TravelResearchOnline | The voice of the travel agency community

Getting Ready for 2019

Is it hard to believe we are only slightly more than three short months from 2019? It certainly is for me. During the next three months, you can do yourself no greater favor than to begin working through a marketing plan, a budget and a calendar for 2019. Getting into the travel planning business is very easy.  Staying in the travel planning business is a bit more of a challenge. True we can sometimes simply luck our way through, but in so doing we inevitably waste resources and miss opportunities. Working with a plan is absolutely essential to achieving the best possible results. Sporadic marketing, chasing one opportunity and then another, seldom resolves in a productive manner. Read the rest of this entry »

Frank del Rio: Mind The Curve

Recently, I spent an hour gleaning cruise industry insights from Frank del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the parent of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

From the perspective of del Rio’s prism, the cruise industry is experiencing some of its best years ever, and for cruise companies like his, bookings are robust, with consumer demand high. Read the rest of this entry »

I am proud to say I have been a part of the National Transaction Corp (NTC) family for over 10 years, and am now the VP of Operations. However, when I left the Army as a Satellite/Microwave Communication Specialist, I never would have imagined it would lead me to where I am today. When you think about it though, credit card terminals need to communicate, and most of the time, the problems merchants experience with the terminals, are communication issues.

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How to Upcycle your Social Content

Recycle. Upcycle. Repurpose. Whether you hang out in the world of DIY or social marketing you’ll recognize these terms as trendy time savers.

In the world of DIY, we think of upcycling as taking an old table and turning it into a trendy kitchen island.

In the world of sewing, recycling and repurposing just became part of my world. Recently I received my grandmothers wedding dress as a gift. This family heirloom has now become a couple of new pieces in my closet. I’ve been able to transform parts of the dress into 4 different garments; the front panel on a blouse, a skirt, appliques on a blouse for my mom and trim on a bathrobe. Yep, a lot of time in my sewing room, and 4 trendy pieces that remind me of my grandma. Read the rest of this entry »

Most of us are solo (or close to it) agencies. We work from home or a small office and sales, marketing, planning, accounting, education, customer service, and janitorial all tend to fall under our umbrella title of “travel professional.” And, if we are honest with ourselves, some of these slip through the cracks. Sometimes all it takes is a little note to remind ourselves that from time to time we need to rejuvenate our business. And here are some easily implemented marketing reminders. Read the rest of this entry »

Cash (Flow) is King!

I tend to be a little old school. I don’t believe every new app dreamed up by some kid in his basement, who has never sold anything in his life, is going to revolutionize how we sell in this or any other business. Because travel is such a huge industry world-wide, it attracts all sorts of people trying to capitalize on the “get rich quick with little or no effort” movement so prevalent online. As a professional travel business advisor, I will just say to you, “buyer beware”.

So, you can imagine how annoyed I get when people ask me about my latest “hack” or how to “disrupt” the market. Don’t even get me started on “unicorns.” Read the rest of this entry »

Looking for MICE

I am not referring to the fuzzy little critters, or the mouse that runs an amusement conglomerate. MICE is an acronym for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions; and, it can be a very lucrative piece of your business. If you do not already pursue meeting or incentive travel, you should seriously consider it. Cruise ships are a great venue for meetings as well as for incentive travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Mullis Mulls the Future of Guyana Tourism

You probably haven’t heard a lot about Guyana as a tourist destination. But that’s about to change.

Bolstered by a relatively modest budget and an infusion of new talent, which not only includes a new Director, but a new Board, new support staff, and new market reps honcho — the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) is hoping to compete with the heavyweights of South American tourism.

Leading the charge is Brian Mullis, who was appointed director of the tourism authority last April with a mandate to restructure the agency, pull its tourism marketing and products into the 21st century, and ultimately put Guyana in the sights of eco and adventure tourists around the globe. Read the rest of this entry »

KATARINA line, the largest DMC based in Kvarner region and one of the leading Croatian tour operators is also the premier small ship cruise company with weekly guaranteed departures from the end of April to mid-October from the major tourist centers of Opatija in Kvarner area, and Split and Dubrovnik in Dalmatia. With a fleet of more than 60 ships, the cruise line caters to all ages and budgets with itineraries that give travelers the opportunity to explore the stunning natural environment and historical, quaint Mediterranean towns while hopping from one island to another. Read the rest of this entry »

