, and the ease of running a business from any table in your house, small business and entrepreneurship has become tantamount to an epidemic. (Albeit a good one.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

MONEYBACK is Mexico’s leading tax refund service provider for international travelers with over 55 service locations throughout the country covering 98% of all the points of departure. MONEYBACK opened its doors in August 2008, offering tax refund services in Mexico City and Los Cabos. Since then, the company has expanded to Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, and Guadalajara, among many other destinations in Mexico. Operated by travel industry professionals who understand the needs of international travelers visiting Mexico, MONEYBACK prides itself in offering fast and efficient tax refund services to leisure and business travelers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Steering your business

As kids, we were often asked, “So what do you want to be when you grow up?” Back then, a pretty clear picture usually came up – doctor, nurse, teacher, pilot, accountant, or maybe a designer, mechanic, or artist. What you wanted to do back then, versus what you wound up doing in your career undoubtedly changed a bit. Today when we go to professional networking and social events, we’re always asked, “So what do you do?” The 30-second elevator pitch is expected. Although I’ve tweaked it, I silently think, “But I do more than that! I wear multiple hats!” As travel professionals, how do we successfully steer and grow our businesses while having to wear all those different hats? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

When most wine enthusiasts reminisce about their favorite Shiraz, Merlot, or Chardonnay, they may be surprised to find that many of their favorite brands came from the Land Down Under. Australia, specifically the state of South Australia, is the world’s fourth largest exporter of wine, and 60% of its production is consumed internationally. Wine and vineyard tourism has also exploded in the region, with many visitors to Australia coming to try the country’s signature vintages in both reds and whites.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

India as a whole is an anomaly to many travelers, and besides the sprawling city of Mumbai, Western India is a mystery to even more. But this region is filled with stunning vibrant cities, peaceful temples, unconventional architecture, and sun-filled beaches, and all within easy reach. Whether you’re looking to zipline from an ancient fort or go kitesurfing along one of Western India’s many beaches, it’s all here waiting for you. Read the rest of this entry »

“The more you have presold your prospects with other marketing, direct and otherwise, the more likely they are to buy your product.”

Guerilla Marketing Attack by Jay Conrad Levinson, page 44

Today’s quote leads us back to the notion that the primary purpose of marketing is to get more of the right people to know, like, and trust you. This leads me directly to the million-dollar question: What is the best, fastest, and cheapest way to accomplish this formidable task?

Let me begin by asking the question, “What exactly is it that you want to have presold?” Answer:

(1) Your knowledge,

(2) Your personality,

(3) The value you bring to the relationship,

(4) Your track record, and

(5) Your professional approach to the service sector. How hard can that be? Read the rest of this entry »

Here we are, nearly the end of October. The leaves are falling from the trees, temperatures are descending, and the year is rapidly coming to a close. I have had to turn my heat on as I write this morning. My blood is still thin from my 13 years in Tennessee, but I have to say I am adapting and loving my new location here in New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry »

“Don’t wait! Great marketing ideas tend to be copied until virtually everyone is on the bandwagon. That’s when you should drop off.”

Guerilla Marketing Attack by Jay Conrad Levinson, page 85

As far as today’s quote goes, I agree and disagree. It is true that in today’s rapid and ever-changing world of commerce, ideas come and go. This holds particularly true for marketing ideas. There seems to be another “flavor-of-the-month” hot strategy being promoted every time you turn on your computer.

The truth of the matter is that most of the ideas hold water in that if they are implemented properly, they will work in your favor. This supports my claim that “everything you do under the umbrella of marketing can work… although most of it works poorly.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

head shotKallie Biggs is the Travel Agent Market Manager for American Cruise Lines with extensive experience in marketing, sales, and business development over a range of travel and hospitality-focused industries. During her career, she held several onboard positions for a variety of cruise lines and also worked at Europe Express, gaining valuable experience as part of the sales and marketing team. Kallie served as a Contributing Board Member for the Young Travel Professionals of Seattle with the title of Communications and Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Washington University, and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Washington.
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Posted In: Editorial Musings

To heck with best practices

Our world is cluttered with clichés and phrases… most of which are meaningless. “The mission of XYZ Travel is to provide wonderful experiences. We make memories. We think out of the box. We have applied a paradigm shift to the travel industry and turned it on end, blah, blah, blah.” And my personal favorite—best practices. I say to heck with best practices. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Honoring mistakes

I’m uncertain of the metaphysical reality of karma, but something about it rings true to me.  If there is indeed anything to the notion, however, I shudder at what an absolute mess I must have been in my previous life, because the particular one I’m living now seems completely devoted to teaching me by trial and error. The mistakes I have made in business, as a parent, partner, and human being are legion.

A distant mentor suggests we learn to celebrate our mistakes. I not only concur, I consider it necessary.  Read the rest of this entry »