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Habit Forming

Habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily express our character produce our effectiveness or ineffectiveness. ~ Stephen R. Covey

As Stephen Covey indicates, habits are powerful forces, perhaps even more so than we suspect. Good habits we often perceive as difficult to form and bad habits impossible to break. Ironically, the reverse also appears to be true. Good habits seem as flimsy as the first excuse to disrupt a routine and bad habits arise before we notice their presence. Read the rest of this entry »

Africa Reconsidered in the Age of COVID

In the Age of COVID, the world in which nearly all countries competed fiercely for the American tourist dollar is a fading memory, and today there is a relatively small list of destinations that welcome Americans.

Sad as it may be for Americans to give up the throne of favored tourism demographic, being unwelcome is a minor problem compared to the possibility of catching the deadly disease. In terms of both of these issues, and some others besides, Africa emerges as a strong possibility when considering venturing out again after months of sheltering to avoid COVID. Read the rest of this entry »

Create Your Own New Normal

This is the first of a series of columns I will be writing for TRO over the next few months, trying to help bring some clarity around how travel advisors, suppliers, and destinations can adapt to the rapidly shifting environment Coronavirus has created.

During that time, I promise to sparingly use words like “unprecedented” or “new normal.” Those words are too often used with lazy ambiguity to avoid giving you the depth of knowledge you need to manage through this madness.

The fact of the matter is, we’ve never seen travel demand drop off this deeply and quickly ever in my lifetime (more than five decades and counting). And we’ve never had a seemingly immovable impediment like COVID-19, forcing our hands in what kinds of destinations and vacation experiences we can sell. Read the rest of this entry »


In early July we started receiving news that certain cruise lines would resume sailing. Paul Gaugin, Ponant, Hurtigruten, UnCruise and Seadream were among the first ocean cruise lines to resume operations. It’s now been a few weeks since these lines returned to the seas, and in that short amount of time most of the lines have had COVID-19 outbreaks. But more on that in a minute. Read the rest of this entry »


“When we fail to stop, drop and roll out next-gen strategies, we end up out of touch and out of business.” – Stuart

It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the day. On bad days, we rush to put out the little fires that pop-up. On good days, we rush to put out the big proposals that pop-in. Inevitably, our workplace becomes a pop-culture meaning we are perpetually focused on whatever is popping that day.

The good news is that we somehow manage to get the job done. Read the rest of this entry »

No, I have not gone off the deep end here. Last week, I ended up buying a new lounge chair when a local company called me up and asked.  I was not in the market for a new lounge chair. I did not need one. But, the price was right and I bought. And you know what?  I may be in the market for a couch and coffee table in the next year; and guess who I will likely be calling?  And that is what got me thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

Elvis Has Left the Building

Not long after starting my training firm, The Wealthy Travel Agent, I received a call from my friend Richard Earls, publisher of Travel Research Online (TRO), asking if I would write a column on luxury travel. I immediately agreed. Over time, it morphed into one that advocated sound sales-based business practices with luxury travel as the product of choice – but could be applied to any model.

I don’t want to be that person who overstays their welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

On June 30, 2020, the European Union (EU) released their first EU Healthy Gateways Report, their guide for cruise companies operating in the EU resuming operation. The report was written by a “working group” that represented the Ministries of Health in nine European nations. Many major cruise lines participated in the writing, but it probably went further than many of them imagined.

The first six chapters — which we discussed last week — focused on mandatory testing for guests and crew; quarantine facilities both on the ship and in ports; compulsory notification to port authorities of guests and crew, if COVID-19 infections are suspected. This week, we’ll discuss the structural modifications and changes Read the rest of this entry »

Sky Bird Travel & Tours

Sky Bird Travel & Tours is an award-winning airline consolidator who has served as a top resource for all types of travel agents since 1976, committed to connecting its clients with the lowest net fares from nearly 100 airline partners. Because of the close relationships Sky Bird has with the world’s best airlines, travel agents find incredible airfare deals for clients while simultaneously securing higher commission by choosing their own markup. Read the rest of this entry »

Orchids, Doc Martin, Malt Whisky and Roses


Capture some of the pent-up demand for UK travel with these imaginative early season tour ideas for 2021. Kew Gardens Orchid extravaganza is truly stunning, and Cornwall’s gardens are resplendent in March thanks to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream (and a dash of Doc Martin). Tulips drive an April tour and malt whisky and ancient castle influence a visit to southwest Scotland in May. Read the rest of this entry »

What Gets Measured Gets Done

I realize I may be a bit out of season, but I think today’s message makes a lot of sense. Give me a minute.

There are 138 days left until Christmas at the time of this writing. I know this to be true, and most of you did not have a clue. I know it’s a fact as of today’s writing, there are 138 days left.

How do I know? Because Christmas is a very special and important occasion and my wife’s yearly event schedule. She has a countdown calendar hanging on our kitchen wall. Every morning she makes an adjustment and we know exactly how many days remain until Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »


While the numbers of people suffering the worst of COVID-19 have dramatically decreased, much of the world is still cautious about travel in the near future. Poland is no different and, as mentioned in a previous article about their #CityWillWait and #PolandWilllWait campaign, it has created the first issue of Poland: Online Site Inspection – created to keep the Travel Industry updated on spaces for meeting and event planners. Read the rest of this entry »

Susan Shultz-Gelino is the Vice President of Trade Relations for American Cruise Lines. She has been with American Cruise Lines for over 20 years and has worked in Sales and Marketing for over 30 years, beginning her career with the Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor.

During her tenure with American Cruise Lines, Susan has led American’s sales department to record numbers. In 2014, she was integral in expanding American’s U.S. sales force to the Line’s Salt Lake City, Utah office. In 2018, Susan formed a team of Business Development Managers, positioned throughout the U.S., to assist American’s growing network of Travel Advisors. She now oversees all trade partnerships and group sales. 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.

Read the rest of this entry »