Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Window of Opportunity

Here is a story I think you might connect with.

When I was a little boy, my grandmother and my two aunts lived in the country. It was affectionately known as “The Farm.” In fact, it is where I live now. The Farm was where the grandchildren spent the summer months. “Sweet corn and bonfires” was the family motto during those days spent in the fresh air.

The truth was that our parents “farmed” us out to the country each summer and that was okay by us. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

In Argentina’s south, lies the gorgeous and infamous Patagonian region. Known for its exquisite beauty and breathtaking adventures, Patagonia is a must see to those visiting Argentina.

The Patagonian region of South America also includes Chile, although most of it resides within Argentina. Patagonia was named by Magellan, referring to the Tehuelche people’s large moccasins, which made their feet appear huge. Charles Darwin’s account of the native wildlife in Patagonia is still considered as relevant today as it was back then. This gives an indication of how authentically wild Patagonia remains 170 years later. In the “little known fact” category, Patagonia is also the final resting place of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.

Remember that travel agents can use 60-Second Geography articles on their websites and in their newsletters!
Read the rest of this entry »

The Logic Behind The Follow Up Email

The reminder came to me yesterday. Allow me to explain.

I was talking in length with a good friend of mine on my monthly phone call within to catch up, solve the world’s problems and in short, tell each other how smart we both are. (Hey! We all need applause, even if we have to give it to ourselves.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Swinging at curve balls

When life hands you lemons; the adage says you make lemonade. You swing at a curve ball. But let’s be real here for a moment. When you get lemons, sometimes you just want to wallow in a pity party. But then, you need to pick yourself up again, reinvent yourself, and carry on. It’s called entrepreneurship and it is what we do. Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Understanding SWOT

Annually a company needs to be reminded of the need for a SWOT analysis.  The SWOT acronym indicates Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The traditional SWOT looks at Strengths and Weaknesses of a business (internal factors) and tries to thereby ascertain the relationship with Opportunities and Threats (factors external to the agency). Doing an annual SWOT analysis is a good pre-requisite to a marketing plan and assists with developing the appropriate goals for your travel practice.

Generally speaking, your travel practice has certain strengths that justify its existence. These strengths give rise to opportunities that your competition may not be able to challenge. On the other hand, your agency probably has weaknesses that provide an opening to your competition where they are better capable than you of taking advantage of the market. A SWOT Analysis makes each of these factors clear  and provides a guideline for approaching each in your planning. Our SWOT Analysis Worksheet will assist you in performing your own analysis. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

King Cartoons – February 24, 2017

This once was somewhat amusing. It has become downright annoying and totally confusing. The message is incredibly sad, but comes with an enormous opportunity. I am betting that I have your attention.

I once had a drainage problem in my backyard. I tried everything that did not come with a price. Nothing worked. It is time to pay the fiddler.

I called an equipment rental company and left a detailed message indicating that my wallet was out and I was meaning “business.” That was ten days ago. No call back. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Promoting Days at Sea

Do you have clients that get caught up in analyzing cruise itineraries, and are concerned about “too many” days at sea? Days at sea get a bad rap. I find this happens mostly with new cruisers who aren’t familiar with days at sea. Many neophytes think days at sea will be boring. This is where we hear the worry about being “stuck” on a ship with no escape. The majority of my seasoned cruisers appreciate days at sea as a form of relaxation between their activity-packed port days. It’s a matter of educating the unexperienced cruisers so they will also appreciate their days at sea. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Today we’re in a gorgeous Greek town known as Symi. We’re going to hop on the island’s only tour bus with a local guide, head up to the upper town, walk along some narrow streets, visit a beautiful church and an abandoned fortress, and then make our way back down to the waterfront. We’ve got a lot to see, so let’s get going.

Situated just 25 miles northwest of Rhodes, Symi feels about as authentic as you can get when it comes to a traditional Greek fishing village.

Actually, Symi is known for its sponges, and many a Symian has been active in sponge diving in his lifetime. Those who operate the sponge shops along the waterfront have some great stories to tell about the prosperous days of the sponge industry. Don’t be shy about chatting with them. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

What makes you special?

Torstein Hagen founder and Chairman or Viking (River) Cruises, said in a recent interview. “We are focused clearly on what we are and the number of things we are not.”
In a world where everyone and every business from Costco to Sea Ray Boats seems to be selling travel, how can you not only survive but thrive to build the business and lifestyle of your dreams?

