Monthly Archives: April 2018

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Are you a “Travel Agent”?

Words matter. The decision to style an occupation one way or another can make a tremendous difference in the public’s perception of a profession. “Flight attendants” used to be “stewards” and that “waitress” at dinner last night was a “server.” However, the person who opened your wine was a sommelier. Had a professional massage lately?  If so, in 38 states you had a licensed practitioner known as a “massage therapist”, not a “masseuse.”  In the other twelve states…well, you tell us. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

El Calafate’s Splendor with Aerolineas Argentinas

El Calafate sits near the bottom of the world, nestled near the southernmost point of Patagonia, Argentina. It is a wondrous place full of sights rarely seen anywhere else. From caves to glaciers to still, blue lakes—El Calafate is the nature lovers paradise. And, today, Aerolineas Argentinas wants you to know all about this magical place.

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Posted In: Soundings

Travel Agent Beware

Travel agents need to beware of supplier policies which can impact our commissions. I learned a painful lesson the hard way, so I’m sharing it here in hopes that other travel agents can avoid my pain. Here it is: not all supplier gift cards or credit cards are travel agent friendly.

Here’s My Experience

My local grocery store gives double fuel points for gift card purchases, and sometimes they will offer quadruple fuel points. It was during one of these 4x points times that I purchased some cruise line gift cards to apply to my own cruise. What I did not know in advance was that these gift cards are applied as a cruise fare credit, not as a payment. What happens when the cruise fare is reduced with a credit

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Posted In: Agent Perspectives

As a cruise junkie (40+ cruises), a professional travel writer and photographer, and a normal human, I never leave home without my Apple iPhone X. Despite this, I would never go on a cruise with just a smartphone or tablet as my only camera.

Most of your cruise clients probably own smartphones or tablets. For the past few years, these devices have had state-of-the-art cameras built into them. Under most situations, they produce some great pictures. Sending photos to others via emails or texts is easy, and all the images are stored in the Cloud where even you can’t lose them. Most importantly, clients will be shooting with a camera that they already know how to use.

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Posted In: cartoons

Posted In: Deck Plans


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announces itineraries and shore excursion categories for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Whether visiting a celebrated destination or one that is off the beaten path, guests will benefit from a dedicated Concierge Ashore in addition to five distinct categories of shore excursions, including Iconic Sights; Stirring the Senses; Cultural Connections; Active Explorations; and Epicurean Experiences.

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Allow me to explain today’s message in my new short and concise format. I was once flying to Phoenix, and then onto Miami for a couple of speaking assignments. (I love this game!)

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Posted In: Support@

The one certainty about trade show promotion is it is harder than it looks. The entire process must be a well coordinated and timed convergence of the right suppliers, the right speakers and a collection of travel professionals. This year, Travel Show Marketing Group’s Las Vegas Travel Agent Forum demonstrated how adept the group has become at putting together an exceptional travel agent trade show and received well deserved praise from both suppliers and travel professionals for their efforts.

The Stats: 900 travel agents in attendance with 130 Hosted Agents each whom boasted a vetted one million dollar annual production. More than 280 vendors were on site to exhibit, in total more than 1,700 travel professionals from across the world.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

  1. Adjust lighting – Check!
  2. Comb hair – Check!
  3. Test microphone – Check!
  4. Shoot Video! –Check!
  5. Build Relationship! –Work in Progress!

Are you crazy-excited about all the new options to grow relationships and gain clients with your latest video?

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If you are over the age of 35 and happen to have children, nephews, or neighbors over the age of 10, you know exactly what I am about to say. Young people seem to already “know” just about everything. This erroneous belief I am sad to say, is not limited to just young people. Based on too many personal observations, there are too many adults who seem to “know” everything they think they need to know.

