Monthly Archives: May 2012

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – May 11, 2012

Picture
Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

Oceania Riviera In Valencia, Spain – Part I

Ah, Valencia, that sparkling region on Spain’s Mediterranean coast: home to fine food, exquisite wine, sparkling citrus orchards (the Valencia orange originated here), beaches and bodegas — and today, the new Oceania Riviera.

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Posted In: Supplier Profile

Vacation Express, one of the largest tour operators in the southeast United States, announced at the beginning of 2012 it had been wholly acquired by Sunwing Travel Group Inc., a family-owned and operated, Toronto-based company and Canada’s leading vertically integrated leisure travel company.

Within a month of the company’s new ownership announcement, Vacation Express got their Sunwing Airlines program up and running and open for sale, and it’s been a booking frenzy ever since.

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Posted In: Point-to-Point

I was all ears recently when a neighbor began sharing stories about his driveway service at a party. He mentioned how he and his golf cronies spend much of their Saturday morning golf game sharing war stories about how their service providers are screwing up their lives. From lawn services to baby-sitters. From yelling matches to small claims court. You name it, they squawk about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

O’ahu by Blue Sky Tours

There may be no more diverse destination on the planet than O’ahu. The terrain is amazingly varied – deserts, beaches and lush rainforests, mountains and oceans, deep valleys and soaring volcanoes and the available activities are almost without end. Thanks to Blue Sky Tours, you can use 60-Second Geography articles in your newsletters and on your websites. Read the rest of this entry »

When I decide to shake things up, I really shake things up! I came to the conclusion sometime in late March that my current employer and I were no longer a good fit.  I researched host agencies and decided to affiliate with Montrose Travel in California. They have a strong support system and wonderful and personable staff. I could not have selected a better company for my host. I was thisclose to signing on the dotted line when something else fell ino my lap—a position with a well-respected local travel agency. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

That’s the way we always do it

Sometimes, your best opportunities pop up when you least expect them. I know it is cliché and tired; but it bears repeating. Complacency runs rampant in the travel industry—at least on the part of most agents. While the vendors are busy spending millions of dollars refining their product to retain and attract their new audience, agents seem stuck in a rut. Why do you use Sabre? Because we have always been on Sabre. Why is Happy Harry’s Hawaiian Emporium your preferred supplier to Hawaii? Because Harry has always been our preferred supplier to Hawaii. Why do you always exhibit at the local bridal fair? Because we always exhibit at the local bridal fair. Are you sensing a common thread? I certainly fit that definition and I suspect many of you do as well. You are running a successful agency and for the most part it runs on auto-pilot because it always has run that way! It is time to shake things up a bit and try something because it has never been done that way! Get out of the rut! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Serious Education Doesn’t Come In Tidbits

These days, you can’t throw a rock into the travel industry without hitting an Internet forum of some kind. Travel Research Online has the Community, for instance. These Internet forums are quite valuable, especially to the home-based professional. They provide a connection to colleagues all across the country, with different specializations and levels of experience. Story after story can be told of an agent asking a question on a message board and receiving immeasurable help, from advice for handling difficult situations to destination recommendations.

However, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend at several of the online forums in which I participate: namely, the asking of very basic industry questions. Some examples include “What is a TC?” (when discussing group cruises), “How do I block group space?”, “Does my client need a visa?”, and many, many more. These types of questions concern me. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – May 4, 2012

Picture
Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

Cruiser Voyages: Hawaii

Ask a few people about their idea of the quintessential island paradise, and it’s only a matter of time before Hawaii comes up. Located in the central Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands are graced with a temperate climate characterized by warm temperatures and long sunny days punctuated by spectacular sunrises and sunsets. By all accounts, Hawaii sounds as if it was tailor-made for cruising, and in our minds, it was, offering up one of the most astonishingly beautiful voyages on the Avid Cruiser Voyages lineup. But Hawaii is not easy to cruise, and to understand the issues cruise lines (and passengers) face in Hawaii, you have to go back nearly a century.

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Posted In: Point-to-Point

You can lose it all

A large advertising agency lost a very lucrative account after 70 years of service and $70 million in annual billings.

This well-known agency had been respected for almost a century. Employees walked the halls thinking that this account was in the bag. It was a sure thing for at least another 70 years. I know most of you don’t care about advertising agencies but this message should be hitting you loud and clear. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Jamaica by Vacation Express

Jamaican culture is thick and rich, pulsing in every aspect of the Jamaican experience. Join Vacation Express on a visit to the Island that gave the world reggae. Remember that 60-Second Geography articles can be used in your own newsletters. Read the rest of this entry »

I have a confession.  I am a home based travel agent with a full time job.

Whew, I feel much better that I admitted it! I remember when I joined the industry; I read quite a few forum comments that implied, home based agents that joined the industry in a part time capacity were not taken seriously by their peers.  In fact, I learned a new term– “vanity career”.   It was used to describe people that joined the travel industry because they loved to travel, thought the benefits included traveling cheap and flexible hours.  Fortunately, those were never my drivers. Read the rest of this entry »