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Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” -Dalai Lama

In many ways, Thanksgiving is the greatest of holidays, a reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe to everyone and everything around us.  It is always tempting to magnify our losses and minimize the ordinary, daily miracle.  We long for big, outrageous fortunes and forget the small, mundane but truly astonishing gifts.  One day of the year, however,  is a reminder to contemplate the undeniably interdependent nature of our existence.  How amazingly special is it when a client takes the time and effort to say “Thanks”?  Being on the receiving or giving end of gratitude is a pretty special thing. Especially now.

Everything is connected. We don’t have to look far to find people and institutions deserving of our thanks. Every success we enjoy, every small achievement, is the result of an interplay of grace and circumstance.

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Collette Masters Traveling Well in the Time of COVID

Everything changes with COVID. In the biggest whack the world economy ever took, millions of businesses were knocked flat, with their revenues cut off cold, just hoping to hang on to survive the storm. So, it was good to speak to Jeff Roy, the executive vice president of Collette, the century old tour operator of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and hear him say, “It’s going really well. We’re happy with it.”

Some context here. Obviously, Collette, a major tour operator that takes thousands of people a year to seven continents, took a serious blow this year. There was no way it could continue its normal operations.

Like nearly all tour operators Collette had to curtail virtually all travel when COVID hit last March, just as the heavy summer travel season was emerging on the horizon. Even now there are few international doors open to American travelers.

So, Collette’s good news is in that context. Read the rest of this entry »


In a different world in 2019, most presentations on “How to Grow Your Travel Business” suggested groups as a great way to attract new customers and maximize your revenues. In 2020, that advice is just another victim of Covid-19, as travel advisors find that keeping groups on track and safe can be harder than they expected. Here’s advice from those who have been there—including some who had Covid-19 join their party.

As a new spike of the virus crosses the country this week, Cruise Planners agency owner Jeff Page finds himself all dressed up with nowhere to go. “Most people are hunkered down—but my luxury clients want to go,” he says. 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 »

I’m seeing some great signs post COVID, YRMV*

Good news is on the horizon. And you have no idea how happy I am to type that out after nearly 9 months of suffering the fiscal ramifications of COVID-19. As we have all likely heard, there are not one; but three vaccines which should be available to the general public within the next several months. The trick will be making sure our practices remain viable during what might be the most challenging period. But I am bullish and here’s why. 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 »

What the SeaDream 1 Coronavirus Crisis Has Taught Us


As everyone knows, last month the SeaDream 1, a luxurious small ship accommodating 112 guests and 95 crew, became the first ship to try to resume cruising in the Caribbean for 2020. Roundtrips were planned from Barbados, which, along with most Caribbean nations, has a very low infection rate from the coronavirus.

After sailing without incident along the Norwegian coast this summer, the SeaDream Yacht Club’s Executive Vice President, Andreas Brynestad, said: “Our health protocols are vetted by the Barbados government, our medical advisors are aligned with CDC rules (even though we are not in US waters) and with the Healthy Sail Plan, as well [as with] CLIA rules for cruise lines.” One proof of their sincerity was the fact that of the 53 guests that were on the cruise, 20 were journalists who would get the word out if the voyage was safe and worth trying. Read the rest of this entry »

2021 Lodging Trends & Predictions


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 »

Going Against The Flow

Today’s message may require a little explanation. But first, I will share the catalyst that prompted my thoughts.

My wife received an email the other day with birthday wishes from a doctor she once visited. That, in and of itself, might have been considered as a nice gesture. The last time she saw this doctor was when she was living in New Jersey… and that was twelve years ago. Isn’t it amusing how computers can recollect important dates once an assistant finally gets back in front of an outdated database and hits the merge button with a pertinent “reminder?”

Obviously, the cockles of her heart were not warmed that day. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 »