Monthly Archives: August 2009

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Now is the time

When the economy began going south last year, the message was clear – now is the time to market hard.  At long last, positive economic news is starting to slowly, cautiously creep forth. It is time to change tactics: now is the time to market even harder.

If the economy is on the mend, in a few months everyone will be marketing, advertising, trying to be noticed. However, the smart travel agencies that continued to market through the worst of the recession should now reap the benefit of that activity.  They will now have the mindshare of the public. They were marketing when everyone else went dark. As a result, their message was easier to see.

But it isn’t over yet.  The economy is showing signs of recovery, but we are a long way from whatever the new normal will look like. Now is the time to maintain and even increase your marketing expenditures of effort, energy and precious capital reserve. Time and again it has been shown that those companies Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Exciting additions to TRO

The new look of the Travel Research Online front page is just about a year old. We have tweaked, poked, prodded and hopefully we are delivering on our promise to provide useful tools to travel professionals at no cost. But we are not sitting on our laurels either.

But first of all, we have our perspective and you have yours.  Ours is evident; but yours–not so much. So tell us!  What do you like about TRO? What’s your favorite section? The TRO Community? Destination Guides? Webinars? Videos? Columns? Which columns?  We really want to know—please leave a comment. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Sales, sales, sales

Travel agents love numbers–commission percentage, commission dollars, marketing expense, budget, inexpensive, cheap, luxury, you name it! But, there is one number that is the holy grail of all numbers for most travel agents–sales.

We hold this number in the highest esteem. It is often used as a measurement of our success. Some agents or agencies are even able to use it in their marketing. YTB, one of the largest MLM agencies was ranked number 26 on the Travel Weekly Power list just because of their “sales.” As much as we like to hold this number in such high regard, it really is one of the least important numbers to agents. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Travel agents have been incorporating websites into their business for well over ten years now. However, too few agencies and independent agents leverage their website as a key driver of their business. We’ve seen a few phases of website marketing over the years – some successful, and some not so successful.  The ‘if you build it they will come’ phase, where agents thought consumers would magically come to their website and generate business. The booking-engine phase, where some agents thought that many of those magic consumers would also book cruises and tours online with no agent interaction. The search-engine phase, where agents thought that search engine traffic would automatically generate a tremendous source of new business. Read the rest of this entry »

LK Cruises & Tours, LLC –The payoff

In my last diary entry, I outlined my plan to lighten my load and increase my focus in order to guide my agency more effectively. After scarcely a month I can report that my increased focus has produced increased results in several areas. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Are you listening?

Over the past year, TRO has been very realistic about the state of the economy and the fragile position of the travel industry.  Agencies closing up shop. Tour Operators ceasing business. Host agencies absconding with commissions and closing. Cruise lines increasing the NCF fees. United passing along their credit card fees. It is a very precarious place to be. We have offered agents tips and tricks to hopefully help them to shore up and even build their business. But, the one thing that we are unable to offer is a new set of ears. Read the rest of this entry »