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Most travel agencies pay a great deal of attention to the brand image they project in their advertising. An advertisement printed in a magazine or newspaper gets a rare amount of attention from everyone involved. The agency owner, the marketing department, the ad designer, all get involved looking closely at the details to ensure that it projects the appropriate image for the agency. After all, the advertisement will be seen by hundreds, even thousands of potential travel agency clients. Read the rest of this entry »

The Great Release is Here: Are You Ready?

After a year of being pent up, the Great Release is upon us, and now it seems sudden. Things are opening faster than predicted just a few months ago.

In March 2020, the COVID pandemic submerged us in the exponential growth of new infections and, before we could comprehend what was happening, we were virtually imprisoned, taking shelter to save our lives. We settled in and got used to being confined. Now the release is happening all around us. And it seems to be happening faster than almost anyone expected.

The demand for travel is, unsurprisingly, going through the roof. But to say “it’s complicated” is to vastly understate the circumstances. World travel now is an extremely tangled web. Read the rest of this entry »

ASTA’s annual Legislative Day brought a crowd of travel advisors and consortium executives to Washington to talk travel industry issues and concerns. I caught up with two of my favorite people, Alex Sharpe, president and CEO of Signature Travel Network, and Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion LLC, following their press conference there to talk about some of the biggest concerns of travel advisors.

Here’s what they said: Read the rest of this entry »

More and more people are getting vaccinated across the United States each day, and countries across the globe are starting to reopen for American travelers who are vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. As reported by the New York Times on April 25, 2021, tourists from America who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to visit the European Union over the summer. This is exciting news for all of us that have been waiting anxiously to begin traveling again. Read the rest of this entry »

Tauck Will Resume Operations In Europe & Africa

Tauck announced the official restart of its operations in Europe and Africa. The company plans to reopen in stages, beginning with selected departures of its “Iceland” and “Treasures of the Aegean” small ship ocean cruises in June and July. Also scheduled for July are the resumption of the company’s cruises in the Galapagos Islands as well as its Tauck Bridges family adventure in Costa Rica. Tauck’s guided safaris in eastern and southern Africa will resume in August, as will its land tours in Spain, France and Portugal. Read the rest of this entry »

Someday Soon!

It was 7:05 am on a Thursday morning when I stumbled across a recent blog post by Seth Godin. It was titled Date Certain. Not being sure what that meant, I clicked on the link and was immediately nodding my head in agreement.

The gist of Seth’s advice that day was to “pick a date”—any date. Flip your calendar, circle a day and month in the not-to-distant future. For lack of a better term, let’s refer to this as your target date. Using this date as your deadline, what are you planning to accomplish? What will you do? Who will you meet? Who will you be? How will you be different? How will you be better? By that date. Read the rest of this entry »

Checklist: Tour & Event Marketing

Woohoo! Your first post-COVID tour is planned (or nearly planned). Now comes the fun of marketing it.

As things open up again and tours start rolling, getting butts into seats is goal #1. However, if you’re looking to effectively market in this new era, some things have changed since pre-pandemic. What worked in 2019, might not work as well to attract consumers now.

Whether you’re marketing your newest tour, looking to attract potential clients to a consumer night, or hosting a virtual information session; here’s the social marketing essentials you’ll need to be successful. Read the rest of this entry »

Cold Calling Is Dead. Sort of…

Gone are the days of knocking on someone’s door to make a sale (unless you are re-selling electric apparently). And blindly calling someone is nearly dead as it is very intrusive. But in the travel business, we get cold (or warm) leads all the time. And post-COVID, there will be more. So, how do you convert them from a lead to a prospect; or better yet, a sale? One solid way is email. Read the rest of this entry »

AmericanTours International’s (ATI) Drive America customizable road trip packages make it easy for travel agents to set up, save clients money (compared to booking it on their own online), and generate commissions on a $3,000 couple booking and up to $10,000 or more for a small or multi-generation family. ATI support team knows about the ins and outs of traveling within your destinations and is always available to help you. Read the rest of this entry »

Last week we described the great cruising grounds of Europe and Southeast Asia. This week, we’ll describe some other cruise opportunities that your clients may consider, if you suggest them.

