Monthly Archives: March 2009

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Get Smart

I had occasion yesterday to speak by telephone with a person who lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  It was Sunday, 10:00 in the morning.  In the background of our conversation, I could hear a trumpet being played.  My friend was standing on his balcony and was marveling at how crowded the streets were at such an early hour.  Crowded with tourist enjoying themselves, having a good time, staying at hotels, eating out… hmmmm.

Yes, we are in the middle of a bad downturn in the economy.  But people are traveling.  I am confident that if I could take a look at Piccadilly Square or Temple Bar in Dublin or the Plaka in Athens, or a beach in Phuket or Milford Sound or Ka’anapali – I would see travelers doing what travelers do. Statistically, it is very likely that a high percentage of them used a travel agent. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Hollywood, Bollywood, And Travelwood!

Every day in the travel industry is good for a few laughs. There are so many plots and sub plots I cannot imagine why Hollywood has not been clamoring to make movies or television shows about the travel industry. Quite honestly we are perfectly suited for some modernized remakes of some classic films and television shows.  What do you think? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Get your blog on

Everyone knows that an online presence is vital to the serious travel professional’s business these days.  If nothing else, being online offers a place to highlight personal experience and qualifications, as well as detail preferred suppliers, travel specials, and much more.  A great way to develop this online presence cheaply and quickly is by use of one of the worlds most popular blogging platforms called WordPress.

By using WordPress, you create an easy-to-use, professional looking site that is highly tailored specifically to you and your agency.  While WordPress is primarily a blogging platform, it can be utilized as a more encompassing website if done with the right template and set-up.  Read the rest of this entry »

Since I agreed to do the “Travel Agent Diaries,” It has been an epiphany for me. Writing the diaries has forced me to look at myself, my business and what is broken. It has been, to put it bluntly, painful, frustrating and just plain depressing at times.  I have come to the realization that some of what I have been doing hasn’t worked and that I need to reinvent, reinvigorate and just plain do it better.

The nail in the coffin was when a “client” strung me along for over a month wanting quotes. First he wanted to go to Cabo. Gave him a quote. Then he wanted Puerto Vallarta, gave him a quote. Then Canucn. Gave him a couple quotes on properties he saw on line. He said he was going to book with me. When I called him to get his credit card, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Scotland

It’s kilts and clans, bagpipes and Braveheart. Your clients go to the United Kingdom the first time for England, but they return for Scotland.

Thanks to the supplier sponsor of this column, you can use this 60-Second Geography article in your own travel agency’s newsletters and websites. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Evolve or Perish

The earliest years of airline deregulation were for travel agents a matter of happy coincidence. The early CRS systems were the keys to the travel kingdom and travel agents largely lucked into a privileged position as the gatekeepers for the world of travel. As the air, tour and cruise industries began to mature, the travel agent distribution channel was a natural vehicle for selling travel to the public. As a result, with comparatively little effort, travel agents had almost exclusive access to valuable product to place with their clients. Travel suppliers leveraged the historical relationship established by travel agents with the public and took advantage of a large sales force whose chief economy was that they were widely dispersed and worked on commission – a supplier only paid them when they made a sale.

With the advent of the internet, new avenues of distribution opened up to travel suppliers. “Online travel agencies” and direct to consumer sales became two of the most viable of the new distribution channels. Like new life forms emerging from slimy seas, permutations like “vacation clubs”, multi-level marketing Read the rest of this entry »