Monthly Archives: October 2014

Posted In: Supplier Profile

GT Tours Inc., The Latin American Experts

Distinctive journeys to create a truly memorable travel experience or adventure…..

G.T. Tours is your partner in travel! For the last 30 years their marketing and sales staff has specialized in designing and operating innovative and unique nature, adventure and cultural oriented travel experiences for individual clients, families or small groups to Central and South America. The company takes pride in tailor-making trips to suit the taste and interests of travelers, and to create a truly memorable holiday or adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Your personality is at the heart of media public relations. When the public reads an article about your agency, they engage you as an individual, not as a faceless company. The encounter is intensely personal and carries an authority an advertisement cannot because the brand of the media acts as a testimonial to your expertise. When a consumer sees an advertisement, there is a large credibility gap to be overcome – the ad merely says what the company professes. When a consumer reads an article about you, however, the depth of the encounter is significantly greater due to the third-party context of the media.

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Posted In: Point-to-Point

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

— Mark Twain

As a travel agent and writer I have a special interest in the many attractions of central Florida, where I recently spent almost a month familiarizing myself with the latest developments.

New Fantasyland, now complete, is packing them in at Magic Kingdom and Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is better than ever. I can also confidently report that the new Harry Potter expansion at Universal Orlando Resort is an unqualified success. The same can be said of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal’s first moderately priced resort hotel. The place looks spectacular and the food, while fast, is just fine. Based on my own observations and the feedback I received from others, they have beaten Disney at the “value” game. With a fifth hotel, the Sapphire Falls Resort, coming online in 2016, the outlook for Universal Orlando vacation packages looks rosy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Belize with ShoreTrips

Bordered between Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, Belize is a country repleted with natural attractions such as Mayan ruins, large cave systems and wildlife reserves. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

One of the most valuable aspects of good PR media placement is the fact a similarly placed advertisement may have cost more than your entire advertising budget! Whatever the value you place on the PR you receive from media, ensure you get the highest and best return by leveraging the article or video using the tips TRO is providing this week.  Doing so will practically guarantee many more people see the PR placement and you benefit from the additional exposure.

Yesterday we provided the first two steps you should take after receiving good PR.  Today, let’s cover two more. Read the rest of this entry »

Every fall most of us attend one or more of our industry conferences and I am no exception.  I just returned from our consortia’s conference, which was held in Florida this year.  Putting a national conference together is no easy feat, as organizers are challenged to accommodate business updates, training, networking, keynote speakers and fun all in a short amount of time.  So I always try to be understanding and put my best foot forward.  Although, a couple of days ago I felt that if I talked shop to one more person I was always going to spontaneously combust! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Far and High Adventure Travel, The Gurus On Bhutan

Far and High Adventure Travel
specializes in small group tours, private journeys, trekking and hiking trips, and solo/independent travel. Specifically, the company offers trips to Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Bhutan, and Mongolia. Far and High Adventure Travel’s main operations are based in Kathmandu, Nepal while their sales and marketing, tour development and customer service teams are headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

photo - Ale

Originally bon in Peru, Alejandra Elejalde arrived to the United States with her parents when she was 15 years old. After living in Virginia for some time, her family eventually moved to South Florida where she would complete high school. Alejandra later obtained a double major in Business Administration and International Business and Business Management from Florida International University.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

One of the best possible things to happen to a travel practice is to get a much deserved bit of good PR.  A positive public relations media placement ensures more people will hear about your travel practice in a forum providing near instant credibility. The third-party aspect of public relations has the same impact as a testimonial – people inherently trust the experience of others more than self promotion. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

And just like that, panic starts its slow creep into the psyche of the traveler.  As I said last week, the risk of an every day traveler contracting the Ebola virus is near zero.  It still is nearly impossible for the average traveler to contract it and I stand by my original assertion—however non-medically backed it may be!

But this past week, we saw failures in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that leaves me wondering if Ebola has the potential to become the epidemic the media has portrayed due to the sheer ineptness of the people charged with protecting and preventing it in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – October 17, 2014

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Stop Trying To Sell!

