TravelResearchOnline | The voice of the travel agency community


Don’t we all want satisfied customers? People who are happy with a buying experience, according to business lore, tell three other people about their satisfactory experience. We all tend to “collect” satisfied customers we can point to as examples of our competence and proficiency as travel consultants. Most travel agents who have been in the business for any length of time can point to a small stable of satisfied customers. Read the rest of this entry »

River Cruise 101: Riviera River Cruises

Founded more than 30 years ago in the UK as Riviera Travel, Riviera River Cruises recently started targeting English-speaking guests from the United States and Canada for its value-priced river cruise offerings in Europe.

The company has a fleet of 12 vessels on the rivers of Europe, with more on the way. Unlike other river cruise lines, Riviera offers a price-point that is substantially lower than most of its competitors. It does this by “unbundling” some features, like inclusive drinks. You’ll pay extra for things like bottled water, beer, wine, and spirits, but Riviera believes the overall cost savings justify the add-on charges by making river cruising accessible to a wider swath of people who might be put off by the multi-thousand-dollar-fares charged by other lines. 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 be a Star in your Niche Marketing

We all know the saying, ‘you can’t be everything to everyone’.

Successful niche marketing and specialization in travel are everywhere these days.

There are destination specialists, romance specialists, cruise specialist…the list is as endless as one’s imagination. The most successful of these specialists are doing an amazing job of targeting the right audiences and giving themselves the power to turn away business that doesn’t fit their niche. What an awesome way to focus on clients that matter! Read the rest of this entry »

Do you make house calls?

Saturday night I ran out of printer ink. Just after my local Office Depot closed. That’s the way life works right? Well, I was in the middle of printing some information for a client and figured I’d see what Amazon had to offer. They had my ink and miraculously it could be delivered by Sunday (kudos for good customer service). As I was checking out, there was a note saying I could get a $25 credit to my account if I ordered using my Echo. Hmm… $36 bill reduced by $25? I’m in. “Hey Alexa, buy the printer ink that is in my shopping cart.” Boom, it was on its way and a $25 credit appeared in my account. And less than 19 hours later, my ink was at my door. So what does this have to do with travel? Read the rest of this entry »

Give up on Your New Years Resolutions?

Each New Year, we go through the time-honored tradition of making resolutions. Health clubs, Jenny Craig, and similar organizations spend virtually their entire marketing budgets between December 26-January 31. Why? Because most resolutions involve losing weight or quitting a habit. They have a tiny window to take advantage of this opportunity. We often confuse resolutions with goals. Resolutions are vague, and statistics show we tend to abandon them by mid-February. Goals are different, they are specific with an end date. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Things to do in Juneau, Alaska

Lucky travelers heading to Alaska will find a variety of things to do in Juneau Alaska from visiting a majestic Glacier to dog sledding across the snow. After all, Alaska is known for its rich wildlife, lush landscape, and unbelievable beauty. And the best activities in Juneau are all about enjoying nature on unique excursions and experiences. Whether you are traveling by cruise ship or driving through the countryside, there are dozens of guided tours and hiking trails to explore. Get started on your unforgettable Juneau vacation with these eight unique experiences: Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Best Experiences to Have in Europe

If you don’t have your Europe wish list handy, go ahead and toss it aside because you’re going to need a new one altogether after this. Instead of the usual European vacation, conjure up the kind of bucket list experiences you’ll always remember from speed boats, golf cart tours, icy hideaways, and snowmobiling across glaciers. Here’s what to do and see in Europe to remember for a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

Central Holidays continues evolving the concept of what a tour operator is, developing innovative new product lines that deliver what travelers are looking for today—truly authentic destination moments and personalized experiences. Further expanding the travel brand’s horizons across the globe, Central Holidays has recently introduced a superb new range of programs that take travelers to experience popular destination favorites as well as off-the-beaten-path treasures throughout the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Piecing Together Britain’s Heritage

One of the Christmas presents I always looked forward to was the jigsaw puzzle from my aunt, which gradually became more complex as the years went by. It probably explains why I so enjoy identifying different aspects of the UK and piecing them together as memorable and unique travel experiences for your customers. This week’s ‘box of tricks’ introduces England’s Jurassic Coast, numerous great detectives (anglophiles will recognise them immediately), embroidery collections, ceramics and the 75th anniversary of D Day. Read on and then send me the jigsaw puzzle I can help you with!

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 »

You Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don’t Take

It was hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky (appropriately known as The Great One) and all time Ice Hockey Magic Man who once said, “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

I was reminded of this quote this past week as I took two shots…and scored both times. Let it be said that two for two is not the norm. Allow me to share my stories with you.

Two for twenty, thirty or forty might be closer to the truth. But just the same, if you can sneak a few past the goalkeeper now and then, I say “take them when you can and start your happy dance. Read the rest of this entry »

Greg Rholl, VP of Business Development, Centrav

Greg Rholl is Vice President of Business Development for Centrav. He began his career with Centrav 28 years ago and grew into a Business Development role. Greg came to Centrav with a B.S. in Marketing and a background in IT.

Greg interacts with the travel community extensively and still enjoys manning the booth at trade shows for Centrav where he gets the opportunity to meet and listen to travel advisors face-to-face.

Greg strives to understand the travel agent’s ever-changing business model so that he can communicate that to Centrav’s IT department and help them improve the agent’s online booking experience at Read the rest of this entry »

Bob Duglin, Vice President, ASTA

Bob is ASTA’s Vice President, International Membership & Expansion. His primary duties include working with ASTA’s International & Domestic Chapter system, as well as maintaining ASTA’s International Relationships and overseeing the ASTA Destination Expo & ASTA International Showcase program. Bob also serves as Vice President of ASTA’s Small Business Network (formerly NACTA).

Bob has been a successful travel advisor and has been involved in the travel industry for over 25 years, formerly owned a brick-and-mortar agency, a resident of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Bob was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. Bob also was the founder and former director of the South Florida Chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mississippi River is an American treasure. It has been a central figure of trade, exploration, literature, and music in the United States. In fact, Mark Twain once wrote, “The Mississippi River towns are comely, clean, well built, and pleasing to the eye, and cheering to the spirit. The Mississippi Valley is as reposeful as a dreamland, nothing worldly about it…nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon.” Thanks to American Cruise Lines, you’re going to learn all about why cruising the Mighty Mississippi should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tuscany with Blue-Roads Touring

You know it from movie after movie; wine, passionate people, vibrant cities, and rolling countrysides. Its romantic atmosphere is unparalleled, while the traditional architecture seems to invite the traveler to stay—enjoy the warmth of home. This is Tuscany, Italy; and there is no question as to if one should visit here, only how. That’s why Blue-Roads Touring is in the business of showing the traveler how traveling the back roads and untold sites of Italy is done right.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Malbecs and Mountains of Mendoza

There are more well-known cities and areas in Argentina than Mendoza. Larger, more exciting locations that offer up typical adventures, adventures a tourist would experience with a passing remembrance. Mendoza is different. It is a place to feel the pulse of true Argentine life, a place for the traveler to relinquish preconceived notions about South American life. Mendoza is a deeper experience. It’s also a fantastic place to revel in some amazing food and wine.

Mendoza is located near the northwest border shared with Chile, nestled just below the snow-capped Andes Mountains that make up this border. It is a city of just over 100,000 people; not small, not massive. It is also a place that celebrates the independence of Argentina from the rule of Spain. These two aspects create a perfect environment to witness the heart of Argentina. Read the rest of this entry »