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Things I want to say more often

Travel planning tends to be a very independent enterprise. You work one-on-one with your clients, often in complete isolation from co-workers. Independence is a great thing, but carries risks. We too often lack a sounding board to bounce ideas off and to confirm our instincts. So let’s explore a series of statements you should frequently hear yourself say to ensure you are receiving the appropriate input from your business associates, your clients and your family. Each of these groups are stakeholders in the success of your travel practice. Giving them a voice can be a great gift to both them and to yourself.

“What do you think?”

Here’s a phrase you should use often around the work place – especially if you are “the boss.” Seeking the input of others maintains perspective and allows your decisions to be shaped from a variety of resources. Creativity springs not from a single source but from a transformative alchemy mixing dissent, collaborations and flexibility. Don’t be afraid to seek out people you know will challenge you. You won’t like or agree with everything you hear. However, your success as a business person depends on your ability to fairly assimilate the criticisms and challenges of others.

“Show me.”

When we ask for the opinion of others, we often hear ideas from outside own own expertise. If we allow others to demonstrate their ideas and range, two amazing things happen. First, we provide an opportunity for the other to shine, to contribute in a really meaningful way. Secondly, we learn best as adults when we actually see a demonstration rather than merely hearing an explanation.

Our relationships demand constant feeding.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Interview With Uniworld’s Ellen Bettridge

This week on Avid Travel With Britton Frost I am joined by President and CEO of Uniworld, Ellen Bettridge.

With many new itineraries for 2020, and four new ships debuting, Uniworld has exciting plans ahead. Join us as we talk about what guests can expect from Uniworld and its sister company U River Cruises; as well as what these companies have planned for its guests in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Would You Buy from You – Again?

We shop where we are appreciated. Every year, when my watch stops, I go to the neighborhood jewelry store for battery replacement. Surrounded by gold and diamonds, my relatively tiny purchase consistently earns me a smile worthy of a top customer. When the timepiece itself needed replacement, I knew exactly who could help. ‘My’ jeweler values every dollar. The level of service she gives is not biased by the number of dollars I spend. Read the rest of this entry »

Strike while the iron is hot

The old adage, “strike while the iron is hot” holds a lot of truth. And today, I have a hot iron for you—but don’t worry, I suspect there is still a bit of time to do your striking. If you have traveled through an airport recently (any airport will do), judging from the lines and the crowds, you might assume that everyone is traveling. I know when I travel, it seems they are all traveling on my plane and claiming luggage from my luggage carousel and fighting for the same taxi I want. But, that assumption, could not be any more wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Acres of Diamonds

Independent contractors now make up over fifty percent of all travel advisers in North America, and one of the biggest challenges they face is finding new prospects.

They become captivated by stories of the agent who fell into a large booking from someone who found them on Facebook. They don’t realize, the this is typically an anomaly and one or two marque bookings does not make a business.

There are a number of agents who do use social media successfully as part of their attraction strategy, but they know they must be consistent and persistent in their efforts to build relationships with prospects.

When I see agents chasing leads online Read the rest of this entry »

This is the seventh of seven articles in a series titled Discover Your Group Niche. You will be able find the others in our Point-to-Point section.



Oscar: I just wanted you to know that you can’t just say the word bankruptcy and expect anything to happen.

Michael: I didn’t say it. I declared it.


Fans of The Office will instantly recall this hilarious segment from Season 4, Episode 4. Michael believes he will solve his financial woes in three words. His staff accountant is quick to correct him. The solution requires more than words, it requires him to take action! Read the rest of this entry »

The Down Under Wonders with AAT Kings

Australia, and its companion country New Zealand, have always been known for their natural beauty and unique cultures. And, sometimes, we need a little help from a guide to show us the good sites – which is AAT Kings’ goal. Starting with a simple trip from Sydney to the Blue Mountains in 1912, AAT Kings has had a long history of showing travelers Australia and New Zealand. Read the rest of this entry »

With the Wave Season just around the corner and a steady increase in the number of travel advisors requesting customised pre and post cruse extensions, this week I’m introducing 9 imaginatively themed 2-3-night ideas that will start conversations with clients planning cruises starting or finishing in Southampton, Dover, Tilbury or Harwich. With a little help from me, they will strengthen your relationship with each of them and generate some very valuable extra commission. 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 Curse of The Social Buffoon

Today’s message has little to do with travel, but a lot to do with your status within your community.

In not so many words, The Curse of the Social Buffoon sounds like this: “You think that’s cool, wait until you hear what I have to say.”

The “curse” its ugly face when one person in a group shares some interesting news (according to them) only to be trumped by the next person’s “exciting information.” The remaining people in the group immediately interpret this as a sign that it is time to play “one-upmanship.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tewfik Ghattas, Board Member, Central Holidays


Regional Administrative and Financial Director of Club Med, Cairo office


Financial Manager of STI Voyages France


General and Financial Director of STI Voyages France


Founder and President of Ghattas Tourism & Consulting Management, France


Executive Director of STI Voyages France

2016 to Present

Board Member of SGI Travel, Egypt –based in New Jersey office Read the rest of this entry »

Born and educated in the Netherlands, Gordon Dirker has enjoyed an extensive career in the travel industry. Prior to being appointed VP of Business Development, Americas for Celestyal Cruises in January 2018, Gordon spent nearly 18 years working for the Travel Corporation. This was followed by nearly 4 years with the Norway based expedition cruise and ferry line, Hurtigruten. He started as a BDM for Contiki Holidays based in Baltimore, MD. After 1 year, Gordon was promoted and moved to London to lead their sales and marketing efforts in the UK and Europe. This was followed by a move back to LA where he spent 6 years at Brendan Vacations in a similar senior role. He left the Travel Corporation to become the regional VP for the USA and Canada with Hurtigruten. Gordon is married and resides in Seattle. In his free time, he likes to ski, hike and explore the Eastern Mediterranean. Read the rest of this entry »

The Passion and Heat of Spain, Andalucia

Southern Spain is hot in far more ways than the climate. This area, covering the entirety of the south, is called Andalucía. It has been the front line of heated wars between Islamic and Christian cultures, and the fire of emotion brought out in art. Flamenco dancers and Roma singers spice the air, while the passion shown in the architecture and felt in the atmosphere keep the emotions high. Andalucía is what one thinks of when they think of Spain in cultural snapshots.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Best of Budapest

Budapest is a treasure of Eastern Europe, an architectural wonder of baroque and neoclassical. Located on the famous Danube River, its beauty is from a time that memorializes eras of classical music and Roman roots. The sights, the food, and nightlife combine into a fantastic foray into the “Paris of the East.” Read the rest of this entry »

Durban: South Africa’s Lesser Known Beach Paradise

On the stunning coasts of eastern South Africa sits Durban. The third most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg and Cape Town, its beaches seem endless. A place where Zulus make up the bulk of the population and the largest number of Indians live outside of India itself. All of this gives it a unique feel compared to the rest of South Africa. Embracing both its roots and the future, Durban is a worthwhile alternative to the more famous of South Africa’s cities. Read the rest of this entry »

When it comes to a world tour, it means to go and explore. There are a number of tours which exist and you will need to understand what each one of them really means. There is the hosted, independent, and escorted tour. The independent tour means that you are traveling on your own. This is where the travel company only takes the initiative to book your hotel and then seating on your own for any train or boat rides. When you land in the country you are going to, you will have to find your way to the hotel and make arrangements of what and where you want to go and see on your own. Read the rest of this entry »