TravelResearchOnline | The voice of the travel agency community


Killing Time

We have all heard that “time is money.” Indeed, much of the way we speak of time has a monetary ring to it. Your time has a real value and spending it poorly is a dangerous thing to do. Carl Sandburg once said that if you don’t spend your time wisely, others would spend it for you. If there is any skill that comes to the fore during periods when you are very busy, it’s time management.  Strangely, time management appears to be a skill even when we are sidelined.  In a one-on-one service industry like travel consulting, keeping track of your time can be a very difficult thing to do.  We build our travel practices not on an hourly basis, but on the satisfaction of the clients we serve, so we naturally invest a great deal of time ensuring the quality of the experiences we create.

Rightly so. Read the rest of this entry »


Right now, we’re dreaming about next summer’s trips from the comfort of our homes.

A few weeks ago, we polled our readers about when they would be ready to return to the seas, and nearly 75 percent said that they would be ready to sail again by the summer of 2021. There’s nothing better than sailing out on the open waves and exploring different ports, but since we can’t currently sail the high seas, we will use this time to dream about future travels.

Here are five itineraries I’m dreaming of sailing next summer. Read the rest of this entry »


“In the bleakest of business times, in this year of the pandemic, they picked me!”

By all accounts, the ambitious business people are busy pivoting and persevering. I understand how challenging it is to stay poised and positive in a pandemic. Fear and uncertainty dampen tenacity. It would be so easy to expect and accept less.

Aiming lower and achieving our mark is not as fulfilling – emotionally or financially. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Key Travel Recovery Insights that Matter


What if you had a crystal ball to tell what was in store for the future of travel? Our ‘Next Normal’ is sure to be a big departure from our ‘Past Normal’, but the reality is this: There is no crystal ball.

However, there are leading experts who are watching and analyzing industry trends and sentiment. These industry thinkers and futurists have shared their perspectives over the last couple of weeks. So, let’s piggy-back on their insights for travel trends and pull together some key initiatives you can put in place in your own sector of our industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Last week I read an interesting article on the cruise lines’ re-emergence in a post-COVID (or maybe a during-COVID) world. Among all the preparations and precautions being taken, one thing really stood out for me. People are not seeing discounted pricing like they did in the wake of 9-11 or the Great Recession (as it is now known I guess). This threw me for a bit of a loop; until I thought about it. Read the rest of this entry »

The Gift of Clarity


Tor Hagen, founder and Chairman of Viking Cruises, once said, “We are focused clearly on what we are and the number of things we are not.”

If you ever wondered why Viking is so successful, I think this statement sums it up nicely. Clarity will help you to stand out among the plethora of available booking options. Ask yourself, “What do I really want to be known for?”

This is powerful and more important than ever. Read the rest of this entry »


(Last week we covered the manner in which Screening and Social Distancing will have to be conducted on a variety of ships. Now let’s move on to Ventilation, Dining, Staffing, Contact Tracing, and Insurance.



An important lesson learned from all the ships that were marooned in ports with guests and crew onboard was that the Covid-19 virus loves recycled air, even if it’s filtered and purified. This probably means that all staterooms should vent directly to the outside of the ship. Read the rest of this entry »

There are so many companies that provide travel to destinations around the world, it can be difficult to find the right person for the job. There are companies that can get you anywhere in the world but, a “Jack (or Jill) of all trades” lacks the specialized knowledge needed to give the traveler a thorough plan for their getaway. Fortunately, when it comes to the tropical country of Costa Rica, Costa Rica Dream Adventures is your go-to planner for a trip to this majestic country.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Encouraging Step In The Right Direction


Last Tuesday, our UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from 4th July, the self-distancing figure shrinks from 6 feet to 3 feet which will enable hotels, pubs, restaurants, and many attractions to reopen. This is the biggest leap to near normality since the lockdown started on 23rd March.

Responding to this encouraging news, I’ve focused on the month of June and have chosen four annual events which you can use as the foundation for a 2021 customised UK tour for 2-3 clients, or even a small group of 10-12.

The first one features the Dickens Festival in the cathedral of Rochester with the second centred on the Jane Austen Regency Week in the Hampshire villages of Chawton and Alton, where she spent much of her life. June is also a good month for an On-Location Doc Martin/Poldark tour to Devon and Cornwall. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m doing something a little unusual for this TRO installment! In order to maintain privacy, I’m answering a question without providing the specific exchange. Over the past two weeks, several travel advisors reached out to me to let me know that their host are not paying their commissions (sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars). Read the rest of this entry »

Nobody Cares About You


I would like to help you begin your day with a blinding flash of the obvious.

“Today is the FIRST day of the rest of your life.”

You can skip right over my message, if you feel this is too elementary or lacks any creative substance. Like it, or not… endorse it, or not… it is as true as the nose on your face. Today is day one.

Today is another day you can wipe the slate clean and Read the rest of this entry »


While the numbers of people suffering the worst of COVID-19 have dramatically decreased, much of the world is still cautious about travel in the near future. Poland is no different and, as mentioned in a previous article about their #CityWillWait and #PolandWilllWait campaign, it has created the first issue of Poland: Online Site Inspection – created to keep the Travel Industry updated on spaces for meeting and event planners. Read the rest of this entry »


Neetu Singh is the Marketing Director at Sky Bird Travel & Tours’ headquarters in Southfield, MI. Born in Shimla, India and raised in Michigan, Neetu earned her undergraduate degree in psychology followed by an MBA with a marketing concentration from Walsh College.

Neetu began at Sky Bird in 2017, saying it was “the right opportunity at the right time!” Her innate love for travel – with excursions like Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, and Croatia stamped in her passport – and 14-years of marketing experience made taking on the role as head of Sky Bird’s marketing department an easy transition. Neetu enjoys every aspect of marketing and using consumer research, strategy alignment, and product development to answer client needs and enhance user experience. She values making a positive impact and adding to the legacy of a company like Sky Bird. In an industry that is always changing and updating, Neetu consistently challenges her team to learn and experiment, giving them permission to try and fail so that they can grow from each experience. Read the rest of this entry »

La Fortuna and Arenal in Costa Rica

There’s a reason that La Fortuna remains one of the most visited areas in Costa Rica. Simply put, it is paradise. This small town, located in an area named the same, is a fortune of relaxation and allowing the richness of life to wash over the traveler. With a magnificent volcano as a backdrop, La Fortuna’s lush natural surroundings and laid-back atmosphere lets the traveler settle into a worthwhile vacation.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Grand Discoveries of Luxor

Egypt has always been a draw for travelers. The monuments of ancient civilizations stand as rugged reminders of empires and cultures passed. These grand palaces, temples, and tombs are tremendous feats of engineering – milestones in the history of the world. Which brings us to Luxor. The Luxor Temple and Karnak are sites to behold, to wander about in awe of its hieroglyph-covered walls and columns… a magnificent museum open to the elements.

Read the rest of this entry »

When it comes to a world tour, it means to go and explore. There are a number of tours which exist and you will need to understand what each one of them really means. There is the hosted, independent, and escorted tour. The independent tour means that you are traveling on your own. This is where the travel company only takes the initiative to book your hotel and then seating on your own for any train or boat rides. When you land in the country you are going to, you will have to find your way to the hotel and make arrangements of what and where you want to go and see on your own. Read the rest of this entry »