TravelResearchOnline | The voice of the travel agency community

Relationship Sales

They say every preacher really has only one sermon. Here’s mine: success in the travel industry has everything to do with relationship selling. Too much of the agency population continues to act as though it is in the business of selling travel and is trapped in a transactional, retail mentality. The travel advisorys and agencies  doing really well have long ago left the retail model behind and have replaced it with relationship sales. It is an easy point to understand, but apparently difficult to implement for many travel agents.

The money collectively spent on travel has an astronomical ring to its tally. Reflect on the fact all travel agencies, including the largest online agencies, handle $240 billion dollars, or about 31% of all travel booked. The number is admittedly an estimate, but one thing is certain. There is a tremendous volume of travel being booked other than by travel agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

Crystal Cruises announced its full lineup of 2021 luxury sailings aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. In all, 68 all-inclusive voyages span the globe to 238 destinations in 53 countries.

From Crystal Serenity’s 139-day “Ancient Dynasties & World Wonders” comprehensive World Cruise to 10 seven-day sailings through the Mediterranean aboard Crystal Symphony, travelers will find opportunities to explore destinations both famous and less visited in 2021. Staying true to Crystal’s philosophy of offering guests numerous choices, including shorter sailings that are easily combinable with other cruises – without repeating ports – for those seeking an extended vacation. 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 »

How to Upcycle your Social Content

Recycle. Upcycle. Repurpose. Whether you hang out in the world of DIY or social marketing you’ll recognize these terms as trendy time savers.

In the world of DIY, we think of upcycling as taking an old table and turning it into a trendy kitchen island.

In the world of sewing, recycling and repurposing just became part of my world. Recently I received my grandmothers wedding dress as a gift. This family heirloom has now become a couple of new pieces in my closet. I’ve been able to transform parts of the dress into 4 different garments; the front panel on a blouse, a skirt, appliques on a blouse for my mom and trim on a bathrobe. Yep, a lot of time in my sewing room, and 4 trendy pieces that remind me of my grandma. Read the rest of this entry »

5 tips for making your travel practice hum

Managing a travel practice is tough work. You’re in charge of all the details, from sales to marketing to hiring to firing to budgeting to supplier selection. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re keeping tabs on a million different details. The good news is that there are ways to simplify and make managing your business easier no matter how big or small you may be.   Read the rest of this entry »

Think and Grow Rich -Timeless Advice

When I was in the second grade, our old black and white television broke and it stayed that way for over three years. Why? My parents told us we were watching too much TV (sound familiar?). However, the reality was we were too poor to have it repaired or replaced. As a result, I became a voracious reader – a habit that continues to this day.

It was around this same time my grandfather gave me a book that would influence the rest of my life. It was an original, well-read, 1937 copy of the now classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. If you are not familiar with it, look it up. Read the rest of this entry »

How Do You Pick Your Preferred Cruise Lines?

Recently I had a conversation with a potential independent contractor, and the discussion naturally turned to compensation. His business model was strongly focused on selling only those cruise lines that paid the highest commissions. It made me wonder how much travel advisors focus on their commission when recommending cruise lines to clients.

This is the time of year when travel agencies start to re-evaluate their preferred suppliers, making decisions on what to change in the upcoming calendar year. Part of that analysis involves our relationships with BDMs, our clients’ past experiences, and how we are compensated. Read the rest of this entry »

You have a fantastic idea for starting a Travel business, or shifting your business to focus on a specific travel niche. You imagine hundreds, maybe even thousands of highly satisfied customers working with you!

You begin to write your marketing “to do” list – social media, newsletters, flyers, website etc., and suddenly you feel overwhelmed. There is so much to do! You wish you knew more about, well everything!

Help is here! Here are 5 steps to get you on your way! Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing the Wonder with Australis

A few months ago, we featured a Supplier Profile article that highlighted the way Australis handles their tours with care for the traveler and environment, their tours in the unique land of Patagonia, and how their world-class service let’s the traveler witness sites to spur the imagination. Today’s article is on Australis offering up a limited promotion for kids to sail free on their ships in the month of December. Read the rest of this entry »

Two weeks ago, my Agent Perspectives article focused on sources of valuable business, already ON YOUR DOORSTEP. In case you missed it, take another look at it here because this week’s eclectic mix ‘n’ match medley will give you inspired suggestions for clients who are fans of Masterpiece On Location tours in general and Doc Martin/Poldark in particular, spectacular flower shows in Paris and London, tea rooms and stately homes in the Cotswolds, Methodist Heritage and literary anniversaries.