Oceania (Australia, New Zealand)

Australia has three fantastic cruising routes. The most popular cruise is Sydney-Melbourne-Hobart-South Island (New Zealand). Sydney is one of the world’s most popular destinations, and Hobart is great for hikers and foodies. Your clients will cross the Tasman Sea, the New Zealand glaciers, and sail up the South Island (of Harry Potter fame). It has wildlife refuges, mysterious caves, and small welcoming Read the rest of this entry »

Times Square and Beyond

As the vaccine rollouts increase, destinations are beginning to plan the grand opening of travel once again. The excitement is palpable, an electrical current moving along that has started the idea of planning getaways and seeing the world. It is guaranteed New York City, one of the most popular cities in the world, will be on the traveler’s list. And this is where Beyond Times Square comes to the rescue. Read the rest of this entry »

I would hazard a guess that, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, your anglophile customers have been watching endless episodes of Downton Abbey, Inspector Morse, Doc Martin, Keeping Up Appearances, Poldark, Midsomer Murders, Grantchester, and The Vicar of Dibley to name just a few of the British TV series appearing on PBS. Bridgerton is the new kid on the block, and you can read and see more in the story below after Downton Abbey.

You will know who these people are and instead of leaving them to imagine what the great castles, stately homes, gardens, market towns, villages and countryside really look like; talk to them about their favourites and let me help you put together a UK tour that matches their interests, time frame and budget.

Catch the vision and talk to them about converting TV fiction into touchable reality in the English countryside. Read the rest of this entry »

Khartoum: Where the Nile Meets Itself

Located where the Blue and White Nile Rivers converge into one great river, Khartoum-proper is a city moving quickly into modern times. This metropolis is the capital of Sudan, which did not gain its independence until 1956. It is now a center for trade and economics in North Africa, but still holds onto its traditional roots just outside of the glass and steel of its center. Markets, mosques, and Sudanese culture await the traveler. Read the rest of this entry »

For too long, travel professionals have ceded their clients’ domestic road trips to self booking. American Tours International, however, has put together the technology allowing travel advisors to customize domestic road trips in a manner to enhance the experience for the client and the commissions for the travel professional.  Charlie Kao and Richard Earls of TRO-Travelmole had an opportunity to interview Nick Hentschel, COO, and Jenny Tecklenburg, Vice President of Sales with American Tours International (ATI). 

Charlie Kao: Nick,  How are things in California?

Nick Hentschel:  Charlie, things are getting back to normal here in California. We have done very well with the vaccine efforts and the removal of mass mandates outside.  We are reopening restaurants at a 50% capacity here in Los Angeles County and other shops and stores, so things feel like a comeback from a pretty tough December or January timeframe to some “new normal” that feels pretty good. 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 »

Exploring Santa Monica

Located directly on the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by mountains, at the end of Route 66, Santa Monica enjoys an average of more than 280 days of sunshine each year. With average temperatures in the mid to upper seventies year-round, this beachside city’s weather is one of its most attractive assets and being outside is a part of the city’s lifestyle. But there is so much more to discover in Santa Monica than great weather, and visitors to the Los Angeles area miss out if they don’t spend a bit of time in this eclectic community. If you are looking for a unique domestic destination to visit with iconic world-class dining, entertainment, and famous sites, Santa Monica is worth your consideration. Many of the attractions that make the beach-front city special have found residence in our collective conscience, and you may find yourself surprised at your osmotic familiarity with some of the key points of interest in Santa Monica.

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The Grand Discoveries of Luxor

Egypt has always been a draw for travelers. The monuments of ancient civilizations stand as rugged reminders of empires and cultures passed. These grand palaces, temples, and tombs are tremendous feats of engineering – milestones in the history of the world. Which brings us to Luxor. The Luxor Temple and Karnak are sites to behold, to wander about in awe of its hieroglyph-covered walls and columns… a magnificent museum open to the elements.

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