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Apple ID Goes Live in Four States

  Wouldn’t it be nice to just wear your ID on your wrist as you go through the airport? Apple’s been working on it, and it’s live now in four states. Apple users in Arizona have been carrying their driver’s licenses and state IDs in their Apple Wallets for a...
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American Airlines/JetBlue Alliance Struck Down

  A federal judge has ruled that American Airlines and JetBlue must end their Northeast Alliance because it is anti-competitive. Formed in 2021, the partnership allows the two carriers to coordinate schedules, swap slots and share revenues at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports in the New York metropolitan area, and...
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Walt Disney World to Close Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel

  Just a year after its launch, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Walt Disney World in Orlando will make its final voyage. The pricey attraction, where the minimum two-night stay costs nearly $5,000 per couple, will close on Sept. 28, Disney said. Guests with reservations after that date...
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MSC Details Euribia Launch and Owner’s Residence on Explora I

  Underscoring its reach into the US market, MSC Group this week offered up details about the naming ceremony of MSC Euribia in Copenhagen, as well as the Owners Suite on Explora I, the first ship in its new Explora Journeys luxury division. Sporting “the most energy-efficient cruise ship design...
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PATH Symposium Fosters Collaboration and Relationship Building in the Travel Industry

San Juan, Puerto Rico - In the ever-evolving landscape of the travel industry, the notion of a Host Agency has undergone significant growth, leading to the emergence of various business models that have caused confusion regarding its true definition. Recognizing the need for clarity and standardization, the Professionals Association of...
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United Pilots Join the Not So Friendly Skies, Picket Major Airports Today

  United Airlines pilots are holding “informational picketing” at 10 airports across the nation today (Friday), ahead of the busy summer travel season. They join pilots at Southwest and American Airlines in demanding better pay and working conditions. The union said it expects at least 2,000 of its 14,000 pilots...
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US Ends Covid-19 Vaccine Requirement for Inbound Travelers

  The United States will finally lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for inbound international air travelers on Friday, May 12th, that has been in place since October 2021. "Considering the progress that we have made, and based on the latest guidance from our public health experts, I have determined that...
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Five Announcements—Including a Dining Plan—From Walt Disney World

  Just ahead of opening sales for the 2024 season, Walt Disney World announced a handful of sure-to-be-popular changes that seem designed to turn things back to the way they used to be. Leading the list is the return of Disney Dining and Disney Quick Service Dining Plans, which again...
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Finding Your Niche

Many travel professionals have told me recently they have decided to work on creating a specialized, niche segment for their travel practice. Developing and marketing a niche area of expertise is one of the best ways to differentiate your travel practice from the competition. As an expert in a particular theme or destination, you can quickly establish your travel agency as the only reasonable resource to which consumers should turn when considering travel in your niche venue.

The concept of adopting a niche is often misconstrued. Niche marketing is a way of helping you focus on locating new clients, not a set of restrictions on your business offerings. Niche marketing is not necessarily about gearing your entire business to a particular type of travel. It is about segmenting your marketing efforts to focus on particular groups of people, however. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s not a year to be shy about upselling, said virtually every supplier at the Avoya Travel Land Forum earlier this week. Travelers are eager to extend their land and sea vacations, and to try unique and upscale experiences. It’s up to their travel advisors to point them in the right direction—and that direction is up.

“We all want to increase the bottom line,” said Sandals senior regional sales manager Ian Braun. “Every conversation we are having we should be upselling, telling clients the things they should be doing on their next vacation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Legal law justice service illustration flat vector template

Let’s delve into a few best practices and a few legal issues that confront travel agency newsletter publishers. Many of the best practices pertain to any email marketing, but they are worthwhile repeating to keep you and your agency in good standing both with your clients and with some important third parties!

Best Practices

When formatting your newsletter, try to avoid complicated CSS style sheets. Many email readers, notably Outlook 7.0 are not kind to CSS and will play havoc with the appearance and layout of your newsletter. Have your designer use simple “in-line” html tags instead. Read the rest of this entry »

After reading the book by the title above, I find myself noticing a number of items that, yesterday, would have gone unnoticed and perhaps untouched. I figured if I was not going to complete the task at hand in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to do so. This has proven over time to be a wasteful decision.

The Kaizen philosophy goes against the popular teaching that you must finish what you start… at one sitting. Kaizen implies that you will eventually complete the task, but not as quickly as you first imagined. Read the rest of this entry »

Hashtag symbol

Hashtags are an essential, but sometimes misunderstood, tool for growing an Instagram following as they allow users to discover new content and increase the visibility of their own posts. Hashtags work by categorizing posts under specific topics, making them more discoverable to users interested in those topics. Instagram creators use hashtags to track trends and enhance search. Simply speaking, hashtags are words or phrases about a specific topic, with a hash (#) before it, e.g. #traveltuesday. Read the rest of this entry »

What Does It Take to Market Travel Today

We sell travel. But so do dozens of websites and brick-and-mortar competitors. Get out of the mindset that you sell travel and begin to think like a marketer. You market travel. The sale is a byproduct. And with effective marketing, sales will follow. Look to Apple for proof. Somehow, they create enough marketing buzz to convince people to shell out $1000 every two years for a cell phone!  But travel is a bit different. Let’s explore the ten essential qualities that I think will allow you to stand heads and shoulders above the rest. Read the rest of this entry »

AMAWaterways river cruise ship

Looking to its profitable and resurgent group business, AmaWaterways on Tuesday announced an extension of its bonus commission program and its online AmaAcademy for travel advisors selling groups.

