Monthly Archives: September 2013

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

What are you?

I wanted to thank everyone who read my last piece on sales contracts and fees. I received many requests for copies of my sales contract and hope it was helpful. That said, I have been thinking about other issues that have come to the forefront of our industry recently and with the recent Woman’s Day article, a Lending Tree advertisement back in May that portrayed travel professionals in negative light, and more recently, an article by Kyle Kensing who wrote that if all else fails, consider a “useless job” (his words, not mine) which lumped travel agents into the “useless” category.  These three pieces brought out ire that I have not seen from this industry since I have been in it.  I am proud of those who spoke out at the grassroots level to express their anger.  It is evident that many still regard our profession as a lesser profession than others.  Of course, using the term agent, a term I dislike, is still perpetuated by organizations that represent us like ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) and others.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

I’ve been reporting lots about the new Europa 2 here on Avid Cruiser. Today, I received a press release announcing a few intriguing developments.

Europa 2 will visit New York December 4-6, 2014, which, of course, means that she will cross the Atlantic. From New York, Europa 2 will sail to the Caribbean, stopping in St. Barts, St. John, Antigua, Antilles, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Curacao, and the Bahamas.

Leaving the Bahamas, Europa 2 will call on Miami on December 20, 2014, then head back to the Caribbean for a Christmas cruise. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

How can you be certain the person to whom you are speaking hears you? I mean hears you in a way that lets you know that they were really  listening? How do you persuade someone that your point of view has legitimacy? How do you make the emotional connection necessary to good communication without losing control of your emotions? Good questions all. The travel agent with a loyal following is almost certainly an expert in communication skills- a worthwhile study, indeed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Listening is a very important part of conversation. Yet, if we are honest, most of us would admit to needing to sharpen our listening skills. Listening well means we not only hear what the other is saying, but striving for understanding. Paying close attention to conversation means listening carefully and not being distracted by what is going on around you. It also means quieting your own internal dialogue. When a person perceives that you are engaged in what they are saying, they more quickly respond to your comments and suggestions. In fact, listening well is the first step in being heard. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

You may have heard that adopting a successful mindset is a major factor to your success.  Perhaps it’s the only factor, since your mindset drives everything else. But what does it really mean to lead with a successful mindset?  In the day-to-day happenings of life and business, how does one maintain a successful mindset amidst conflict, demanding clients, chaos and responsibility?

I can guarantee one thing you will experience as a business owner – change.  The path you follow will not be a consistent uphill, downhill or flat line.  There will be great peaks and, sometimes when you least expect it, deep valleys.  Understanding how to maintain a successful mindset will get you through it all and keep you moving forward.  So, just how do you maintain a successful mindset? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Meredith Hill, CEO and Founder of GIFTE


MeredithHeadShot2013Meredith Hill, ex-President of Hills of Africa Travel, founded the Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE) to empower struggling travel consultants by helping them to connect with their passion again, attract ideal clients, and build a business that makes positive difference in people’s lives.

In 2007, faced with a long-standing struggle of not having enough clients in her travel business, Hills of Africa Travel, Meredith and her business partner were on the verge of closing the company’s doors. Thanks to their determination and efforts the company doubled its income within the first year. During 3 of the most difficult economic years in travel history, Hills of Africa quadrupled its business and was doubly proud of hitting a milestone in 2010, when they surpassed $1.6 million in sales. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Not every travel agent is comfortable being assertive. Yet, unless the travel counselor takes charge of their many relationships, they risk performing far below par. There are times when an agent must be assertive with clients, with co-workers or suppliers. But how can you be assertive without being “pushy” or rude? Is it possible to be assertive, maintain integrity and still be fair to all involved? It is, and an analysis of how to properly assert yourself is a valuable tool in communicating with others.

First, understand the appropriate context and definition of being assertive. Being assertive is different from being aggressive. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Brutal honesty in the travel industry

Often, brutal honesty is bad. Most people ask for opinions to reaffirm their own thoughts . But, sometimes brutal honesty is just what is needed. President Obama needs someone with brutal honesty to advise him. The Chairman of any major corporation also needs someone like that as well. And yes, even the small town travel agent can use a dose of brutal honesty now and then. Last week a colleague asked my opinion on some wording for a website revision. I read it. I cringed. Then I let him have it with…you guessed it, brutal honesty. Read the rest of this entry »