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Critical Thinking

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” ~ Winston Churchill

Even at its best, when presented with tact and grace, criticism can be hard to take. When phrased as a complaint, criticism can be even tougher to endure. There is no doubt we have fostered a culture of complaint in our economic, political, and social system.  We have even trained people to complain as a way of getting windfalls in free services and goods.  Complain loudly enough and you get your way, we seem to be saying.

You need a response to criticism, one that demonstrates your company’s no-nonsense ethic.  Here is what I suggest. The next time you are criticized, say this:

“Thank you.” Read the rest of this entry »

Postcards from Around The World: Antarctica

After our awesome call in Buenos Aires and a stop in Montevideo, Uruguay, it was time for us to go “with the floe” in Antarctica. This was our third visit to the White Continent. The first one in 2000, we went on an expedition ship that allowed for six landings in Antarctica, six in sub-Antarctic islands and one in Cape Horn. Our next visit on Holland America’s Amsterdam was during her 2012 World Cruise, and this third one is again aboard the Amsterdam on her current World Cruise – our last two visits allowed us to enjoy Antarctica’s icy panoramas from the ship. Read the rest of this entry »

My Leader-Meter Measures Your Influence


Influence, by definition, isn’t always good by default. We can be negatively influenced by someone as easily as we can be positively influenced. Bottom line, they have an effect.

Business leaders, both strong and weak, yield powerful influence and drive measurable results. Strong leaders create a culture of high performance and productivity, which leads to healthy profit. Weak leaders create a culture of complacency and mediocrity, which leads to unhealthy fear and turnover.

No doubt, weak leadership is the greatest gift we give to competitors. It is an aversion for employees. It has a ripple effect that reaches and repels consumers. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Build Social Awareness for Your Next Group Tour


Have you ever been to an industry event and met someone who instantly exchanges cards and then walks away? You know the type; they don’t really start much of a conversation with you and it seems like all they want is to grab your card and run off to the next person.


Would you ever re-connect with that person? Or, more importantly, do business with them?

Probably not! Read the rest of this entry »

OK, so the whole Pythagorean Theorem never played a role in your life beyond eighth grade.  Maybe you never needed to rely on Ohm’s Law beyond Physics 101. You might even have trouble balancing your checkbook at times (does anyone still do that?). But if you are in business for yourself—full or part time…home or office based, here’s some math you need to know. Read the rest of this entry »

To Serve Through Sales

I am an evangelist for the benefits of having a sales-focused travel business. In fact, selling is one of the oldest, most honorable, and high-income professions in the world; but, at its core, it is about serving others.

We serve at the pleasure of our customers. As a result, our compensation is in direct proportion to the value of the service we provide, how it fulfills their needs, and the number of our customers we serve.

Here are four things you can do to serve your customers well. Read the rest of this entry »

In the closing scene of the 1924 film Epic of Everest, a blood-red sunset sinks below the horizon of the Himalayans in Tibet. Photographer Captain John Noel captured the brutal conditions and desolation of the landscape, as well as the humanity and courage of the Tibetan people. Epic of Everest is one of the earliest visual recordings of life in Tibet. As well as documenting their lives, the film also framed the assault on Mount Everest by the British in the 1920’s by George Mallory as an act of imperial conquest. This is shown most clearly when, despite the climbing teams’ admiration for the hardiness of the Tibetans, they announce with clear relief “All whites are safe!” during an avalanche. The accident claimed the lives of seven of their porters. Epic of Everest is one of many examples of the fraught and complicated relationship between the wealthy climbers who hire them and the native Sherpas of Everest. Read the rest of this entry »


The southwestern United States is a place of simple beauty. Plateaus and plains stretch across its seemingly endless horizon, interrupted with majestic mountain ranges and forests. Though the rusted red and orange of the southwest (particularly in the stunning sunsets) shines untamed by the modern world, this is only the beginning of where Southwest Adventure Tours starts. They’ve got much more planned for the traveler and the agent alike.

Southwest Adventure Tours has spent years searching out the best of the best in the American Southwest. For instance Read the rest of this entry »

This week’s short stories focus on several bright ideas for September 2020, and I’ve kicked off with a very tasty offering for the York Food and Drink Festival. Just under 2-hours north of London and easily accessible with Virgin Atlantic direct flights into the northern gateway of Manchester, it includes a class at the Cookery School at the 5-star Grand Hotel. Beer, tea, and wine-themed tours come next – followed by an absolutely fabulous garden tour to the Wisley Flower Show, the flagship home of the Royal Horticultural Society. Plus, for this year only folks, the floral extravaganzas at fairy tale Leeds Castle and in majestic Salisbury Cathedral. For fans of murder mystery novels, I’ve closed with a heads up for the International Agatha Christie Festival on England’s Riviera.

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 »

There Is No Harm In Asking


Today’s marketing minute falls under the category of current events. This happened to me twice in the last few days. Here is my story and accompanying lesson/reminder.

Adjacent to where I live in Florida are two gated communities where I have always wanted to see beyond the gates. For years, I drove past these two communities trying to imagine what their layout looked like.

This week I banged a left turn and found myself speaking with the guard. I rolled down my window and said to the uniformed guard, “My name is Mike Marchev and I am interested in your property. Can you recommend me to a real estate agent I can schedule an appointment with?” Read the rest of this entry »

Santorini: Weddings and Honeymoons

There are many reasons to visit the paradise known as Santorini. It is home to some of the famous and stunning white-washed houses found along many of the islands in the Cyclades. Almost all cafes and restaurants have a view of the azure waters. Nights bring starry skies, the revelry of nightclubs and bars. These traits make Santorini perfect for the start of a new life together – whether it be weddings or honeymoons. Read the rest of this entry »

Over the past 30 years she has had various roles in business development in the travel industry. Throughout my career she has worked in tour operation with Air Canada Vacations, Travelbrands and TMR Holidays in Canada, along with retail management of Solways Travel and GTA Travel a seller of accommodations and transfers. Having worked in various avenues of the travel industry in Canada, she has gained valuable experience in sales, operations and marketing of travel products through both retail and wholesale clients. Vicki’s position is presently Director of Business Development, The Americas, with Blue-Roads Touring and Topdeck. This allows her to oversee key distribution partners in the Americas, developing, coordinating and implementing new strategic plans to advance existing business and secure new sales opportunities. Vicki is tasked with both forming new business partnerships with the brands’ key distributors, while further managing relationships with current distribution partners. It is an exciting time in travel, as clients are looking for unique experiences in their travel adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

The Modern Marvels of Dubai


Rising from the Arabian desert, on the Persian Gulf, is the luxurious and futuristic city of Dubai. Said to be settled in the 18th-century as a fishing village, Dubai has come a long way since then. Though forts and watchtowers remain from that time, skyscrapers and man-made islands create an entirely different aesthetic. As modern as Dubai has become, there is an undercurrent of tradition that keeps. Dubai has defied the harsh terrain to be become one of the most well-known metropolises in the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Southern Charms of the Lower Mississippi


The southern United States is a destination of lush landscapes and rich history, from mighty oaks decorated with hanging Spanish moss to music that has remained soulful through time. One of the more prominent sights in the South is where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. An area that has been historically diverse in cultures, which often means phenomenal food and a variety of unique experiences. the traveler can take their time on a riverboat cruise along one of the most iconic rivers in the United States. 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 »