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Wallethub Report: Best summer travel destinations

Personal finance website Wallethub has released a report on the best summer travel destinations. (more…)
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Cruise line Windstar reports highest bookings since start of pandemic

Small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has just announced its highest-grossing week of cruise sales since the start of the pandemic and one of the biggest in company history. The cruise line, focusing on smaller yacht-like ships visiting smaller more remote, and less heavily visited ports, waterways, and destinations that...
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VIA RAIL MAINTAINS ITS TITLE AS THE MOST TRUSTED TRANSPORTATION COMPANY

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is proud to remain the most trusted transportation company in Canada for the fourth consecutive year according to the 2022 Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI), published by the University of Victoria's Gustavson School of Business. In addition to having obtained a better ranking than last...
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EXPLORA JOURNEYS ANNOUNCES TWO NEW GROUP BOOKING PROGRAMS

Explora Journeys, the new luxury lifestyle travel brand of the MSC Group, today announced two new group programs for travel advisors called ‘Journey Together’ and ‘Journey Together +’ and also unveiled details of ‘By Appointment +` , a development of its industry-leading ‘By Appointment` service. Michael Ungerer, Chief Executive Officer...
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American Cruise Lines Opens 2022 Columbia & Snake Rivers Cruise Season

American Cruise Lines announced today that the 2022 river cruise season on the Columbia and Snake Rivers has begun. (more…)
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US to relax some Trump-era sanctions on Cuba

The United States will ease some of the Trump-era restrictions on Cuba, the Biden Administration, in line with campaign promises, announced on Monday. The U.S. will allow some charter and commercial fights to airports other than Havana and reinstate educational travel but not yet the “people to people” program. (more…)
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Japan to reopen to tourists for first time in 2 years with a “test tourism” program

The Japan Tourism Agency has determined to conduct a “test tourism” program in May prior to a full opening to travelers. Small group tours will be permitted into the country in May to ascertain how well protocol measures will prevent an increase in Covid-19 cases. (more…)
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United to resume service of their 777’s

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared United Airlines for the return of 52 Boeing 777s grounded after an engine failure in February 2021. The planes represent 10% of United’s current capacity. (more…)
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Critical Thinking

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” ~ Winston Churchill

Even at its best, when presented with tact and grace, criticism can be hard to take. When phrased as a complaint, criticism can be even tougher to endure. There is no doubt we have fostered a culture of complaint in our economic, political, and social system.  We have even trained people to complain as a way of getting windfalls in free services and goods.  Complain loudly enough and you get your way, we seem to be saying.

You need a response to criticism, one that demonstrates your company’s no-nonsense ethic.  Here is what I suggest. The next time you are criticized, say this:

“Thank you.” Read the rest of this entry »

AmaWaterways extended its Portugal river cruise sailings through the Winter Holiday Season this week, for the first time, adding 14 new round-trip sailings in Portugal on the AmaDouro.

It’s a sign of how strong the interest in Europe river cruises is running this year, says chief marketing officer Janet Bava.

“We saw a huge influx in demand for Europe with the loosening of travel guidelines, and very quickly got a lot of demand for the western side of Europe. We were completely sold out for Portugal,” she told TRO at Seatrade Cruise Global last week. “But our travel partners were still calling us—so we said why not extend the season, especially since Portugal tends to have warmer weather, and go ahead and help travel advisors generate some extra commission for 2022.”

While Ama is the first river cruise line to extend Douro sailings through December Read the rest of this entry »

My Four-Hemisphere Week

From Wednesday to Monday I was in the northern, southern, eastern, and western hemispheres.

It’s nothing to brag about. There was nothing brilliant about it. On the contrary, it could be the worst-planned travel itinerary ever. The only accomplishment is that I survived it. But I did experience it, and that’s worth talking about. It was extraordinary.

I didn’t intentionally plan such a marathon. It only happened because there were two travel events that I absolutely could not miss. They happened to be very close together on the calendar, and very far apart on the globe.

I had already booked my flights to the Arctic Circle when it came time to book flights for the trip to Durban, South Africa Read the rest of this entry »

Client Onboarding

Your prospect said YES! They are ready to work with you. You’ve successfully turned a lead into a prospect, and that prospect is now a new client. Woo-hoo!

So, what’s next? Now that the customer is excited to work with you and is ready to sign on the dotted line, how do you get them on board and well-positioned to become a loyal, long-term client?

Do you have in place a process to welcome him to your business? After you’ve booked his trip, do you have a way to manage how you communicate with him, to make the most of your time, and to get the most from this new relationship? If you don’t, or if you think your existing process could be improved, coming across this article is, indeed, a lucky find! Read the rest of this entry »

A Message from the Kentucky Derby

It was 7 pm. As luck would have it, the race was just about to begin when I switched on my TV. I thought I’d missed it since I believed the race was at 5 pm.

