Monthly Archives: December 2011

Posted In: Outposts

Ecuador by Solar Tours

The eye-catching colors of Ecuador leap out from every corner of its diverse landscape, from fluttering rainbow-hued macaw wings in the Amazonian jungle to the calm, dazzling blue lakes of the Andean sierra and the fiery terracotta sands of the Galapagos Islands. Brooding snow-capped volcanoes provide a striking contrast to the roaring heat of the salsa-dancing coast. You’ll gaze in wonder at the sparkling gold interior of Quito’s baroque churches while walking in the footsteps of Spanish conquistadors and Incan warriors.

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Posted In: The 365 Guide

The list of possible tactics a travel consultant might employ building their business can be long and, at times, overwhelming. For new agents, it is typically best to choose a few tactics and learn to do them well, rather than to attempt every possible tactic. A few efforts well accomplished will typically yield better results than an entire array of marketing efforts poorly executed. As we earlier discussed, stay focused, work within your plan in a series of campaigns, and you should turn good results for the majority of your efforts. From time to time you can add new tactics as you become more accomplished and efficient at implementing your marketing plan. Read the rest of this entry »

And there you have it!

Another year is coming to an end and last week’s column by Vince Yeck brings to a close the 2011 Edition of the Travel Agent Diaries.  We launched the TRO Agent Diaries in 2009 to help agents understand the issues, troubles, successes, failures, and celebrations of different types of businesses. Over the years, we have had host agencies, brick and mortar agencies, Internet agencies, single person home based agencies, and many in between. We have had agents with decades of experience, and those with weeks! We have had serious agents and less than serious ones. We have even had an agent that apparently did not survive the industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Fire up your e-mail to boost your 2012 sales

Every now and then, I always appreciate a good reminder of a best practice in business. After all, there are so many of them, it can be a chore to keep up to speed. If you read Nolan Burris’ or Mike Marchev’s columns with any regularity, I am sure you have a drawerful of brilliant, yet unimplemented tips—I know I do.  Now that my marketing plan is in place for 2012 (if you need some help, check out this great series on TRO), I have implemented some tried and true best practices to give me a leg up in 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

“And now presenting…YOU!”

Whether you are in a networking group or only meeting with the general public, at one point or another you are going to have to sell yourself, travel, a destination or a proposal for a group cruise. You may do this in a group setting or one-on-one. Most of what I am going to share here applies to group presentations but can be scaled down to a one-on-one setting.
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Posted In: cartoons

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Yesterday, we discussed Goals and Objectives. Now we begin to delve in the actual mechanics of a Marketing Plan.  Strategies answer “how” the  travel agency is going to accomplish its objectives. For example, exactly how will the company achieve 50 new clients between now and the end of the year? The strategy for achieving that objective might read something like this: “In order to achieve the acquisition of 50 new clients in 8 months, the company will increase the number of distribution channels through which it markets and increase its overall marketing investment.” Note that in the process of forming a strategy the company must take into consideration its resources. This is the point at which the company should evaluate its marketing budget, the personnel available to carry out strategy, and the intra-company support necessary to achieve objectives. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

In case you missed it, Allure of the Seas sailed from Fort Lauderdale to Spain — in January, no less. Okay, as an avid cruiser reader, you know that simply could not be true. Allure is cruising the Caribbean year-round.

The Fort Lauderdale-to-Spain sailing is how Hollywood depicted the perfect family cruise vacation in the Adam Sandler movie “Jack and Jill,” which I saw with my son this in November. It must have been annoying for him to watch the movie with his dad, “Wait a minute! They’re showing Allure sailing INTO Fort Lauderdale instead of OUT OF Fort Lauderdale. And it’s going to Spain? No way!” “Hush dad!” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Yesterday we looked at the importance of a SWOT Analysis to your 2012 marketing plan. So far, so good, but now our terminology becomes more complicated.  The terms Objectives and Goals are both important in building a marketing plan, but differing experts and schools use these terms in varied ways.  Some use them interchangably, while others reverse their meaning from the way I will use them here.  For the sake of clarity, let’s define each.

For our purposes, the term “Goal” refers to an achievable aspect of the mission statement. The goal describes a desired outcome. Thus, a  goal for ABC Travel might be to “increase the number of clients with which the company works.” Another  goal may be to “achieve the highest level of client satisfaction.” Goals can refer to revenue, “To increase profitability” and to expenses “Trim unneccessary expenditures.”  Typically, the company will have no more than a few high-level goals.  Read the rest of this entry »