If you want to stand out among the plethora of options – get clear on who you are and who you are not. Ask yourself these two simple questions. “What makes me special?” and “What do I want to be known for?”
Read the rest of this entry »

When people meet you for the first time, there are three questions they will be asking themselves … and they all concern you and your future relationship. They may not physically ask you these questions, but they will be thinking of them.
They’re going to look at you and silently ask themselves:

  1. “Can I trust this person?” That’s the first question that’s going to cross their mind, “Can I trust this person?”
  2. The second question is, “Does this person know what he/she is talking about?”
  3. The third question they will ask themselves is “Do they care about me?”

If you give some thought to these three questions you can furnish the appropriate answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Part of the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) wide-ranging benchmark reporting program, the upcoming annual ASTA Financial Benchmarking report provides a bountiful amount of data and information on the financial trends of ASTA agency members including revenue, sales, transactions, number of clients, profit and so on. This information will be very beneficial to current and prospective ASTA members, consortia, franchise companies, host agencies and supplier partners alike. Read the rest of this entry »

Elephants Don’t Bite

Today I want to talk to you about the value and the importance of little things.

Allow me to focus on the women reading this article for a moment. If you and I were going out for a cup of coffee, and I came around to the passenger-side of my car and opened my car door for you, the question I have is, “Would you notice that courtesy?”

I happen to believe that 99.99% of women who have their car door opened for them would notice that courtesy. You would also notice the courtesy of flowers for no particular reason. Women notice little things. All people notice little things.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

South African Airways

South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s most awarded airline, offers flights to more places in Southern Africa than any other airline. Together, SAA and our regional partners, South African Express, Mango, and Airlink, offer service to over 75 destinations throughout Africa. SAA’s route network means greater convenience, with through check-in and baggage handling, affordable fares and a wider choice of flights for your clients travelling to, from and within the African continent. Read the rest of this entry »

Destroying The Four Myths Associated Of Sales

A few years back I wrote a book on sales that if I do say so myself, is still a pretty good read. I titled it “Become the Exception” for obvious reasons. I’m not promoting the book in this article but I would like to highlight the first four chapters. They focus on four popular selling myths.

Myth Number One: Selling is a numbers game.
You’ve heard this. If you make enough calls and send enough emails you will eventually sell something. This is the old numbers game approach. It might have been effective a few years back, but I believe this to be a myth. Ladies and gentlemen, selling is no longer a numbers game. That philosophy has fast become yesterday’s news. Read the rest of this entry »

Reciprocity: A Rule Worth Studying

Today’s message brings me back to a time when I was 10 years old. If you asked me, or a great number of grown men how they managed to meet their first girlfriend, they would all share a similar story.

A young boy is introduced to his first girlfriend in the 5th grade at the age of ten. The reason I know this is because that’s the age we realize that women exist. Until that point it was all about basketball, football and baseball. (I may be generalizing, but just a tad.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings


Hopefully as you grow your business you are taking advantage of all the mistakes people who have come before you have made. I know I have made more than my share of them. Hopefully, you are also taking advantage of the successes they have experienced. Learning from others usually is a tremendous asset to any business. But the one question I have for you is “where do you look for these warnings and inspiration?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Make No Mistake?

Mistakes get a bad rap.  Experience may be a rough teacher, but like the curriculum taught by Ms. Lambert (3d Grade, Knob Elementary, Princeton, West Virginia), you tend not to forget the lessons. Still she haunts my dreams.

My father consoled me with one of his aphorisms: “If you are not making mistakes, you are not trying hard enough.”

When we make a mistake, we are taught to apologize.  Good advice.  If we are not smart enough to admit our mistakes and apologize for them, we implicitly  explain their origin all too clearly.  But simply apologizing for mistakes under-values their worth. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

River Cruising in the U.S.

River cruising is a great product for travel consultants to sell for so many reasons. River cruises are great for our clients that have exhausted the ocean cruise itineraries, without dipping into the longer itineraries of 30 nights or longer. They’re also a great alternative for the client that is worried about motion sickness. Like the Alaska inside passage, river cruises are operating in waterways that aren’t subjected to significant wave action, reducing the feeling of movement. And then there are the itineraries. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Posted In: Deck Plans

A guided stroll through the seaside town of Calvi reveals much of its history – from its humble beginnings as a fishing village, to its century in the sun as a Genoese stronghold, and its current status as a charming vacation getaway.

For an excellent overview of the city, head up to the Calvi citadel, perched on a rocky hillside overlooking the port. Enter through the citadel’s thick gates to the Place d’Armes and on to the Cathedral St Jean Baptiste, set upon the highest point of the promontory. Founded in the 13th century, the cathedral was partially destroyed during the Turkish siege in 1553, and later rebuilt in the form of a Greek cross. Also visit the Oratoire St Antoine to admire its Italian frescoes. Read the rest of this entry »