Monthly Archives: March 2018

Posted In: Preview

Adventuring the Atacama With Marnella

Atacama desert is the driest desert on Earth. But, don’t let this turn you away from its stunning beauty and stillness. It is a place for adventurers, with many activities and sites: trekking, climbing, archaeological sightings, amateur astronomy, to even sand boarding down magnificent dunes—Marnella wants to show you the majesty of the Atacama Desert.

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I pride myself as being an upbeat, self-motivated, make-it-happen type of guy. In fact, my business card labels me as a “Motivational Speaker,” so I must be squared away more often than not.

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Posted In: cartoons

Posted In: Deck Plans

With the 2018 European river cruise season about to begin in a few weeks, we’re gearing up for a number of adventures on the rivers. How to make the most of those? Certainly, pre-planning is key to extracting the maximum enjoyment from time on the rivers. It’s important to note that pre-planning extends to both getting to the river cruise and being on the river cruise.

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Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Britain in Brief

Britain in Brief

If you’re working on a customised UK tour for a couple of clients or thinking seriously about developing a small group tour for a niche market, take a close look at this eclectic mix of bright ideas. One, or more, of them could be just what you’re looking for. The news gets even better as there’s plenty more where they come from.

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Posted In: Soundings

Gratuities, Again

It seems that every time we turn around, one of the cruise lines increases their gratuity amounts. It was roughly 3 years ago that gratuities were approximately $12 per passenger, per day. With Norwegian Cruise Line’s most recent announcement, taking effect this Sunday April 1, 2018, their standard gratuities are increasing to $14.50 per passenger, per day. Their last increase was exactly one year ago, and before that there were two increases in 2015 (May 1 and August 1, increasing to $12.95 then to $13.50 respectively).

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Posted In: Spotlight

Margot Windenburg is the Senior Sales Manager, North America for AAT Kings and has worked in tourism focusing on Australia and New Zealand for the better part of 20 years.  She has held roles in the retail, wholesale and tour operator side of the travel industry and has traveled to the South Pacific 30+ times and has a great passion for the destination.  Her favorite destination in Australia is sunny Tropical North Queensland and in New Zealand, the adventure capitol of Queenstown. To learn more about Margot and AAT Kings, read on.

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Posted In: Departures

Bordeaux, France is known for its prestigious wines and famous vineyards. But, there is much more to the historic city known as “Little Paris”. Thanks to Collette, you can learn more about this relaxed French city.

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Posted In: TRO SMITH

You know what it’s like to drive thru a tunnel; dark, dank, and twisty. While in this tunnel the only possibilities are to carry on straight ahead. There’s no option for a detour, or to add any more passengers along the way.

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Think-Do-Achieve

Let’s focus on the following systematic approach.

1.Think – 2. Do – 3. Achieve

(1) Write one letter to a person in your community who has made a difference. You can pick out this person from your morning readings in your local newspaper. Acknowledge their contribution and invite them for a cup of coffee.

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Hit Me With Your Best Stuff

I remember telling a room full of high school seniors to run away from negative influences in their lives. I reminded them that it is easier to “neg” people out than it is to lift them up… and that misery loves company… and it is in their best interest to stay away from the “downers” at all costs.

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Posted In: Supplier Profile

The communication from supplier to travel agent, and vice versa, can be confusing at times. Both are in the business of travel; yet, there are aspects and motivations that differ greatly. Even so, it can be a boon to work with people who understand the difficulties of your profession. Thanks to ShoreTrips, that gap is bridged by their personal experience of once being a travel agent.

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March 24th’s Student March On Washington

There has never been room in my column for politics, religion, or the justification for an airline’s absurd cancellation policies. I tend to shy away from things I can’t change, and I have never been asked my personal opinion.

That being said, my respect for the so-called intelligent adults in our society is sinking faster than the SS Titanic after playing chicken with an iceberg. On the other hand, my opinion of our youth has risen since listening to the speeches this past weekend in Washington by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Bangkok, the center of Thai culture and capital of Thailand, is a major metropolitan city that bustles with life at every turn. From ornate shrines to a vivid nightlife, Bangkok inspires wonder in the traveler. Thanks to Back-Roads Touring Co., you can learn a bit more about this wondrous city.

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The Power of Stories

Today is Monday and this happened to me just last night.  The message was so BIG I just had to share with you.

A few days ago I received an email promoting a new book from a gentleman whose name I recognized. The book was free if I paid the postage and handling charge.  The topic made sense and the price was right. I sent for the book.

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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Inspiration. Usually it hits me in the middle of the night when my glasses are nowhere to be found and my 2am “note to myself” look more like a chicken got into a bottle of ink than anything else. If not then, the shower is always a solid second. Both are rife for me forgetting about the latest great idea. But not this weekend. This weekend I was awake, dry, and armed with a pen and a place to use it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Filling the Pipeline

A key objective of marketing your travel planning practice is assuring a flow of new clients through the door. Retention of your existing clients is absolutely necessary and challenging in and of itself, but the acquisition of new clients provides for growth. If you are not taking measures to acquire new clients, attrition of your existing base will mean your business will decline over time.

Remember our discussion of the sales funnel?  Typically, only a small percentage of your leads pan out into actual travel planning opportunities.  In order to maintain the volume you need for a healthy business, your marketing activities must be robust and continual.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

King Cartoons – March 23, 2018

Posted In: Deck Plans

The last time I was at a shipyard with Silver Spirit, I had breakfast (consisting of pizza, olive oil and coffee as black as motor oil) with shipyard workers in the bowels of the ship. As someone who had become accustomed to Silversea’s ultra-luxury style of cruising, I found the company’s new flagship to be uncharacteristically spartan. I overnighted on a lumpy cot in a Veranda Suite. I bathed with a giant bar of Palmolive soap (no Bvlgari to be seen) and dried myself with a towel about half the size of a newspaper. The carpet in my suite was covered with plastic that crinkled with my every step; the lights and electrical outlets worked fine, though – most of the time.
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The Mind Quits First!

Under the pressure of day-to-day business, it will sometime sound like a good idea to “throw in the towel”… to quit. For some of you, this may very well be sage advice. For most of you, however, it will prove to be a huge mistake.

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Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

It All Comes Down to This One Thing!

Everything, and I mean everything, you have done is to get to this point – this step.  Building a solid foundation by establishing your authority and your brand. All the marketing you have created, participated in, and paid for. All the time and effort proactively reaching out to potential customers. This huge physical, emotional, and financial investment is all to drive you to the next and arguably most important step in the sales acceleration process. Without it, we would not be in a position to serve our customers; because frankly, we wouldn’t have any.

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