I have enjoyed the articles that I have been reading on your website, very informative. I’ve been doing a lot of research on being a travel agent and if it is the right career change for me. There is a lot to learn! One of the questions I have would be: Would it be more beneficial to try and get a job at AAA as a Travel Agent first and learn the ropes or to sign up with a Host Agency? There is a AAA position open in my area and the more I was reading it, it sounded like a lot of sales (possibly more geared towards selling memberships). I’ve had 1 experience doing sales back in the 90s selling Tupperware and I wasn’t good at all. So sales in general aren’t my thing. So would that hinder me as a Travel Agent? I’m not a high pressure, cold calling, sales kinda person. Read the rest of this entry »

I Love My Boss! I’m Self-Employed!

I saw this on a bumper sticker this morning and it really made me laugh. Moments before I could feel my stress level rise as I was maneuvering through extremely heavy morning commute traffic to get to a supplier meeting. I spotted the slogan at the same moment I wondered, “How can people do this every day?!”

Working from home means “No More Rush-Hour.” Being my own boss means that in most cases I can control my appointments. I realized this morning it took me nearly an hour to go 20 miles. Do you realize how much time is wasted sitting in traffic? Not to mention the stress and anxiety you endure when traffic doesn’t move the way it should. Rush-hour is just bad, no matter how you look at it.

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Common Sense Reminders: Part 1

There is an old saying that reminds us “common sense is not that common.” I happen to agree with this statement. It continues to bewilder me when I see companies (and employees) treat customers like they are “automatic” and act like their customers have no other options when it comes to spending money on goods and services. I can think of no better word for this practice than DUMB. (Maybe STUPID also does the trick.)

Here are six quick reminders to put you and your team back on track. If it comes across as common sense than perhaps it is just common sense. Read the rest of this entry »

Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, President, Collette

Jaclyn manages Collette’s day-to-day operations, working with our global offices, teams on the road and all over the company. She collaborates with the strategic leadership and executive teams to drive Collette’s growth. She directly oversees product development and tour management operations; and works closely with the sales and marketing teams. Jaclyn started with Collette in 2005 and has held numerous positions within the company. Jaclyn spent many years designing product and managing tours in regions including in the United States and Australia. She has also guided tours and worked in the customer care center as an inside sales representative. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Babson College. Read the rest of this entry »

Lille with Back-Roads Touring

An often overlooked destination in France, Lille is a charming European city on the northern tip of France. It is mostly accessible by walking its streets, which are lined with French architecture. There is a slower pace compared to Paris, perfect for relaxing outside a café and taking in the air of a great getaway. Thanks to Back-Roads Touring, today we’ll go over the main points of why the traveler will revel in the atmosphere of Lille.

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Offering More with DSA Vacations

Dream vacations, and their destinations, vary greatly in the spectrum of travelers. Finding a supplier of vacations that span a large portion of the world and have cater to different styles of travel can be difficult. This is one of the many things that DSA Vacations does well. With vacation plans for southern and eastern Africa, the Americas, and Asia; and types of travel ranging through safaris, family, culinary, and adventure travel; DSA Vacations is there for the traveler and the agents they trust for their dream vacation. Read the rest of this entry »

Iguazu Falls with Aerolíneas Argentinas

Located within the Iguazú National Park, Iguazu Falls offers several trails and railways with phenomenal views of its 275 individual waterfalls. The diverse wildlife and beauty of the park moved the UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage Site in 1984. The largest waterfall system in the world, Iguazu Falls is consistently recognized as one of the most outstanding of nature’s wonders. Though the Iguazu river flows mainly through Brazil, over 80% of the falls are located in Argentine Province of Misiones. With a name consisting of the Guarani or Tupi words for “big” and “water” Iguazu Falls is a destination experienced travelers place near the top of their lists of “must see” adventures.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Minor Inconvenience

It’s that email every travel agent dreads, “Subject: Flight Cancellations: Airline.”  The email arrived as I was returning from a mid-year conference and two-night inaugural cruise. I was sitting in traffic at a stop light when the email popped up on my phone. A planned ATC (Air Traffic Control) strike would close the airport in MRS (Marseille Province Airport), causing my clients’ flight from VCE (Venice Marco Polo Airport) to be cancelled in two days. The notice arrived late in the evening Italian time, but with two days’ notice to my clients as well as the transfer company. The time difference would also allow me to search for options on flights.

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