Monthly Archives: September 2014

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Recovering from a travel screw up

Have you ever screwed up? OK, so it was a rhetorical question; we all have. Some of us have been fortunate and have very few (and minor) screw ups. Some of us have had the colossal ones!  I think everyone expects to be confronted with mistakes and mishaps as they go through life. It is all a part of being human; and most people understand that and can deal with it. But, that is not to say your business cannot be hurt by your mistakes–they can. The secret is to mitigate that mistake and take these four steps to insure that you retain your client or prospect when you do!
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Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – September 19, 2014

Picture
Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Spotlight

China Tour

ChinaTour.com was founded in San Francisco in 2004 and now has 8 offices in China, Canada, the U.S and will open offices in Spain and Australia soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

We have spent this week examining very simple phrases capable of empowering you and those around you. The complex interactions we have each day with clients, work associates, friends and family are largely carried out in language. What we say, and how we say it, matters. Speaking intentionally is an art and a gift.

So today, two last things you should say on a regular basis. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

An industry divided

Over the last year, I have noticed a surprising disease beginning to spread throughout the travel industry.  It is a horrible disease, one that affects some of us just a little bit, others a great deal, and still others not at all.  This disease has the potential to sharply divide our industry in a way never seen before, and has in fact already started to divide us, especially within Facebook groups and online agent-only forums.  In fact, as I write this article, I am deeply troubled by this disease and what its appearance means for our industry’s future. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Michele-SaegesserMichele Saegesser, Vice President of Sales for Viking River Cruises, is a veteran of the travel industry with over 30 years of experience.  A native of Ireland, Saegesser is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin where she received the Kell’ s Leadership Award and graduated with degrees in International Marketing and International Law.  Her many years in travel include sales and marketing  roles with Disney, Princess Cruises, Rocky Mountaineer, Hurtigruten, Luxury Trains of the World, and VIA Rail Canada.  Michele has worked with Viking in sales management roles including National Accounts and VP of Sales for the Australia market.  Her current role oversees the sales teams for the Americas.

 

Travel Research Online: What inspires you as a travel professional?

Michele Saegesser: Anyone who works for Viking naturally has to be inspired by how we are growing as a company and as an industry.  The daily culture of Viking® focuses on how to always be our best; how to always improve and never get stuck in old ways. It is a thrilling opportunity to be on this ride. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Founded in 1995, XL Airways France has established itself as a leader in international travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

This beach in this remote village in Russia’s Far East marks the end of wonderful two-week voyage on Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Discoverer. We witnessed spectacles of nature. We spent time in Zodiacs photographing walruses. We saw whales and hundreds of Orcas and we saw lots of bear.

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Posted In: The 365 Guide

We all make mistakes and I, in fact, excel at the art. Because of my propensity to err, I also learned early on the value of an apology. Accepting responsibility, taking the blame and apologizing are skills neglected to our detriment. I’m going to refer you to John’s column for this part of my own series so I don’t end up having to apologize to John for stepping on his article!

That gives me the opportunity to speak to a couple of other phrases you should be hearing yourself say frequently. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Escape to Paradise with Rental Escapes

Rental Escapes is a full service villa rental and concierge agency based out of Montreal, Canada. Their website features a curated catalogue of the finest luxury villas around the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

This week we are taking a look at a few phrases holding the promise of making our relationships a bit more genuine and open.  People often walk into situations without a clear understanding of the dynamics involved.  Social mores and our egos are a small but significant barrier not just to authentic conversation, but also to the ability to demonstrate our humanity. Fear of looking bad or saying the wrong thing stands in the way of communicating openly and fully with our business associates and acquaintance.

Here are a couple of phrases, in addition to the ones we have already discussed, that will make a real difference in your ability to put yourself across in all varieties of social and business situations. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

As a senior in college majoring in economics, I wrote a senior thesis on the Japanese practice of Kaizen. Kaizen is most well-known for its implementation in the Toyota production line. It was created in Japan following World War II and the word means “continuous improvement.” In stark contrast to the western attitude of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the practice of Kaizen is about making small changes on a regular basis. The Japanese philosophy is “do it better, make it better, improve it even if it isn’t broken because if we don’t, we can’t compete with those who do.”