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Posted In: Departures

Tel Aviv, translated as ‘The Hill of Spring’, is a modern and fresh city in Israel. The city has a mix of beaches for relaxation and a vibrant, cosmopolitan cityscape. All of this, combined with its roots to Judaism creates a stark, yet familiar, connection to Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is chock full of cultural happenings, and Dan Hotels wants you know all about this great city.

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Posted In: Supplier Profile

Founded in 2017 by husband and wife duo Jeff and Gina Paglialonga, Teeming River Cruises has come a long way from its beginnings. Jeff and Gina are no strangers to the travel industry. These high school sweethearts have been traveling the world for years, having visited 6 of 7 continents and giving everyone in their family the gift of travel. This led them to create a river cruise company that caters to the passengers needs and explorations, a chance for travelers to customize how they want to spend their hard-earned vacation time.

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I Can’t Listen Anymore!

I recently invested one-hour of my time listening to an on-line webinar from a “professional.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

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Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Adventure to Skagway with ShoreTrips

Skagway is known to historians for the Klondike Goldrush, to bookophiles as the setting for Jack London’s Call of the Wild, and to travelers as a natural paradise to slow down and relax. Skagway is picturesque in its Alaskan beauty, and ShoreTrips wants you know all about it.

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This just in: LinkedIn Groups

Group: Travel & Tourism Industry Professionals Worldwide

“I specialize in Team Building, Continuous Improvements, Cost Control, Customer Relations, Customer Satisfaction, Customer service, Front Office, more than 3 years of experience in Front Office & Customer Relationship management. Flexible, attention to detail, and ability to learn quickly, good communications skills and friendly attitude, and excellent management skills.”

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Posted In: Outposts

According to mythology Crete was the hiding place of Zeus as a newborn, brought by the goddess Rhea to be raised in peace. It’s easy to understand why the people thought this. Crete is a place where you can find beautiful beaches, ancient culture, and fulfilling cuisine. It’s an all-in-one island getaway with a link to thousands of years of history. Thanks to Cosmopolitan Travel Service, you’ll find out a bit more about this paradise.

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Lose Your “Chattering Monkey”

What I am referring to as the “chattering monkey” is that little voice in the back of your head that keeps reminding you of your inferiority. The phrase is not mine. I stole it from Seth Godin.

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Posted In: 1:1

Ronen Nissenbaum is the new President and CEO of Dan Hotels. He has rich and extensive background in the hotel industry in Israel and overseas. He has served as Vice President of Luxury Operations for Hilton Hotels, and was responsible for 15 hotels and three hotels in pre-opening stages. He has also served as the Managing Director of Waldorf-Astoria in New York, one of the most famous hotels in the world. In addition, Nissenbaum held a number of senior positions with InterContinental. And, three years opening Disneyland in Paris.


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Posted In: Editorial Musings

With 2.13 billion users, Facebook is the largest social media platform and is a place that cannot be ignored for business promotion and growth..despite what the kids say today.

Are you using all the tools available on Facebook to grow your travel agency? Video streaming…or Facebook Live anyone? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Do I hear an objection?

You no doubt have clients who trust you implicitly and will take your advice without question. In the early stages of any relationship, however, the client may have reservations you will have to explore and overcome. Too many travel professionals fear objections, but they are an important feature of the sales landscape. Don’t mistake the value of an objection to both you and the client.

As with many steps in the sales process, timing is everything and objections are no exception.

Encourage your clients to verbalize objections as early in the sales process as is possible. Better to deal with an objection early rather than encountering as a rebuttle to your proposal later in the presentation.  Objections may arise at any point in the relationship.  Early in the relationship, the objections may deal with the client’s hesitation to use a travel agent.  The element of trust is not yet present in the relationship and the client might perceive the travel planner as not fully invested in the client’s best interests. Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Really Care?

I decided to write today’s message on the “caring” moments after I received an email from one of my friends last week.

This advice often is construed as “sour grapes,” but never a truer message has been delivered. It is not all about fame, and money and notoriety. Far from it.

Not because I say so, but because you are about to say so.

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