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Relationship Sales

They say every preacher really has only one sermon. Here’s mine: success in the travel industry has everything to do with relationship selling. Too much of the agency population continues to act as though it is in the business of selling travel and is trapped in a transactional, retail mentality. The travel advisorys and agencies  doing really well have long ago left the retail model behind and have replaced it with relationship sales. It is an easy point to understand, but apparently difficult to implement for many travel agents.

The money collectively spent on travel has an astronomical ring to its tally. Reflect on the fact all travel agencies, including the largest online agencies, handle $240 billion dollars, or about 31% of all travel booked. The number is admittedly an estimate, but one thing is certain. There is a tremendous volume of travel being booked other than by travel agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s all in the hands of the gods, the Vikings say. So perhaps the goddess Freya, using her powers to alter fortunes, determined that there be three cases of COVID among the passengers on Viking’s first four sailings in Iceland this month—and that I be onboard Viking Sky to tell the tale of our star-crossed voyage.

It’s hardly a story of doom and gloom, though. On the eight-day Iceland’s Natural Beauty cruise we saw a unique piece of the world that’s been on our bucket list for some time.

We sailed the Norwegian Sea and crossed the Arctic Circle; watched the sun set at midnight; saw waterfalls and fjords, the crack in the earth where America meets Europe, geothermal fields and lava fields, and an erupting volcano. We felt like Vikings as we jumped from the sauna to the snow room in the Thermal Suite; I got a blueberry hair rinse and a honey facial that left me smelling like a fruit salad. We ate steak and lobster, and sushi fresh from the untouched waters at the top of the world.

Per Viking protocols, we all wore masks in public places even though we were fully vaccinated Read the rest of this entry »

Branson Wins the Space Race, at Least This Round

Richard Branson, still cutting a charismatic figure at 70, flew to space and made it safely back again with his space tourism company Virgin Galactic. It was another milestone for Branson, who first made his fortune in the record business with Virgin Records in the early 1970s.

It’s been a long time since Branson embarked on his space enterprise, founding Virgin Galactic in 2004. In February 2007 I attended a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., at which 45 Virtuoso travel agents were certified as Accredited Space Agents, after completing Virgin Galactic’s training regimen.

Anything to do with Branson is going to be done with top notch PR, and holding the event at Cape Canaveral was a brilliant stroke. Having dinner under a giant Saturn 5 Rocket created a heady atmosphere for travel agents tasked with introducing space flight to the public.

It gave the event a great boost to connect with the US space program Read the rest of this entry »

More and more people are getting vaccinated across the United States each day, and countries across the globe are starting to reopen for American travelers who are vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. As reported by the New York Times on April 25, 2021, tourists from America who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to visit the European Union over the summer. This is exciting news for all of us that have been waiting anxiously to begin traveling again. Read the rest of this entry »

Danube River Cruise Pricing Charts 2022

Danube River Cruise Prices 2022 is part of a continuing series of comparison charts and articles featuring European River Cruises offered by world class river cruise lines. Our goal is to provide a True Per Diem for each cruise, or the daily cost breakdown of the trip once all extra fees are added to the cruise fare.

Comparison charts serve as a guide and attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions from our readers:

  • What is a Danube river cruise going to cost me?
  • How does the cruise I am looking at compare to Danube river cruises offered by other companies?
  • What is the price for an entry-level cabin?
  • What’s the price for an upgrade?
  • What’s included in a 2022 Danube River cruise?
  • What Danube river cruise incentives are there for 2022? 

Our goal is to provide a True Per Diem for each cruise, or the daily cost breakdown of the trip once all extra fees are added to the cruise fare. Read the rest of this entry »

Capturing People’s Attention

The idea for this week’s article came to me while filling out the morning USA Today Crossword Puzzle. In and of itself there is no connection, so I don’t want you to spend any time trying to connect the dots. I suppose my point is that ideas come from anywhere and everywhere.

The truth is that your clients and future clients are out there dancing to the beat of their own drum. The chances are very good they are not doing the fox trot to the same rhythms. They are all focused on their own set of circumstances, and worrying about whatever it is they worry about. For you to enter their world thinking, or believing, that you can soon have them focusing on your agenda is nothing short of delusional. But there is a way. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Social Marketing A’s to Address in Recovery

Do you find that as the recovery of travel ramps up, that some social marketing tactics seem old and out of touch with the times?

Over the last year, so much has changed in the ways that people consume marketing that savvy travel pros are turning to new ways to stand out in the noisy social marketing space.

Let’s explore 3 creative ways to get noticed, so that fans and clients are excited in this new era. We’ll dive into the 3-A’s to amplify your brand: Ads, Audiences, and Audio.