To see an Aladdin’s Cave of conversation-starting UK tours that can be customised to meet your client’s interests, time frame and budget have a look at Read the rest of this entry »

MLM-Affiliated Host Agencies

Hey Steph, Bridget or Mary…or whoever is reading this,

First of all, THANK YOU for your website. I have been exploring it for the last two hours.
I was googling MLM and travel and found your article. Right now I have one question. I have been burned before by an MLM, but I have a friend who wants me to work with her in a travel one, which is something I have always wanted to do. I am a retired life insurance agent. “Sales” is my thing. Not to mention the fact that my Vedic astrologer told me I would be successful as a travel agent. Read the rest of this entry »

Make This Month Count

Don’t give me that again. Don’t tell me how next month is going to be different. I’ve heard it all before. You’ve heard it all before. I’ve said it all before, and so have you.

Next month blah, blah, blah. But, what if…

What if, this month, we mean what we say? What if this month proves to be the pivotal month: the month we turn our business around and reach that elusive spot in the winner’s circle? What if? Read the rest of this entry »

Travel Alliance Partners and Your Travel Agency

Since 2001, Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) has emerged as one of the dominant leaders in the travel industry. Owned and managed by the top North American tour operators, we take a great deal of pride in establishing the right partnerships with our travel agents, group leaders and tour operators. We act as a cooperative organization of tour operators and have sought to create an environment of trust. We believe full access to top decision makers is the key to the success of the TAP network. TAP was the first travel company to develop a brochure exclusive to guaranteed departures and since then expanded tour options to included scheduled and custom tour programs. Our unique corporation mandates that each tour operator member operate under the highest standards for business ethics and product quality. Each member is a regional expert who develop, plan, and operate dynamic packages in the world of global travel. Read the rest of this entry »

John Burbidge, CFO, Sky Bird Travel

John Burbidge is the CFO of Sky Bird Travel and Tours. In his capacity of CFO, John directs Sky Bird’s fiscal functions and oversees its entire financial operations. He manages 13 offices in North America for Sky Bird.

John has been with the company for over 30 years and has seen massive changes in the travel industry. His biggest challenges are balancing cash flow along with developing new revenue streams. He sees technological advances as both blessing and challenge in the day-to-day work environment.

He holds BA and MBA degrees from Wayne State University. John lives in Michigan with his wife. They have one daughter who is a junior at the University of Alabama. He enjoys visiting MLB stadiums and rooting for his favorite teams. the Detroit Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Read the rest of this entry »

Bariloche with Aerolineas Argentinas

San Carlos de Bariloche, otherwise known simply as Bariloche, is a medium-sized city at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Argentina. Though the sight of the Andes is enough to excite the traveler with trekking and skiing opportunities, Lago Nahuel Huapi and the national forest in the area around Bariloche add to that. That’s why this edition of 60-Second Geography is brought you by Aerolineas Argentinas, Argentina’s largest airline and flag carrier — they’ll get the traveler to this land as one of only four airlines that travel to Bariloche.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lake Titicaca with Marnella

The highest of the world’s large lakes, Lake Titicaca sits next to the Andes on the border between Peru and Bolivia. The sky above is a reflection of the deep, blue water. Dotted with islands that contain ancient ruins and cultures dedicated to traditional ways, Lake Titicaca is a site unlike any other. Thanks to Marnella, today you’ll learn all about the islands of Lake Titicaca.

Read the rest of this entry »

Córdoba with Back-Roads Touring

Once considered to be the cultural center and capital of Islamic Spain, Córdoba lies between the southern tip of Spain and Madrid in an autonomous area known as Andalusia. The city has well-preserved landmarks that have lasted throughout history and time, showcasing the many roles Córdoba has served. Thanks to Back-Roads Touring, today’s Outpost will dive into this diverse city and the features that make it a wonder for the traveler to visit. Read the rest of this entry »