For the past four columns, I introduced four sales myths that I feel may be ruining your chances for success in sales. The travel industry does not have a captured audience when it comes to exhibiting negative responses to these myths. Rejection stress, the number’s game and targeting the right audience is common to all industries, companies and profitable annual reports. You might want to go back and spend a little more focused attention on each myth.

Today, in column number five, I am going to do my best to really confuse you. I am unequivocally suggesting that if you want to sell more, than you must stop trying to sell … immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Keeping my act together

I was recently thinking about what tools I used to keep myself in order. Let’s face it, this industry lends itself to disorder at best, to chaos at worst.

Back in August 2010 I declared Microsoft OneNote the next best thing since sliced bread.  I fell in love with OneNote.  I lived, breathed, and died by OneNote.  And for the record, I still use OneNote.  But I have been introduced to and have also fallen in love with Evernote.  It’s the next best thing since…well, OneNote.

There is a definite learning curve to working with Evernote.  But once you get the handle of it, it can be a powerful tool.  And you don’t have to give up OneNote if you want to continue using it as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

dan chapelle

Dan Chappelle is the Vice President of Sales with Windstar Cruises. His company has had a stellar year, receiving several high honors as leaders in the travel industry. We caught up with Dan to ask what separates Windstar Cruises from the competition and what other opportunities his company has underway.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

A lot of cruise passengers depart the dock in Kusadasi, visit the ancient historic site of Ephesus, and think they’re done. Having padded the fabled Marble Road (which connects the Celsus Library and the Great Theater in Ephesus), they check Kusadasi off their lists. Been there, done that. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Another myth in our profession is that stress, like rejection, is inevitable. In truth, the two often do travel together, weighing down your carrier. But is this condition necessary? Most definitely not. While a lot of sales professionals feel stress, it does not have to rule their life. No one was born with stress. It is something we allow to happen. Stress is self-inflicted in many cases, and is a by-product of pretending that the world operates differently than it really does. 

When our imperfect world, on whose game board we all must play, follows its natural course, we object to its imperfection and thereby create stress. In engineering, stress results from the application of a constant force to an immovable object. In life, the force is your expectation, and the object is reality. You pretend; you guess wrong; you have stress. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Maybe because it is “hump day” or maybe just because I don’t know how to make today’s sales myth more difficult than it as to be, today’s myth buster is a short one.

Many sales courses will tell you to keep a stiff upper lip when you are rejected, and don’t let it get you down. But once you accept the proposition that you have been rejected, you have given up the psychological high ground and put your self-esteem into retreat. Simply put, you need to reject the notion of rejection. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Tell the whole truth

It’s been a busy year for me — speaking at industry events, presenting webinars and conducting training programs for travel pros.  In nearly every program I try to focus on, or at least highlight, the importance of communicating your real value.

Far too often, travel consultants assume that their clients already know all the work that goes on “behind the scenes” to craft the perfect trip.  With all the flashy and seductive online alternatives competing for their attention, it’s a very risky assumption to make. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Weddings can be expensive: cost of a wedding planner, catering, floral arrangements, small -and I do mean small- gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen are just the tip of the iceberg. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Many sales managers preach that a primary prerequisite to be successful in sales is that you must like people. The implication is that you should have the innate capacity and desire to cozy up to just about everybody—or at least everybody with a bankroll in their wallet. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Hear me out on this one before baling on me. I know what I am talking about.

I agree wholeheartedly that it is a wise maneuver to be civil to all people and that there is no need to be terse or impolite with anybody. I am just as quick to remind you that the quickest way to bankruptcy court is to try to be all things to all “people.” This is the shortest and quickest route to your next venture. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Ebola and your travel clients

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor. I do not play one on television. I have never desired to be one and this is 100% pure opinion. But regarding Ebola—please make it stop!

Here we go again, only the names have changed. The last time it was SARS, the bird flu and mad cow disease; and now it is Ebola that has travelers, particularly fliers, in a panic.  While I hate to downplay the severity of any danger, does it really warrant the hysteria that has been created by the media and to a similar degree some of our governmental agencies? In terms of Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) specifically discuss the risk of a US outbreak.

Read the rest of this entry »