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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...
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Riverside River Cruises with Gregor Gerlach

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new kid on the block in the luxury river cruise space. Riverside Luxury River Cruises made a soft debut to the travel advisor scene over the last few weeks putting their owner, Gregor Gerlach, center stage to talk about his latest hospitality...
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London airports facing planned strike by Border Force officials

Travelers entering the UK next week are being warned to expect delays at border control, as a result of a planned strike by Border Force officials. The Public and Commercial Services union will be walking out next Wednesday in a dispute over pay. The stoppage is set to last through...
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Ama Brings River Cruising to Colombia’s Magdalena River

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...
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France Aviation Workers Join Another Massive Strike This Week

Sacre bleu, it’s not the kind of encore tourists were hoping to hear in Paris next week. The latest in a series of labor actions has French union workers—including those in the aviation industry—calling for a weeklong nationwide strike from March 6-10, and warning travelers that flight disruptions are likely....
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New United Airlines Policy Seats Children with Parents at No Extra Charge

United Airlines by March will roll out a new family seating policy designed to seat children under 12 next to an adult for free, even if that means giving them a preferred seat at an economy price. A new automated seat map feature announced this week finds adjacent seats at...
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Explora’s Chris Austen Promises No Hold Time to Book MSC’s Luxury Line

Even as it grows its footprint in the US market, MSC is making a $3.75 billion investment in the luxury cruise segment with its new Explora Journeys line, focused on exclusive access for small, intimate groups, from two to 25 guests, and a slower pace of travel. The first of six...
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Three TTC Tour Brands—Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold—are teaming with Tourism Switzerland on a giant international fam trip, the first of four TTC expects to offer this year. Top-selling travel advisors are invited to apply for the Switzerland Fam, a seven-day, all-expense-paid trip that includes a hike through the...
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Ready, Fire… Aim!

There is absolutely no doubt that a failure to plan is one of the biggest mistakes many business people make.  Without a solid business plan, even the best travel consultant can fail to act consistently in any given aspect of their practice. Planning is truly essential.

But so is action.

I see far too many travel professionals planning their lives away, getting ready to act, and then… not acting! The problem can induce a near-paralytic state. Too many times we over-plan and over-perfect, and in the process lose valuable opportunities to others who are quicker to act.   Read the rest of this entry »

There’s no business like show business, they say, and many travel advisors are finding consumer travel shows to be a great source of new customers and positive ROI.

“It’s crazy this time of year,” says Tara Bodell of Trips by Tara and Associates, taking a break from the details of her upcoming shows, two in March and one in May, to chat with me on the phone.

“I have a completely different outlook than those who say they don’t go to consumer travel shows. I love doing these shows, and it’s very worthwhile; I did seven or eight in 2022, and this year I’ll do even more. But now, I’m so busy that I was thinking maybe I need to slow down. Instead, though, I’m in the process of hiring an assistant. I’d rather do events and hire people to help me run my travel business than give up the events.”

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What’s It All About? Avanti Heads Into Tenerife

Avanti Destinations named Tenerife as a new destination on its roster of places where it provides components for independent vacation packages. It’s the first new destination Avanti has added for a while. Adding destinations was not a big trend during the Covid lockdown, or even now while the industry is re-tooling and getting back on its feet. Avanti’s last introduction of a major destination was Abu Dhabi in June 2022.

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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 »

AmaWaterways’ Epicurean Experience Cruises

AmaWaterways announced three new opportunities for guests to celebrate the African and Black diaspora on the rivers in 2024. Due to the overwhelming demand for the first-ever Soulful Epicurean Experience on the Rhône River in France embarking August 24, 2023, two new June departure dates have been announced for that itinerary. The special journeys include the Colors of Provence cruise plus three nights in Paris. Also added for 2024 is a Soulful Epicurean Experience in Egypt on Secrets of Egypt & The Nile itinerary starting in Cairo on May 17, 2024. The unique experiences available during the cruise and land packages invite travelers to discover and celebrate important aspects of Black history and culture unique to each country.

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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 »

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

My apologies to John, Paul, George, and Ringo for appropriating your title, but it is true! I might add that we thrive with a little help from our friends. All business tends to be very territorial and insular. Machismo takes over, and we all feel that we are invincible and can handle anything that comes along. It is almost human nature not to ask for help, and that is something that needs to change. 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 »

Let’s say one of your clients is a semi-retired couple living in Los Angeles. They’ve told you they think they’re in a rut now that their kids have left their home and they’ve lost contact with many former friends due to their moving away in the last few years. They eagerly await their annual cruises, but you know they are now seeking something more.

Ask them if they want to spend the next three years cruising worldwide. They reply, “We can’t afford it. We’re not millionaires.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Integrated Booking and Payments With WeTravel

Founded in 2016, WeTravel was built to support travel businesses by digitizing and simplifying the travel booking and payment process. Now used by more than 3,000 travel companies—to transact with nearly 500,000 travelers and thousands of suppliers, annually— the platform has revolutionized how the travel industry manages their businesses. With a suite of integrated SaaS and FinTech solutions that fit into an intuitive platform, WeTravel enables businesses to increase sales conversion, trim administration time, and manage fund transfers from travelers and to suppliers globally.

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I had to admit to myself that I was a bit nervous about interviewing Laurie McAndish King. As the accomplished writer of An Elephant Ate My Arm: More True Stories from a Curious Traveler, published last year, she’s seen a rise in popularity. This book has won first place in the Paris Book Festival, with individual stories in the collection winning multiple other awards. Her writing voice is clearly her own, a daunting task most writers struggle with on a daily basis. So, yeah, I was clearly nervous that my questions wouldn’t grab her attention. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

From the starting conversation about our video backgrounds, there was a curiosity radiating from the image on the computer. Three minutes in, she’d asked more questions than me. When it naturally came around to a starting point, I launched in with the biggest question first: did you start this collection of stories during the primary part of the pandemic?

Read the rest of this entry »

Windstar Cruise Ship

With many small destinations protesting against over-tourism, here’s no better time than now for a small-ship cruise, says the team at Windstar Cruises. With just 350 guests, their “nimble and unobtrusive” ships “leave a softer footprint on the beaches, national parks, and streets of these fabled destinations.”

That’s especially important in seven ports: Dubrovnik, Venice, Bar Harbor, Key West, French Polynesia, Santorini and Juneau. 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.

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »