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Message in a Bottle

I’m thinking about containers and contents lately. We all love great containers. Last year, I went to a local shop and purchased a new hummingbird feeder crafted by an artist somewhere near Asheville. Instead of the plastic parts found on a standard retail feeder, this one has a very unique red bottle as a container. It is decorated with copper tubing from which the hummingbird drinks and metal flowers are soldered onto the copper. It is a real work of art, and I enjoy it tremendously.

I’m pretty sure the hummingbirds, however, care more about the content in the bottle.  If I put something less to their liking in the bottle, it doesn’t matter how attractive the container.  Not only will they not drink from it, they will eventually quit coming to that particular bottle. Birds are quick learners. Read the rest of this entry »

Austin Adventures: How to Thrive in Tough Times

 

Austin Adventures, the Billings, Montana-based adventure tour operator, acquired Wildland Adventures, a 36-year old company based in Seattle. To ensure a smooth transition, Wildland Adventures CEO Kurt Kutay will stay with the combined company for “the foreseeable future,” working on quality control and product development.

The happy ending of this story is that the acquisition will keep Wildland Adventures going after hitting a rough patch in 2020 that threatened to bring the company down for the count. And, in addition to that, this move also keeps the prime mover of Wildland involved in the company’s operations as it evolves through what can only be called a catastrophe for the travel industry. That’s as close to stability as can be hoped for in the Age of COVID. No company is going to come out of 2020 the same as it went in. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Travel agency owner Michael Graham is an overnight expert on the morality of selling travel during a pandemic. He took four customers with him aboard the SeaDream’s first Caribbean voyage last week – and left two behind in Barbados, in quarantine, when they caught Covid-19 onboard. (More on that below.)

Personally, I’ve learned a thing or two myself these past weeks about the moral dilemma of whether to sell travel right now. A B2B writer all my life, I was excited when the consumer press gave a shout-out to my column and my Facebook page. But soon I – and TRO along with me – found ourselves in the middle of a shoot-out between USAToday’s Chris Elliott and ASTA.

The controversy brought to mind three questions I used to tell the reporters to consider before pitching a story: Is it true? Is it news? Is it fair? No one wants to hear what you think, I’d tell them. It’s about getting your facts straight, telling both sides, and letting your readers decide for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

What Have We to Be Thankful For

Editor’s Note: This article was incorrectly published under Mike’s 1-Minute Marketing column yesterday. This is a corrected publication and attributed to the author Richard D’Ambrosio. Thank you.

 

Even when times are good, sometimes Thanksgiving is a difficult concept for me to grasp. It calls on me to distinguish between wants and needs, and explore what true gratitude feels like and how I put my thankfulness to work.

I wanted the Mazda CX-5 I currently own because its practical, gets good gas mileage, has a sunroof – and it’s red, my favorite color. I shop for certain foods in my home because my children and I enjoy the way they taste, and they’re generally healthy for us to eat.

But I noticed something recently, when my car didn’t work properly. What I treasure more than my car’s sunroof, Bose sound system, comfort, etc., is that it affords me freedom. Living in a New York City exurb, you really can’t get very far quickly here if you don’t own an auto that runs properly. Read the rest of this entry »

Travel, Trouble, and Terms

 

In my last article, I spoke about the basics of contract law and how it applies to travel agents and independent contractors. In this article, I will discuss the obligations imposed by agent and third-party suppliers to the clients by contract, statutes, and common law. Statutes are created by Federal, State, and local bodies and can impose certain duties upon the agent and third parties that can affect the contract terms. Therefore, it is important to always have a severability clause in all contracts. The severability clause means that if one section of the contract is deemed invalid by law, the entire contract is not abrogated, and the rest of the terms and conditions remain valid. Read the rest of this entry »

Peek Inside Silversea’s Newest Ship, Silver Moon

After taking delivery of the new ship from Fincantieri in Ancona, Italy, on Friday October 30, 2020, Silversea Cruises unveils the first glimpses of Silver Moon’s interiors – the ninth ship in the cruise line’s fleet. Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s Chief Marketing Officer, hosts a series of five virtual ship tours, in which viewers are guided through Silver Moon’s new S.A.L.T. venues, public spaces, restaurants, and suites. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Reasons Why I Did NOT Buy from You

 

I am in the market to acquire something. You are one of many businesses offering what I need. It is your fault if I buy from you or not. From the moment I shop you online, correspond via email, chat by phone, or meet in-person – the judgement begins.

One way or another, you will influence me. It’s your fault if I buy from you or not.

I will buy what is best for me from who is best for me. Many others sell the exact same thing that you sell. Rub me the right way or the wrong way and the outcome is determined. Influence is everything.

These seven areas of influence will win me or lose me in the end. I am judging all consumer touch-points: your online presence (including web and social sites) and how you communicate with me in chats, emails and phone calls. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Reasons Why Social Ads Fail

 

Are you ready to give up on social ads?

Maybe you don’t feel like your ads are generating any interest. Well, you’re not alone; 62 Percent of Small Business Owners Say Facebook Ads Miss Their Targets.

Stop wasting your time and effort creating ads that fail!

But wait… why even look at this if social ads fail so often? Here’s the deal: out of all of the B2C companies using social media, 97% of them use Facebook! It matters! It works! Let’s explore 3 steps to get you on the road to fail-proof ads today. Read the rest of this entry »

Underserved Niche Championed by Dina Farmer

 

As I interview travel professionals and persons in the travel industry, I find there are two camps for niching.

