Author Archives: Brandi Lessner

There are 109 articles by Brandi Lessner published on this site.


Patagonia by Aerolineas Argentinas

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!
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ShoreTrips Shore Excursions

Barry and Julie Karp founded ShoreTrips over 10 years ago. They found a niche that had been ignored: an independent company that could provide tours and excursions in ports and major cities. This created increased revenue for agents who now have many activity options in addition to what cruises lines or suppliers offer. Barry and Julie have grown during the past decade to offer excursions from Alaska and Hawaii to the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

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Alaska by ShoreTrips

The Last Frontier. Also known as the 49th State and home to some of the most ecologically diverse and remarkable ecosystems in the world, Alaska is in its prime. Making the transition between the cold winter months and the warming, albeit still cool summer months, this very moment is the ideal time to explore our most northern state.

The fusion of nature and mankind presents visitors with a delicate blend, offering the best both can offer in picturesque settings – old towns from the gold rush days standing in the shadows of snow-covered mountains, their reflection bouncing off the lake in front of them. What could possibly be better than that?

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Vacation Express, one of the largest tour operators in the southeast United States, announced at the beginning of 2012 it had been wholly acquired by Sunwing Travel Group Inc., a family-owned and operated, Toronto-based company and Canada’s leading vertically integrated leisure travel company.

Within a month of the company’s new ownership announcement, Vacation Express got their Sunwing Airlines program up and running and open for sale, and it’s been a booking frenzy ever since.

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O’ahu by Blue Sky Tours

There may be no more diverse destination on the planet than O’ahu. The terrain is amazingly varied – deserts, beaches and lush rainforests, mountains and oceans, deep valleys and soaring volcanoes and the available activities are almost without end. Thanks to Blue Sky Tours, you can use 60-Second Geography articles in your newsletters and on your websites. Read the rest of this entry »

With over 31 years of dedicated travel planning and a variety of destinations and vacations to choose from, Avanti Destinations aims high to please: they want your clients to enjoy every moment of their vacation.

A leader for independent travel to Europe, Latin America and Mexico, Avanti specializes in a wide range of modular FIT packages including air, rail, cars, hotels, sightseeing, transfers and other experiential travel options that appeal to all types of travelers. Whether clients are looking for an epic odyssey through Italy or just want to experience the excitement of zip-lining over the tree tops in the jungles of Costa Rica, Avanti Destinations has an itinerary just for them.

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Ralph Grizzle founded the Avid Cruiser in 2004, first a print magazine before going fully digital in 2007. He began his journalistic career at the age of 32, following the conclusion of a ‘sabbatical decade.’ From 1980 through 1990, Ralph bicycled across America, pedaled through Europe and island-hopped the South Pacific. At the end of his travels he landed in Switzerland before returning home, where he settled, quite naturally, into a career of travel writing.

Now, over 20 years later, Ralph’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and numerous consumer magazines. The North American Travel Journalism Association awarded his article, “Ship Shape”, which appeared in the September 2005 issue of Hemispheres, in the category of ‘Best Cruise Writing.’ He has also published four books, including Remembering Charles Kuralt.

TRO: What inspired your love of travel?

RG: It’s really the same thing that inspires me today, which is a love for seeing how other people live, tasting the food they eat, experiencing the lifestyles they live, hearing the languages they speak. Plus I love connecting with others. What I’ve noticed about Americans is we love to connect to other people. I haven’t found that to be so true in other countries but here, for some reason, we really care and we want to connect.

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Cancun by Vacation Express

Cancun has become a second home for North American travelers looking for great beaches, lots of sun and exciting nightlife. Mayan ruins sit next door to world-class accommodations and tourism facilities, with water sports and natural attractions close at hand. Only a couple of hours from many United States cities, Cancun is one of the most accessible international destinations available. Use the article below in your own newsletters and on your websites, compliments of Vacation Express!

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Modern Germany’s liberalism and progressive status stands in stark contrast to its profoundly volatile history. Visit Germany with Avanti Destinations and see the an ideal starting point for any visit to Europe – Germany borders nine other countries. Remember, you can use 60-Second Geography articles in your newsletters and on your websites. Read the rest of this entry »

TravelSafe has been the “innovator & leader” in travel insurance for over 40 years! A company that pushes the limits by providing the highest standards of protection, services and benefits to travel professionals and their customers since 1971…

TravelSafe has been the first to introduce many innovative products, such as the ever-popular Cancel for Any Reason “cash-back” benefit, which was introduced over six years ago.  Since that introduction, TravelSafe improved and tweaked the benefit even more, but as of recent, they pushed the limit to another level by even protecting recalled travel agent supplier commissions for customers that Cancel for “Any” Reason.  Click Here for more details.
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Spain by Avanti Destinations

Considered one of the hottest destinations in all of Europe and the world, the Iberian Peninsula country of Spain is high up on the favorites list of tourists around the globe. Its expansive coast, both bordering the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, provide a great location for beach lovers to relax, bask in the sun and, of course, partake in a variety of outdoor activities.