There in front of me was a long cage filled with horses with numbers 1-21. I noticed stall #20 was empty and thought to myself that #21 was so far off the rail it was simply a futile attempt. At least the owner, trainer, and jockey could one day say that they were in The Kentucky Derby.

The horse was named Rich Strike and was listed at odds of 80-1. There was no way a horse in that position had a snowball’s chance in hell to win anything. Good luck, Rich Strike. Read the rest of this entry »

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

 

In 2009, the comedian Eddie Izzard set the almost unbelievable goal of running all the way around the circumference of England and Scotland, the equivalent of 43 marathons in 50 days,  for charity and again in 2016 for 27 days in honor of Nelson Mandela.

He had never run a marathon before that time. I think it may be possible to learn something from Mr. Izzard. Read the rest of this entry »

For better or worse, we are all in sales. No one eats unless something is sold—it really is that simple. However, many travel agents don’t see themselves as salespeople. They are purveyors of information, keepers of knowledge, and trusted confidantes. We are a notorious industry for coming up with creative names for ourselves—Dream Maker… Memory Builder… Consultant… you get the drill. But let’s not forget, if we don’t ask for the sale, we aren’t making any dreams or building any memories. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy simply because we follow the sales process to the letter until the very end when we don’t ask for the sale! Read the rest of this entry »

If you’ve ever used a Kodak Retina folding camera or a Rolleiflex twin-reflex, you’ve been obsessed with photography for a long time.

Retinas were to Eastman Kodak what Cadillac was to General Motors. For 55 years, from 1934 to 1969, these German-made 35mm folding bellows cameras were at the top of the camera food chain. They had f2.8 or f3.5 50mm lenses—just like many cameras made today—and were the ultimate choice for vacationers seeking a camera they could take to Europe or the family cottage. Retinas could fold up to fit in a jacket pocket or purse. Models in good condition can take great photos today with 35mm film. Read the rest of this entry »

Riding with VIA Rail Canada

Trains have been an iconic part of modern history since 1804. They have carried important goods to well-known cities and remote areas. Trains gave a vitality to the journey of travel, shortening trips— letting the traveler enjoy the scenery of vast forests of green and mountains that dominate the landscape. Today, the experience of these journeys are no less relevant. Which is where VIA Rail Canada steps in to keep everything on track.

VIA Rail (or VIA Rail Canada) started up operations on January 12, 1977, in Montreal. Soon after, they introduced a new way of uniting Canadians with many firsts, one being the transcontinental train. They were established as a Crown Corporation, merging the passenger networks of the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways. Later, in 1981 Read the rest of this entry »

A Labor of Love, with Dancin Doug

The start of my conversation with Doug Colon summed up the theme of the interview in its entirety. When asked about how things are going for him, he answered, “Trying to get this backyard done. My contractor didn’t show up, so I started on my own.” This being our first long-form conversation, I was going off what I’d researched online. He was there when break dancing took off in the early 70s, grooving with prolific DJs known for legendary innovation in hip hop—check. He’s currently the owner of Dancin Doug Travel—check. But now, right at the start, I knew that I was talking to a man who knew how to get up and get it done.

Mentioning the multiple positions Doug has held in different fields, “I kind of stumble and fall places. I’m a stumbler.” This was clearly evident in his path through life so far. Travel started as a break from his profession at the time, Special Agent in Charge Read the rest of this entry »

Rochelle Zemke and Stephanie Cavelli are two travel professionals who saw a need common to many, if not all, travel advisors and set out to meet it. The challenges they faced will sound familiar to anyone who has decided to build a web application on their own.

TRO: Rochelle and Stephanie, thanks for the opportunity to speak to you about My Fam Trip. I certainly want to get into the capabilities and functionality of your brainchild, but give me a little bit of background on the two of you. Read the rest of this entry »

6 Places to see in Greenwich, London

While London attracts most visitors with its iconic sights of Big Ben, The London Eye, Harrods, and more, there is a place in South-East London that will offer you the time of your life – literally. It is Greenwich home of the prime meridian line and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Together with other sights, Greenwich is worth taking the train or boat rise to see. Read the rest of this entry »

Galicia and the Spanish Old World

Being a commonly visited country, Spain often brings up an image of grand churches that inspire faith in the eye of the beholder—perhaps pictures of flamenco dancers, as they seduce an audience into a story of love and passion. These are accurate portrayals of a country that charms the traveler. But, Spain is a diverse destination, one that brings the culture of surrounding nations together in harmony. In the northwest sits Galicia, an ideal look at this cultural harmony. Read the rest of this entry »

Windstar Cruise Ship

Small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has just announced its highest-grossing week of cruise sales since the start of the pandemic and one of the biggest in company history. The cruise line, focusing on smaller yacht-like ships visiting smaller more remote, and less heavily visited ports, waterways, and destinations that larger ships can’t access. Windstar ran a sale May 3-13 with itineraries to the Mediterranean, Tahiti, Northern Europe, Alaska, Asia, Greece, Australia & New Zealand, the Holy Lands among others. Read the rest of this entry »