The first group plants a flag in the camp of, “choose a niche” you are passionate about, learn about it, visit it and then dominate you niche. The other camp says, “your niche finds you,” and often have incredible stories to back their claims. This is a story of the niche that found Dina Farmer.

Dina is an adventurer. Her world travels are exciting. Her past service to our country as a photographer in the United States Air Force is part of the tale. Falling in love with her husband, also USAF, is part of the tale. Marrying and having her beautiful children is where her niche emerges. Read the rest of this entry »

20 Ways that Cruise Lines Can Keep You Safe

 

Now that vaccinations are almost here, many long-term cruisers are transitioning from “Should I go cruising in 2021 or 2022?” to “Which cruises are likely to be the most satisfying and safest?” Most typical cruise junkies are over 65 and no stranger to maladies such as obesity, diabetes, and previous cardiac incidents. After a year “on the hard,” as sailors say, a lot of us are willing to take some risks to return to cruising.

If I’m describing you, your partner, or parents, how do you decide which ships to go on, and which destinations you to consider? What about a system for choosing between cruises? I’ve taken 20 features that are now included on some ships, and I’m using them as proxies for the quality and safety of a cruise. Read the rest of this entry »

 

As the world struggles to control the spread of Covid-19, the travel and lodging sectors continue to navigate the unprecedented turbulence and major business challenges delivered by 2020. The U.S. is showing a 50 percent decline, year-over-year, in digital travel sales – which are not expected to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels until 2022. Even with the promise of a pre-pandemic return to a new normalcy in the next three years, we can expect some pandemic vacation trends such as “staycations” and road trips to thrive as the world gains some control of the virus.

Here are some key trends and predictions as we look ahead to the status of short-term rentals in 2021 and beyond. Read the rest of this entry »

Tour Ideas For UK-Bound Travel in April/May 2021

 

Last Tuesday’s headlines like ‘One small jab for man…’ (Daily Mail) and ‘A shot in the arm to beat Covid’ (Metro) lifted our spirits on this side of the pond. No doubt, you saw something similar in your own media. After nearly 8 months of profound hope-deprivation (we’re in total lockdown here in the UK until 2nd December) the light at the end of the tunnel could be leading us all towards a brighter future.

With the prospects improving for the restoration of transatlantic flights and cruise ships weighing anchor, here are a few ideas that will help you to harness some of the pent-up demand for UK-bound travel in April and May.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Essentialism

The most recent audio book I am listening to is titled Essentialism by Greg McKeown. In a nutshell, it suggests that we eliminate the non-essential tasks in our lives that are holding us back from achieving what is most important. I listen while I walk at noon each day. (You are finding the time “making the time” to walk each day, correct?)

Chapter 17 was titled The Power of Small Wins. Coincidentally, three days ago my sister sent me a motivational YouTube link from a Navy Seal outlining the ten most important steps to success. The initial step focused on “small wins.” Twice in the same week, from different sources, one of my main topics of discussion were supported from without. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Bailey Foster serves as VP of Trip Insurance for Trawick International. She is responsible for overseeing the Trawick International Trip Cancellation product. Ms. Foster has nearly 20 years of insurance experience, with a proven track record of escalating responsibility. Bailey has developed a strong knowledge of insurance ethics and business practices related to the travel industry. Her experience enables her to provide proactive account management, training, consulting, and support.

Read the rest of this entry »

Miki Taylor, Owner, Taylor & Co. Travel

 

Miki is in love with travel, culture, event planning, planning destination weddings, and creating Taylor Made Travel Xperiences & Events To Fit Your Lifestyle. She has been an accountant, domestic & international, for over 23 years. During that time she created & implemented a travel program for a software company that grew from 50 employees to over 200. With this experience came her love of working in the travel industry. When the best boss one could ever ask for decided to leave the company Miki was working at, Miki decided she needed more, and needed to feel able to make a difference. So, she left the security of a 6-figure income, became a Global Concierge, and created Taylor & Co. Travel. 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 »

Sometimes your next big adventure is only a short drive away. Hit the open road to explore America’s natural wonders and wide-open spaces, along with the local shops and restaurants that form the fabric of the community.

Best Western® Hotels & Resorts and American Tours International (ATI) are partnering to promote the American road trip holiday to travel professionals across the United States. Building road trip packages that feature some of Best Western’s most popular properties in iconic locations, ATI empowers travel professionals to capitalize on the current road trip travel trend that will continue into this fall and through 2021. ATI’s Drive America platform has been developed to allow travel professionals to easily book one of 120+ road trip packages or to design their customers’ road trip from scratch. By utilizing ATI’s Drive America platform, travel professionals can access Best Western’s lowest available rates for their customers while receiving substantial commissions.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Interests Around Budapest

 

Budapest is, of course, a highly sought after destination. As the Danube passes by its shore, the city is alive with 2,000 years of history. You can read all about the details in another article. However, the outskirts of Budapest are waiting for those to see castles overlooking small villages, magnificent houses of aristocrats, medieval castles, and vineyards that stretch to the horizon. All along the Danube river bend, the atmosphere of these towns is one of pure beauty that only Hungary and its history can offer. Read the rest of this entry »







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