TravelResearchOnline | The voice of the travel agency community


10 Suggestions for Travel Professionals

Next week I have the opportunity to travel for pleasure and, as always, small apprehensions about all of the work I have to do at the office shadow my travel plans. I thought it might an opportunity to re-focus on a few critical issues- like why I do what I do, how to do it better, and what to do more often.  As I wrote down my thoughts, it occurred to me we far too often lose sight of the reasons we are in the travel business. So I developed the following suggestions for myself. At first I called them commandments, but they really are suggestions more than commandments. The real commandments, the ones from the burning bush, were mostly about what not to do.  The ones below are more about steps you can take to enhance your travel practice and drive it forward. Read the rest of this entry »

This week on Avid Travel With Britton Frost we are covering one of the river cruising topics I am most passionate about – family travel.

We have talked about family travel and cruising with families in multiple podcasts, but family travel has never been the focus of an entire podcast. In this episode, we will look at which cruise lines are the most family friendly – not only in their itineraries and cruise offerings, but also in their accommodations. Read the rest of this entry »

When you believe that customer loyalty is achievable, and you have a plan that is actionable, then losing your best customer is avoidable. That’s the win-win practice. When you believe otherwise, your business bears the burden of constant turnover. That’s the lose-lose practice.

The turnover strategy is terribly exhausting and requires the biggest investment of money. The loyalty strategy is wonderfully rewarding and requires the biggest investment of effort. You can champion turnover by championing loyalty. Read the rest of this entry »

Social Overload & Overwhelm: How to Avoid the Chaos

Do you ever feel overwhelmed and overloaded with social marketing, selling, accounting and balancing life & work? Whew! It’s a lot of juggling, isn’t it?

How can we make better use of our social marketing time and effort?

A tourism pro recently threw this question out to me in a workshop I was leading. So, I decided to put together a short video with some quick tips to help you avoid the social marketing overwhelm so many of us feel.

It’s no secret that live streaming video is THE way to go! Don’t waste your time….max-out the time you spend going live with these tips. Read the rest of this entry »

Look… Squirrel!

Recently I have been cleaning out my email of the many free e-newsletters I have signed up for over the years. Many with the promise of easy riches in webinars, self-filling sales funnels, and coaching programs who guarantee their secret system will make me a rich by ____ (you fill in the blank).

And then there is Russ Ruffino. I like his style. He and his company are an open book. His system is simple and successful. And unlike most other coaches, he uses it in his own business. Read the rest of this entry »

This is the seventh of seven articles in a series titled Discover Your Group Niche. You will be able find the others in our Point-to-Point section.



Oscar: I just wanted you to know that you can’t just say the word bankruptcy and expect anything to happen.

Michael: I didn’t say it. I declared it.


Fans of The Office will instantly recall this hilarious segment from Season 4, Episode 4. Michael believes he will solve his financial woes in three words. His staff accountant is quick to correct him. The solution requires more than words, it requires him to take action! Read the rest of this entry »

Since 1986, Elegant Adventures has offered up the best of Central America. That’s more than 30 years of an area that has only recently exploded in popularity. As an authority in this area, Elegant Adventures pays attention to the details with an expert ear and service. Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama… they’ve got the traveler covered from all angles.

One of the first things you notice about Elegant Adventures is the CEO, Dan Conaway. Talking with him myself in an earlier interview, he obviously has a passion regarding Central America Read the rest of this entry »

On Location tours, Viking Festivals, Wallabies in one of England’s finest woodland gardens, and an audio tour of a fine collection keyboard instruments. Welcome to the world I live in and the experiences I include in customised itineraries for couples, families and groups cruising or flying in and out of the UK. Read on and discover more about the bubble, fizz and pleasant surprises I can add to your tours.

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 »

This is Marketing Mistake #11 of 15. Upgrade is in quotes because I don’t necessarily endorse the concept of “up-selling.” Notice I said “don’t necessarily.” There are times when it is in the best interest of the buyer to be introduced to a product that costs more than the original item. Regardless of the price point, I endorse the practice of “selling right.” And if ‘right’ is up I say go for it. On the other hand, I also endorse the practice of “selling down” – if it is the ‘right’ thing to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Kelly Bigel, VP of Business Development, ASTA

A hospitality and tourism professional, Kelly Bigel joined ASTA in 2015, and has served in multiple positions during her tenure. Currently, Kelly is the Vice President of Business Development, where she recruits travel supplier company members, collaborates with them to create creative, customized outreach campaigns, and leads the Business Development team in executing successful trade shows and events.

In addition to her Business Development duties, Kelly was lead contributor on reorganizing the chapter structure, created and managed multiple Education Sessions and represents ASTA at various industry events. Before joining ASTA, Kelly held a series of Sales and Management roles at multiple Ritz-Carlton Hotels. In addition, Kelly worked as Strategic Account Manager of Escapes at LivingSocial, after coming from her position of Regional Sales Manager at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas.

Kelly received a BS in Hospitality from the Rosen School of Hospitality Management at University of Central Florida.

Kelly lives with her husband in Washington, DC, where she spends her free time volunteering, sailboat racing on the Potomac, practicing yoga, and of course, traveling! Read the rest of this entry »

Michael was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. He attended Northern Illinois University where he received a BS in Biological Sciences. It didn’t take him long to realize the routine of scientific testing work didn’t match with his personality.

Following a 29-year career working for the airlines in increasing sales roles, Michael joined Sky Bird Travel & Tours in 2015 as Sky Bird’s first Business Development Manager. As the sales team grew, Michael took on the role of Director as well as overseeing the Customer Service division. He is often the face of Sky Bird at industry events and the voice of Sky Bird on webinars featuring our WINGS booking engine.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Adventure of the Senses in Vietnam

Anthony Bourdain once said of Vietnam, “The food, culture, landscape, and smell; they’re all inseparable. It just seemed like another planet; a delicious one that sort of sucked me in and never let go.” And this seems to be the prevailing memories people take home from this exotic land of fantastic food and staggering natural beauty. Today’s article on Vietnam is brought to you by, and they want the agent to know all about the possibilities that Vietnam holds.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friendly Ghana with South African Airways

Along the coast of West Africa is the welcoming country of Ghana, its name meaning “Warrior King.” As one of the most stable countries in Africa, it is quickly becoming the perfect gateway to Africa for first time visitors. Tourism is steadily increasing, and there seems to be no slowing soon. Ghana is harmony between the diverse cultures that exist within its boundaries, a land of nature and humans coexisting. Read the rest of this entry »

The Cloud Forests of Costa Rica

As one of Costa Rica’s major ecotourism destinations, Monteverde is a perfect place to witness the natural phenomenon of a cloud forest. These lush forests have suspension bridges, walkways, and ziplines in the canopies of dense trees – and often have low-lying clouds that create an amazing atmosphere of mystery and beauty. And Costa Rica Dream Adventures can get the traveler to this lovely slice of Mother Nature in one of the most pleasant countries on Earth. Read the rest of this entry »

I am proud to say I have been a part of the National Transaction Corp (NTC) family for over 10 years, and am now the VP of Operations. However, when I left the Army as a Satellite/Microwave Communication Specialist, I never would have imagined it would lead me to where I am today. When you think about it though, credit card terminals need to communicate, and most of the time, the problems merchants experience with the terminals, are communication issues.

Read the rest of this entry »