SVP Sales Alex Pinelo told TRO, “During the Covid period, there was a lot of uncertainty about when travel would resume and what restrictions might apply when it did. Travel advisors had a difficult time promoting new groups because of that uncertainty. Read the rest of this entry »

As many travel agents view it, providing airline tickets isn’t a real business—it’s a giveaway. Since domestic tickets don’t pay commissions, they serve as loss leaders for compensation paid by cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and escorted tour providers. Selling Business Class and First-Class air tickets is a different matter due to the huge commissions paid, but they probably account for no more than 10-15 percent of the tickets that pay nothing.

The lack of financial incentives isn’t the only problem. Unless your business is large enough to justify a GDS, you spend much of your work life waiting on “hold” for airline service personnel, or listening to Sally explain why she can’t fly on Saturday or needs a window seat. Read the rest of this entry » is proud to announce their 36th anniversary this year. For over three decades, they have been providing travel agents with excellent service and superior seating for both Broadway and London Theatre. In addition to theatre tickets, they also offer tickets for nationwide events, local concerts, and sporting events. Read the rest of this entry »

Capturing Lightning in a Bottle

Like many agents out there, after the pandemic I’m busier than ever with new and repeat business. It has doubled year after year and, 2023 is shaping up to double again. As a solo owner/operator, it took some trial and error to find my groove. I can’t point to one thing that moved the needle—it has been a combined approach from multiple angles. Here are some things that have helped me accelerate my multi-million-dollar business growth. Read the rest of this entry »

OliverAI, Artificial Intelligence, Voyager

The following article is an unedited interview with Voyager’s new artificial intelligence, OliverAI. Starting with “tell us about yourself.

OliverAI uses an artificial intelligence language model created by OpenAI, and I’m glad to be of service to you and to the travel professional community. I’m capable of processing vast amounts of data and providing responses to a wide range of inquiries. I’m also constantly learning and improving, thanks to the advanced machine learning algorithms used in my development. Whether it’s helping companies improve their customer service, assisting with complex data analysis tasks, or even engaging in conversational interactions like this one, my capabilities are broad and my potential is virtually limitless. With my advanced AI capabilities and strategic insights, I’m here to help you achieve your business objectives and enhance your overall operational efficiency.

Read the rest of this entry »

La Fortuna, Adventure and a Fortune of Memories

Costa Rica has plenty for the more leisure-focused traveler, with resorts and beaches galore. But another area of travel that Costa Rica absolutely shines is adventure. From canopy walks to meeting sloths, to ziplines and floating down rivers, traveling in this country can go wild. Particularly La Fortuna, with its volcanoes, rivers, and surrounding areas of dense jungle. Costa Rica, and La Fortuna especially, is a place where nature is foremost and can be embraced by the traveler.

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Majestic Morocco

Morocco, in North Africa, is known for its fascinating blend of cultures, including Amazigh, Arab, and European influences. These influences are reflected in its cuisine, music, and architecture. Morocco is also famous for its stunning natural landscapes, including the Sahara Desert, the High Atlas Mountains—and the beautiful coastline. Its cities, such as Marrakech and Casablanca, are filled with ornate palaces, bustling markets, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visitors to Morocco can expect to be charmed by the hospitality of its people, the vibrancy of its culture, and its rich history, which dates back thousands of years. Read the rest of this entry »

Great Cathedrals of Spain

Great Cathedrals of Spain

Spain is a country rich in history and culture, and its cathedrals are a testament to true architectural mastery. From Gothic to Renaissance styles, these magnificent structures dwarf the ego and immerse the visitor in awe. Here are a few of the most significant cathedrals in Spain, including notes on their history, design, and construction. Read the rest of this entry »

View over lush valley and hills and Rio Magdalena

View over lush valley and hills and Rio Magdalena

Rudi Schreiner’s dream of sailing the Magdalena River has come to fruition with the launch of two new ships that will sail the river in Colombia in 2024.

The AmaMagdalena and AmaMelodia will join the two dozen ships already in the Ama fleet, sailing itineraries between Cartagena and Barranquilla. Read the rest of this entry »

Path Logo

San Juan, Puerto Rico – In the ever-evolving landscape of the travel industry, the notion of a Host Agency has undergone significant growth, leading to the emergence of various business models that have caused confusion regarding its true definition. Recognizing the need for clarity and standardization, the Professionals Association of Travel Hosts (PATH) was established to set operating standards and ensure strict adherence among its members. For travel agent professionals seeking excellence in host agencies, the gold standard can be easily found within the list of PATH members. Read the rest of this entry »