Saying goodbye to a good friend of 8 years
Well, the title sounds a bit more melodramatic than reality; but hey, you’re reading. As is tradition at TRO, we are taking the last two weeks of the year to refresh, relax, and rejuvenate. New columns may be sparse as we revamp for 2017, which will be here sooner than we realize. And with every New Year comes fresh ideas; and sometimes, they replace older ones. And such is the case with the TRO Travel Agent Diary series.
In 2009, Richard Earls (TRO Publisher) and I contrived a way to have regular, everyday travel professionals help one another. Of course, every trade journal had the so-called experts weighing in, but none seemed to have the “common man” perspective. And with that mindset, the Travel Agent Diary series was born.
For 8 years we have sought 5 or 6 guinea pigs to spill their guts to the world. By design, we sought a variety of agents—home based, leisure, corporate, specialists, small agencies, large agencies, and anything in-between. We have had host agencies and hosted agents. We have had US-based agents and others based in Europe and Canada. And, as much as I hated to do it, we included a MLM agent as well. The concept was simple—we all have challenges and successes, and if we can share them amongst the nearly 100,000 agents on TRO, we all could rise to higher levels.
And we did.
As I look back on the past 8 years of editing the columns and working weekly with the agents, it is so interesting to see how some have prospered, how some have maintained the course, and still a few seem to have disappeared altogether.
But one thing that is certain—we all learned. Each week as I reviewed and edited their columns, I learned more and it made me a better professional. Judging from the comments left on TRO and the emails sent to the diarists and myself… thousands of others also learned a lot.
We grew together. We saw what worked; and equally important, we saw what failed.
After eight fantastic years, we have decided to put the series on hiatus. Of course it will live on forever online, and I encourage you to review them and read them. Every single one offers at least a small tidbit of advice to make you a better agent.
And to the 42 travel agents who agreed to put themselves on display for the world… I thank you. Not only from me personally, but from my “editor’s chair” at TRO and for the thousands of agents who benefited from your candor.
And with that, tomorrow morning, sometime between 4am and 5am, the final Travel Agent Diary will appear online. What will it be? Tune in tomorrow as Monique Gramby takes us out.
It’s been a great ride and I am so looking forward to new and exciting things from TRO in 2017!
Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!