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Wrong Demographic

Over the weekend I was helping a friend with a school assignment involving a marketing plan.  As a part of the exercise, she had to justify her business decisions by taking note of the demographics of Florida’s state capital, Tallahassee. In the outline to the assignment, the key demographics were listed as per capita income, population by gender, and age ranges.

As I worked through the project, it occurred to me how little help typical demographic statistics in reality are for a marketing plan. Certainly such numbers  are important criteria in early decision making.  If, for example, you are setting out to launch a travel practice in any given area, you want to know sufficient population is present with enough disposable income.  Beyond that, however, these are the wrong demographics for marketing purposes. Read the rest of this entry »

Family River Cruises With AmaWaterways

Cruising is often a great choice for family travel. There is no packing and unpacking, lugging bags and backpacks on trains and busses, or trying to figure out what to do each day. The ease of cruising is what makes it so appealing to so many people. However, a lot of times families forget to look at river cruising as an option for travel – and for good reason. Families could not easily be accommodated … until now. New cruise ships are being developed with connecting staterooms for families, as well as triples and quads that will accommodate a family of four. 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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Simple Summer Social Tips

Are you trying to stay on top of social marketing AND enjoy summer? Don’t let the beach bump your social marketing to the back burner.

Here’s two quick social marketing questions that are HOT topics in our industry, along with quick tips you can use right now to grow your marketing—while not missing out on the pleasures of summer.

 

Q1 – How Can I Reach the RIGHT Fans?

How can I market to people who are really interested? I don’t want to pay to advertise to people who are not ‘warm’ leads. Read the rest of this entry »

Since I sounded the alarm (well my personal alarm) last week about travel to the Dominican Republic, I felt it only fair to follow up and offer some tips on how to deal with your clients who may be concerned. For those that are following along, the count of American tourists to have died in the Dominican Republic this year just increased to 11. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Your Story?

The business world is not immune to fads, but there are a few that have stood the test of time. The principles in How to Win Friends and Influence People and Think and Grow Rich have been guiding business people to success since the 1930s.

One recent “fad” is storytelling. The number of people who list “storyteller” as their occupation (I didn’t realize it existed outside the kids’ section in Barnes and Noble) on LinkedIn is incredible. Yet, everyone from StoryBrands Donald Miller, a former screenwriter, to the travel industry’s own Richard D ’Ambrosio are singing the virtues of applying the practice to your own business narrative. Read the rest of this entry »

A Failure to Advise

On occasion, a neighbor or an acquaintance, knowing I am somehow connected to the travel industry, will ask me about a vacation they would like to take. I use those opportunities to refer the person to a rotating selection of travel professionals I know. I tend to use different travel advisors depending on the person’s request. Recently, a neighbor asked me about a trip to Thailand she and her family wanted to take next year. I checked with a travel agent friend to see if he wanted the referral and I then put the two of them together.

Yesterday, months after our original conversation, I ran into my neighbor and asked how the travel planning had progressed. Looking at me a bit sheepishly she said “Well, your travel agent friend couldn’t find us anything cheaper than we could get online by ourselves.”  I explained to my neighbor the travel professional is not about the “best price” but was instead looking for the “best value.” I explained the travel professional was looking after my neighbor’s interests by choosing reliable suppliers, coordinating their travels and acting as their advocates. My neighbor listened, but the lesson was, I fear, arriving too late.

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Easing the Burden of Booking with CTS Fares

Cosmopoliton Travel Service (CTS Fares) has been consolidating the details of getaways for over 50 years. They work closely with airlines, and hotels to help the travel consultant and their clients save money. Their goal is to do good business, and help agents do good business in return; meaning that, not only do they provide some of the best discounts in the travel industry, the complete process of booking through CTS is transparent: mark-ups, net rates, and commission levels are all visible…even through the booking engine.

CTS Fares is always on the case when there are issues, questions, or scheduling changes. Read the rest of this entry »

Ours is a creative industry and if you like thinking out of the box, you’ll love what’s in store for you and your clients on this side of the northern gateway of Manchester. As many of you can easily use Virgin Atlantic’s flights from Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Orlando (see schedule) start a conversation with anglophile clients about customised tours that include Beatrix Potter, the Brontës, Wedgwood, David Hockney, Hadrian’s Wall and the heritage cities of Chester and York. Let’s create something that matches their interests, time frame and budget. Take a close look at this website and discover no fewer than 23 exciting new products that are waiting, just for you! 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 »

The Word Was Balance

Balance is an important concept as we all struggle to make ends meet while trying to keep our sense of humor. Like everything else in life, achieving BALANCE is easier said than done. We chuckled at the notion that as we grew older (more experienced) life would get easier. No such luck!

I am reminded of a bumper sticker that read: “Don’t Believe Your Parents: Adulthood Is Way Over-Rated.” Read the rest of this entry »

Santorini

The coasts of the Aegean Sea are widely known for their sun-soaked and relaxing atmosphere, but in the South Aegean lies one of the most popular: Santorini. Many images the traveler sees when they look up a trip to the Greek islands are of the bleached homes terraced atop rocky cliffs, turquoise blue water, and sunsets that make hearts melt into a romantic goo. From chic hotels to spectacular views, Santorini has a cure for travelers looking for an amazing getaway. Today’s 60-Second Geography is brought to you by Celestyal Cruises.

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Having spent the majority of my professional career in the travel industry working with both Cruise Lines and Tour Operators, I joined the Celestyal Cruises North American team in February 2019 with a divine passion for cultural exploration, destination immersion and a devotion in expanding our products and services to our strategic partners in North America.

My role involves traveling Western North America to assist our strategic partners in helping grow their Celestyal Cruises business. Much of this time is devoted to client and agency visits, often for training, luncheons or virtual webinars conducted in house to home agents who don’t live in the ‘neighborhood’. In addition, I also conduct many webinars to assist with education for new clients/agencies on our newest product updates, additions, and company advancements.

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The Sights of the Danube River

The Danube has become one of the most popular rivers in the world for cruising, and this is for good reason. It is Europe’s second longest river. Its southeastern flow goes through or passes along 10 countries, which is more than any other river in the world. A trade route that once defined the eastern border of the Roman Empire, this 1,770-mile river has more than its fair share of sites and activities along the way through classic Europe. Today’s article is brought to you by Collette.

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The Garden Route of South Africa

Along the southwestern coast of South Africa is an area that offers up diverse ways of experiencing Africa. The Western Cape is an astonishing destination with plenty of wilderness and wildlife, vineyards, and a deep history of native peoples. Its capital, Cape Town, is a great starting point for all the explorations the traveler will experience. But the real star of the show here is The Garden Route, a stretch of coastal highway along the southernmost tip of Africa with almost 200 miles of natural sites and fantastic stopovers for the traveler. Today’s article is brought to you by Central Holidays.

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Bali: Simply Paradise

In southeastern Asia, there is an island considered to be a true paradise by many. A place that wins so many awards in the travel industry, this article would run a bit too long to list them. The coasts are an immaculate example of where white sand meets tropical water. Where tiered temples accent lush jungles, stand in the reflections of tranquil waters. This island is Bali, a place that is wholly its own unique culture but welcomes the traveler with open arms and utopian sunsets. Read the rest of this entry »