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Empathy and Sales

As a nation, we are a jaded lot. From Willy Loman to the used-auto hucksters in countless movies, the public in general holds sales people rather low on the scale of esteem. Indeed, most of the people you encounter are so afraid of being “sold” something that they refuse to speak with sales people when they enter a store or walk onto a car lot. “I’m just looking” is used as the warding spell against the sales person, and woe to the one who persists beyond that point.

Most travel consultants share this cultural bias against “sales.” Ironic, isn’t it?

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I Choose Optimism

Last week, ASTA put out a statement that was a distress call to everyone within range of its voice to recognize the dire state of one of America’s most endeared industries, to get the word to legislators that help must be included in the rescue bill now being run through legislative procedures. Otherwise, America could lose its retail travel industry.

So I am doing my bit to pass on the word, because America without its travel advisors would be a much gloomier place indeed. It would be like the transformation of Bedford Falls to Pottersville in It’s a Wonderful Life. That would not be a world many of us would want to live in. Read the rest of this entry »

Tax Tips for Travel Advisors in 2021

Take one new tax law that passed on December 27. Add payment delays at the IRS. Top with one global pandemic. “This is one of the nation’s most important tax seasons ever,” says IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

In short, lots of issues lie in wait for taxpayers this year. Travel advisors surely understand that it is important to talk to a professional when making important decisions in a rapidly changing environment. But as you work with your tax advisor, here are some new developments to consider Read the rest of this entry »

Does This Fam Trip Number Surprise You?

Fam Trips. They are the number one tool travel advisors want for educating themselves about a destination and/or a supplier. Makes sense, right?

You can take all of the online training you want. You can attend industry conferences and see a dozen sales presentations. But there is nothing like being in a destination, and testing out a supplier’s product, to be able to know whether or not those places, services and experiences are right for your clients.

So, when Travel Business Mastermind conducted a survey about the various services and support travel advisors receive from the industry, what I didn’t expect to learn was that the number one benefit agents want from a Fam trip is – wait for it – room inspections. Read the rest of this entry »

As of November 3, 2020, twenty-five Caribbean countries have reopened their borders to travelers and have implemented COVID-19 travel protocols to protect travelers and citizens. Each Caribbean country has different regulations on COVID-19 and, as a travel resource provider, we inform our clients of the existing rules and travel restrictions. One of the best resources that I found was the COVID Controls website. This website allows you to see the current status of each country’s COVID-19 Read the rest of this entry »

Crystal Announces New Vaccine Requirement

Crystal announced that it has updated its new health and safety protocols to now require all guests to be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to their Crystal cruise. Guests will need to provide proof of vaccination before embarkation and must have received both doses of the vaccine if recommended by the manufacturer by that timeline. The vaccine requirement augments the company’s Crystal Clean+ 4.0 measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, temperature checks at the terminal prior to boarding, a mask policy, social distancing guidelines, enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures, reduced capacity and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting in Position to Win

An accident on the last lap of the Daytona 500 resulted in victory for driver Michael McDowell, who had no chance to win up until then. After 498 miles of racing, this driver found himself “in position” to take advantage of a last lap pile up. The result was a trophy and a large sum of money.

The lesson was glaringly clear. If you ever want to have a chance to win as a result of the unexpected, you had better find a way to get yourself in “position.” Opportunities often evaporate as fast as they appear. You must be able to respond in a flash before giving your opponent room to rebound. Read the rest of this entry »

Never Underestimate Tomorrow’s  Client

Over the past year, many of us on TRO have offered advice on how to move forward through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. With each new day we know something more and that advice has changed, and likely will continue to change as what we are going through now is (to use tired phrase) unprecedented. But one piece of advice that rang true 100 years ago, 2 years, ago, today, and will ring true especially in the future is to never underestimate your client. 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 »


When the pandemic first hit, no place was affected more than New York. During the first few weeks of the pandemic, we all watched as New York struggled to contain the COVID-19 virus. To battle the virus, New York implemented one of the strictest travel advisories in the country that limited travel to New York unless you were an essential worker and required anyone who traveled to New York from a designated hot spot to quarantine for 14 days. Read the rest of this entry »

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tourism South East recently staged an excellent virtual version of their hugely popular Excursions trade show. Being a great believer in hub and spoke tours, two destinations have caught my eye; one in the English countryside and the other at the seaside. The first is the Kent town of Maidstone, which is home to a collection of internationally renowned hotel brands that provide the highest quality accommodation. The second is the seaside city of Brighton, where the 5-star Grand Hotel and many seafront 4-star properties tick all the right boxes for the high-end traveller. Let’s take a closer look at why they make a very good base for a pre-London, or pre-cruise, 3-4 night stay.

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Khartoum: Where the Nile Meets Itself


Located where the Blue and White Nile Rivers converge into one great river, Khartoum-proper is a city moving quickly into modern times. This metropolis is the capital of Sudan, which did not gain its independence until 1956. It is now a center for trade and economics in North Africa, but still holds onto its traditional roots just outside of the glass and steel of its center. Markets, mosques, and Sudanese culture await the traveler. 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.

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Lake Balaton and Western Hungary


In a continued look at the beauties of Hungary, I’ve covered some of the more well-known cities such as The Best of Budapest – as well as The Interests Around Budapest. Today’s article on Hungary will dive a little deeper into the premier holiday destination of Central Europe, Lake Batalon and its surrounding areas. As central Europe’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Balaton is a prime in Hungary destination to enjoy it’s Mediterranean-like climate.

Once exclusively the home of resort centres for the aristocracy of Hungary, Lake Batalon’s tourism expanded to the middle class in the late 19th century. And, while resort towns line the lake these days, the more historic towns gain quite the attention of visitors. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasmania’s Immaculate Views

Off the southern coast of Australia is an island that remains mostly untouched by the hurried movement of the modern world. A place where the hunger of unhindered progress has yet to mar its forests, mountains, and beaches. Nicknamed Tassie, the Australian island state of Tasmania is a destination of natural beauty, a complicated history, and a cultural depth sure to pull the traveler in to its allure. Read the rest of this entry »