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City Escape Holidays was founded in 1991 by Bo Adams. He entered the travel industry in 1969, working for a small travel agency in Rockville, Maryland. According to Adams, “I got tired of writing DCA to LGA tickets, but decided I really liked the travel business.”

In 1970, he started a job as District Manager for a travel rep company and worked his way up to Vice President of SuperCities but elected to start City Escapes instead of transfer to Los Angeles in 1991. City Escape Holidays just celebrated its 20 anniversary, all the while selling its products exclusively through travel agencies.

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The Cyclades by Destination Greece

The Cycladic Islands, properly termed The Cyclades, are a Greek island group in the Aegean Sea, south-east of the mainland of Greece. The Cyclades is where the native Greek breed of cat (the Aegean cat) first originated.

The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, including the major ones of Mykonos and Santorini. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited. The islands are simply the peaks of a giant underwater mountain range with the exception of Milos and Santorini which are volcanic. The climate is generally dry and mild and does not support too much in terms of agriculture. Wine, fruit, wheat, olive oil, and tobacco are about all these islands produce.

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Flanders, the northern region of Belgium consisting of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges is a delightful addition to any European vacation. Just a short train ride from London, Paris or Amsterdam, these breathtaking cities provide a myriad of chocolate, diamonds, beer, extraordinary architecture and art.

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Flanders, the northern region of Belgium consisting of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges is a delightful addition to any European vacation. Just a short train ride from London, Paris or Amsterdam, these breathtaking cities provide a myriad of chocolate, diamonds, beer, extraordinary architecture and art.

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ShoreTrips Shore Excursions

Barry and Julie Karp founded ShoreTrips over 10 years ago. They found a niche that had been ignored: an independent company that could provide tours and excursions in ports and major cities. This created increased revenue for agents who now have many activity options in addition to what cruises lines or suppliers offer.  Barry and Julie have grown during the past decade to offer excursions from Alaska and Hawaii to the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

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Geri Jacobs, the Director of the Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels, has a background in Marketing and Communications having previously worked as a Brand Strategist for international projects with AB Inbev, Heineken, Coca-Cola, Virgin Express and Brussels Airlines. Tourism from the US to Flanders has experienced a double-digit growth over the last 2 years, something Geri Jacobs attributes to a core strategy of killing your darlings and an increasingly theme-based or special interest approach, combined with forging strong partnerships within the travel sector.

TRO: Please explain the Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels’ operations in the U.S.

GJ: The Tourist Office for Flanders-Brussels (www.visitflanders.us) represents the Flemish-speaking region in the North of Belgium. Our aim is, first and foremost, to educate people about the destination. After all, Flanders and Brussels are not very well-known compared to other western European countries. Secondly, we want to inspire people by sharing real and authentic ideas for trips. Storytelling is a big part of what we do, as we usually get blank stares when we mention Flanders.

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Blue Sky Tours, one of the travel industry’s leading Hawai’i wholesale companies, is excited to announce the launch of their new loyalty program – Mahalo Money!  Blue Sky Tours wants to reward the loyal Travel Agents who make their Hawaii bookings with them and the Mahalo Money Loyalty Program does just that with cash.

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Born into the travel industry, Akshay Shah is the vice president of marketing for Sky Bird Travel & Tours, Inc.  He is currently the president of United States airline consolidation Association and is on several boards of advisors for different organizations.

TRO: The term “consolidator” seems to mean any number of things in today’s industry. Can you please explain what it means for Sky Bird? 

AS: For Sky Bird the term consolidator means an agency that works strictly with other travel agents to provide opportunities to earn revenue by selling international airfare. In addition, we listen to our travel partners and take their concerns to the airlines and create a win-win scenario in selling international destinations.

It is unfortunate that, within the travel industry, agencies use this term for marketing purposes only. They may even call themselves a consolidator despite the fact they don’t issue the tickets themselves. This is why Sky Bird is a proud member of USACA, which helps the industry understand exactly who consolidators are.

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On July 17, 1980, All About Travel, Inc. opened its doors in Beaverton, Oregon. Established by Gerry Mayes as a corporate and leisure travel company, Gerry soon recognized that the Portland region was not adequately represented and a need existed for tour operators located in the Northwest to serve the travelers from Oregon and Washington. Buddy Mayes, with 25 years of airline experience, 15 of those in the Northwest working with local agents, understood the needs of the area and met the challenge of negotiating airline contracts, putting together land packages, and successfully filling an industry void. Their endeavors have proved an overwhelming success.

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Belgium

Belgium is fractured along the age-old European great divide between the Germanic north and the Latin south. This division is expressed in the constant regional bickering between Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia that threatens to split the country entirely. Yet throughout the country, vibrant towns and cities are packed with Art Nouveau and medieval architecture, where gastronomy and high fashion are the order of the day. In the countryside, take your pick from dune-filled beaches and dense forests to pristine lakes and underground caves.

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