TravelResearchOnline | The voice of the travel agency community


One Client at a Time

Marketing is too often an afterthought – companies launch campaigns when they need business.  The problem with this approach, of course, is the timing.  If you wait until you need business to seek it out, you are a bit late to the races.

The first quarter of 2020 is already half over.  What better time to evaluate our progress to date?  Better now than playing catch up in August!

When business is good, many companies lay off their marketing efforts;  big mistake.  Quiet spells in marketing today inevitably equate to slow business periods in the future.  If we are to maintain a consistent flow of income, marketing must be a constant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cheatsheet: Is This Included In My River Cruise?


Knowing what’s included in your river cruise (and what’s not) can sometimes be a deciding factor as to which river cruise company to book.  While our comparisons identify much of what’s included, sometimes the answer requires more than a simple yes or no. For example, while most of the river cruise companies that we write about offer complimentary shore excursions in ports of call, some charge for “optional” excursions. Read the rest of this entry »

My Leader-Meter Measures Your Influence


Influence, by definition, isn’t always good by default. We can be negatively influenced by someone as easily as we can be positively influenced. Bottom line, they have an effect.

Business leaders, both strong and weak, yield powerful influence and drive measurable results. Strong leaders create a culture of high performance and productivity, which leads to healthy profit. Weak leaders create a culture of complacency and mediocrity, which leads to unhealthy fear and turnover.

No doubt, weak leadership is the greatest gift we give to competitors. It is an aversion for employees. It has a ripple effect that reaches and repels consumers. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Build Social Awareness for Your Next Group Tour


Have you ever been to an industry event and met someone who instantly exchanges cards and then walks away? You know the type; they don’t really start much of a conversation with you and it seems like all they want is to grab your card and run off to the next person.


Would you ever re-connect with that person? Or, more importantly, do business with them?

Probably not! Read the rest of this entry »

How to get more clients and more profitable clients

My clients love me, of course they’ll return. My clients had a good experience, they’ll come back, I’m pretty sure. Well, they said they had a good time, I’m pretty sure they might come back next time. I wonder where they went?

Sound like a familiar refrain? It does to me. And I can confidently say that it is likely nothing that we have done to see a client list dwindle. Times have changed and that client list is not nearly as valuable and robust as it once was. Last week we talked about the CAC and the ATV; and this week, let’s talk about keeping them around once we get them—that is the goal right? Read the rest of this entry »

To Serve Through Sales

I am an evangelist for the benefits of having a sales-focused travel business. In fact, selling is one of the oldest, most honorable, and high-income professions in the world; but, at its core, it is about serving others.

We serve at the pleasure of our customers. As a result, our compensation is in direct proportion to the value of the service we provide, how it fulfills their needs, and the number of our customers we serve.

Here are four things you can do to serve your customers well. Read the rest of this entry »

In the closing scene of the 1924 film Epic of Everest, a blood-red sunset sinks below the horizon of the Himalayans in Tibet. Photographer Captain John Noel captured the brutal conditions and desolation of the landscape, as well as the humanity and courage of the Tibetan people. Epic of Everest is one of the earliest visual recordings of life in Tibet. As well as documenting their lives, the film also framed the assault on Mount Everest by the British in the 1920’s by George Mallory as an act of imperial conquest. This is shown most clearly when, despite the climbing teams’ admiration for the hardiness of the Tibetans, they announce with clear relief “All whites are safe!” during an avalanche. The accident claimed the lives of seven of their porters. Epic of Everest is one of many examples of the fraught and complicated relationship between the wealthy climbers who hire them and the native Sherpas of Everest. Read the rest of this entry »


The southwestern United States is a place of simple beauty. Plateaus and plains stretch across its seemingly endless horizon, interrupted with majestic mountain ranges and forests. Though the rusted red and orange of the southwest (particularly in the stunning sunsets) shines untamed by the modern world, this is only the beginning of where Southwest Adventure Tours starts. They’ve got much more planned for the traveler and the agent alike.

Southwest Adventure Tours has spent years searching out the best of the best in the American Southwest. For instance Read the rest of this entry »

This week’s short stories focus on several bright ideas for September 2020, and I’ve kicked off with a very tasty offering for the York Food and Drink Festival. Just under 2-hours north of London and easily accessible with Virgin Atlantic direct flights into the northern gateway of Manchester, it includes a class at the Cookery School at the 5-star Grand Hotel. Beer, tea, and wine-themed tours come next – followed by an absolutely fabulous garden tour to the Wisley Flower Show, the flagship home of the Royal Horticultural Society. Plus, for this year only folks, the floral extravaganzas at fairy tale Leeds Castle and in majestic Salisbury Cathedral. For fans of murder mystery novels, I’ve closed with a heads up for the International Agatha Christie Festival on England’s Riviera.

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 »

Follow-Up Before Delivering First-Class Service

I believe I know why most professional sales people are not more successful. Regardless of the industry, the geographic location of your company, or the size of your average order, this single shortcoming is responsible for damaging potentially lucrative sales careers.

Ask any seasoned sales professional person what he or she feels their biggest roadblock is and their answer will sound like the words follow-up. If you’re looking for just two words to help guide you to more profitable sales without hesitation or apology, they are the words “follow” and “up.” Read the rest of this entry »

Santorini: Weddings and Honeymoons

There are many reasons to visit the paradise known as Santorini. It is home to some of the famous and stunning white-washed houses found along many of the islands in the Cyclades. Almost all cafes and restaurants have a view of the azure waters. Nights bring starry skies, the revelry of nightclubs and bars. These traits make Santorini perfect for the start of a new life together – whether it be weddings or honeymoons. Read the rest of this entry »

Steve Born is chief marketing officer for Group Voyagers, the company that markets and sells the Globus family of brands (Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways) worldwide.

Born began his marketing career outside the travel industry more than 30 years ago, and for the past 20 of them, has been responsible for guiding all marketing and call center initiatives for the Globus family. He spends his days bringing consumers the experience of travel–one of his true passions–and he could not be happier. A self-proclaimed people person, Born thrives on the daily interactions he has with travel industry colleagues, as well as with his staff–a group of individuals he fondly compares to NASA engineers; a team which now extends worldwide to global markets. With the help of this “rocket science” crew, Born has helped grow the Globus family from two to four brands, including the introduction of Monograms and Avalon Waterways. Read the rest of this entry »

Marvelous Madrid


Madrid, the capital of Spain and a city where the golden era of creative and culinary imaginations has not stopped. With traditional and reworked cooking to delight the taste buds and architecture that ranges from contemporary Spanish to the seeming motion of Baroque – it offers the traveler an exciting all-around experience. Madrid is a vibrant city that is full of life around every corner.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Modern Marvels of Dubai


Rising from the Arabian desert, on the Persian Gulf, is the luxurious and futuristic city of Dubai. Said to be settled in the 18th-century as a fishing village, Dubai has come a long way since then. Though forts and watchtowers remain from that time, skyscrapers and man-made islands create an entirely different aesthetic. As modern as Dubai has become, there is an undercurrent of tradition that keeps. Dubai has defied the harsh terrain to be become one of the most well-known metropolises in the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Southern Charms of the Lower Mississippi


The southern United States is a destination of lush landscapes and rich history, from mighty oaks decorated with hanging Spanish moss to music that has remained soulful through time. One of the more prominent sights in the South is where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. An area that has been historically diverse in cultures, which often means phenomenal food and a variety of unique experiences. the traveler can take their time on a riverboat cruise along one of the most iconic rivers in the United States. 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 »