“Facebook, which has said it wants to make audio a “first-class medium” on its platforms, joins Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and messaging platform Discord which have already launched their own live audio offerings. Spotify debuted its own version, “Greenroom,” last Wednesday. Slack, Microsoft Corp-owned (MSFT.O) LinkedIn and Reddit are also working on similar products.” Source

Read the rest of this entry »

Things change! Did 2020 prove that or what? And the travel industry is about to undergo a significant shift in 2021 and beyond in the way it works.  There will be challenges. There will be wins, and losses. I was having dinner with an agency owner the other week and we were discussing (and maybe arguing) how the industry must adapt to a changing travel world that is yet to be defined.  Here’s what we came up with! Read the rest of this entry »

A Week at Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a destination perfect for a getaway, provided you appreciate skiing or hiking or nature, golf, shopping, gambling, fishing, boating, or dozens of other outdoor activities.  Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe often exceeds the expectations of first-time visitors. Its natural beauty, crystal clear waters, towering Jeffrey pine trees, and mountains are stunning during any season.

But there is more. Lake Tahoe surprises with its casinos and city life. It is by no means a bustling metropolis, but part of it is in Nevada. The state is well-known for its casinos and gambling opportunities, so there is a subtle hint of this lifestyle infused into the otherwise tranquil destination. Places like Harrah’s and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino have a home here. These establishments have slot machines, table games, nightclubs, entertainment, and fine dining to accommodate guests. Read the rest of this entry »

Here Comes the Pandemic of the Unvaxxed

Last week, the CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, warned in May that the U.S. was entering a “pandemic of the unvaxed.” She didn’t say this lightly. Here are the COVID-19 infection rates in the United States, where the Delta Variant is responsible for about half the cases and is just gaining strength; and from the United Kingdom (U.K.), where the Delta Variant arrived a few months earlier and now accounts for nearly all of the cases. Read the rest of this entry »

Times Square and Beyond

As the vaccine rollouts increase, destinations are beginning to plan the grand opening of travel once again. The excitement is palpable, an electrical current moving along that has started the idea of planning getaways and seeing the world. It is guaranteed New York City, one of the most popular cities in the world, will be on the traveler’s list. And this is where Beyond Times Square comes to the rescue. Read the rest of this entry »

If the UK is on your radar for 2022, cast your imagination towards the warm summer months of June and July for some bright ideas in the sleepy, honey-coloured limestone villages and sheep-clad hillsides of the Cotswolds, followed by a few days in London. Oxford is the gateway city to this lovely corner of England, and it takes just over one hour to get there from London Heathrow. These ideas also work well before, or after, cruising in or out of Southampton, Dover or Harwich.

Read the rest of this entry »

Khartoum: Where the Nile Meets Itself

Located where the Blue and White Nile Rivers converge into one great river, Khartoum-proper is a city moving quickly into modern times. This metropolis is the capital of Sudan, which did not gain its independence until 1956. It is now a center for trade and economics in North Africa, but still holds onto its traditional roots just outside of the glass and steel of its center. Markets, mosques, and Sudanese culture await the traveler. Read the rest of this entry »

Anita has been in the travel industry for over 28 years. She founded the host agency Ticket to Travel in 1993, which was merged into KHM Travel Group in 2020. Her voice has been one of inspiring the at-home advisor with books such as “How I Made a Small Fortune as a Home-Based Travel Agent”, and “From Home-Based to POWERHOUSE! – Marketing Strategies to take your Travel Passion to Profit”. Anita is currently the Vice President of CCTO (California Coalition of Travel Organizations), and the Vice President of Industry Relations at KHM Travel Group. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Luxury in New York City

From movies to shows, novels to photos, New York City is an iconic setting known around the world. Being the most populous city in the US, and considered to be the cultural capital of the world, it can seem chaotic to those unfamiliar with the rhythm of such a diverse city. For the luxury traveler, though, NYC is a playground ready to be explored—one that offers up the best of the best in luxury enjoyment. And now, with this metropolis fully opening up (as of July 1), the opportunities are endless. Read the rest of this entry »

Exploring Santa Monica

Located directly on the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by mountains, at the end of Route 66, Santa Monica enjoys an average of more than 280 days of sunshine each year. With average temperatures in the mid to upper seventies year-round, this beachside city’s weather is one of its most attractive assets and being outside is a part of the city’s lifestyle. But there is so much more to discover in Santa Monica than great weather, and visitors to the Los Angeles area miss out if they don’t spend a bit of time in this eclectic community. If you are looking for a unique domestic destination to visit with iconic world-class dining, entertainment, and famous sites, Santa Monica is worth your consideration. Many of the attractions that make the beach-front city special have found residence in our collective conscience, and you may find yourself surprised at your osmotic familiarity with some of the key points of interest in Santa Monica.

Read the rest of this entry »

Road Trip: Visiting The City

There are many nicknames for the city of San Francisco, including “The City.” There is “415” – the area code, “San Fran” – (don’t use this one), “Fog City” – self-explanatory, “Golden Gate City” – for the bridge, and even “Baghdad by the Bay” – with reference to the cosmopolitan nature of the population, much like that of pre-war Baghdad.  The City remains high on my list of great places to visit, and one of my favorite activities in the Bay Area is exploring some of the surrounding nature and vicinities.

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