So what does this have to do with your travel business? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Discover Machu Picchu with Avanti Destinations

Perhaps one of the most recognized, picturesque landscapes in the world, Machu Picchu is a spectacular spot for anyone with an appreciation for ancient civilizations or Incan culture.
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Posted In: Outposts

Chile is a country located along the southern west coast of South America. Wedged between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, Chile’s landscape is surprisingly diverse and extremely beautiful. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

The way we phrase both our praise and our criticisms has a significant impact on others’ reaction to us.  We too often react impulsively, letting our most aggressive instincts play traffic cop in our relationships.  When we do so, however, we put the wrong guy in charge.  If there is one lesson we all need to practice, it’s the importance of developing a sufficient emotional intelligence to authentically generate in ourselves and others a rapport that bridges over differences of perspective. This week we are looking at ways of expressing ourselves to accomplish the task of creating an intuitive empathy between ourselves and our clients, co-workers and family. Read the rest of this entry »

Did you notice that the Travel Agent Diaries come out every Tuesday which just so happens to be #TravelTuesday. It just dawned on me! What is #TravelTuesday?  For those that may not be into hashtagging or the latest trending topics, #TravelTuesday posts or pictures are hashtagged and categorized with other travel topics or images.  The best thing for a travel agent is that it’s a very quick and easy way to join the conversation on social media sites every Tuesday.  We all have a TON of travel images, quotes, ideas, excerpts and more at the tip of our fingers because we talk travel all day.  One of my favorite apps on social media is Instagram.  I love pictures, especially pictures of travel.  When #TravelTuesday started trending it took me a while to realize this was the easiest way to be “trending” every Tuesday at work.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Things to Say On a Regular Basis

Travel planning tends to be a very independent enterprise.  You work one-on-one with your clients, often in complete isolation from co-workers.  Independence is a great thing, but carries risks.  We too often lack a sounding board to bounce ideas off and to confirm our instincts.  This week, we are going to explore a series of statements you should frequently hear yourself say to ensure you are receiving the appropriate input from your business associates, your clients and your family. Each of these groups are stakeholders in the success of your travel practice. Giving them a voice can be a great gift to both them and to yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Six years of sharing

Thank you!  I just looked at the calendar and realized that a little over six years ago, Richard Earls called me and asked if I would be interested in being the Editor of this new free thing he was developing for travel professionals to give them the tools to excel in their businesses. I enjoyed writing, I had gained a lot of experience writing for MSNBC, Richard was already well respected in the industry, and so I jumped on board. 304 columns and six years later…here we are!  And between my weekly column and editing of the others, I have gained such valuable insight into the industry, my business, and yours!  And for that I thank you. As I was mulling all of this, I realized that the one common thread is sharing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – September 12, 2014

Picture
Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Soundings

Joe Maloney is currently the Vice President of US Sales and Marketing for Scenic Cruises. He comes with a strong background in sales and marketing and served as VP of Customer Engagement at The Travel Corp, championing the very successful development of Data Governance, CRM Development, and CRM Adoption across all of the company’s brands on a global basis. Joe previously was VP of National Accounts and CRM at Insight Vacations (a division of The Travel Corp) and, prior to Insight, was the VP of Sales for its sister company, Trafalgar.

TRO: Scenic Cruises’ parent company, Australian based Scenic Tours, has been around for several years. How did the idea come about to start Scenic Cruises?

J.M.: Scenic Tours is based in Sydney, Australia and has been serving clients on worldwide tours for almost 30 years.  The company is owned by Glen Moroney, who started with a few local tours and then grew it into one of the world’s largest luxury tour operators. Scenic had tested river cruises with clients by chartering some ships and then decided to build their own river cruise ships. A new chapter for Scenic Tours began in 2008 with the launch of Scenic Cruises and our exclusive Scenic “Space-Ships” in Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

We have explored travel agency email marketing over the past two weeks. Today, we sum up by looking at the mistakes you want to avoid at all costs. It’s a sad but true fact we often learn best by making mistakes. Hopefully, we can learn from  others and you won’t have to repeat any of these errors to engrave them on your memory. Read the rest of this entry »