Monthly Archives: February 2015

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – February 27, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Soundings

Client Anxiety

Susan SchafferIf it’s not Ebola, it’s measles, terrorism, Norovirus, or being mugged. Clients seem to be adept at finding something to fear about cruising. And of course stories like the Costa Concordia, or an engine room fire or two, don’t help. This especially seems prevalent among the first time cruisers, or those that have pretty much talked themselves out of cruising, ever. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Siena’s age-old buildings mix with open-air cafes and narrow winding streets. The ancient city sits on a hill and its entire historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of Siena’s well-preserved medieval buildings were homes for the city’s aristocratic families. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Keep Your Word

Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  • “How Can I Add More Value To My Relationships?”
  • “What Makes Me Different?”
  • “How Can I Get and Keep My Client’s Attention?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Being a home based travel agent is not for the faint of heart. Sure we all love to travel. Who doesn’t? But selling travel and traveling are two very different things. At some point, we all question why we continue to do what we are doing especially dealing with price shoppers, tire kickers and the occasional rude, know-it-all client.

I had a successful home based agency in Ohio. However, I was working 60+ hours a week. Afraid of missing a sale, I was always answering the phone and booking travel even on the weekends. Much to the detriment of my family. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Mira BorukhinMira Boroukhin started her travel industry career in 1983, joining Air Canada in New York, where she worked in Sales, ultimately becoming Ticket Office Supervisor. In 1988 Mira decided to go the entrepreneurial way and open her own travel agency near the World Trade Center, Downtown Travel, becoming a leading agency to Europe, especially Eastern Europe. Recognizing her qualities of entrepreneur, several airlines awarded the agency their wholesale contracts to Europe, which allowed her to test the waters in the consolidation business. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Friendly Alliances

Savvy entrepreneurs know that there is always help available to them … if they look for it … and if they are receptive to it.

An interesting article by Allison Fass in the New York Times commented on “alliances.” Two competing TV stations were joining forces on a project which displayed the signs of the times. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Accredited as the most award-winning river cruise line in the industry, Viking River Cruises provides remarkable value while consistently placing high on competitive rankings, like Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List, Reader’s Choice and Best Small Ships awards and Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Enthusiasm Sells

I once was given an opportunity to address an audience for 10-minutes at an annual convention. This isn’t much time to “connect” with an audience or leave them with anything worth thinking about. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Which is a better idea? To book your clients on pre-set departure UK tours or to suffer the slings and arrows of some extra work by creating a tailor made program that matches their interests, time frame and budget—the FIT.

For first and second time visitors, a London-only or a 7-10 night extended tour, will often start a love affair with Britain that will last for years.  Once smitten these soon-to-be anglophiles may well say yes to a proposal that’s based in 2 different hubs for 3-4 nights each.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Stop Trying to Sell

“No Worries,” is an Australian phrase that defines a philosophy worth investigating.

Unlike Americans, Aussies don’t appear to be “selling” all the time. They are more laid back. They seem to allow relationships to develop based on simple communication. They appear to be comfortable in their own skin. I find them to be refreshing and fun to be around. Read the rest of this entry »

Who would have known, or even thought, that I would walk away with some valuable lessons learned by serving on jury duty.

At the end of last month I was called to perform my civic duty and appeared at the courthouse for jury duty. I had hoped that I would not be selected and could continue with my normal busy January. Well, that didn’t happen and before the end of the 1st day, I was selected as a juror on a civil case. I’m not going to lie, I really was dreading the rest of the week. Since I was selected, I thought I would make the best of it. It turns out I would witness several “traits” that are key for any service profession to be successful. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Betsy GeiserBetsy’s travel career began in 1999 when she joined UNIGLOBE Travel USA as Franchise Sales Coordinator and Contract Administrator.  Since then, she has also worked in Industry Relations and Home-Based Agency Sales. In 2009, Betsy became Vice President of UNIGLOBE Travel Center, the home-based agency division of UNIGLOBE Travel USA.  She oversees all aspects of the hosting program and new agent recruitment. Betsy is the Vice President of the Professional Association of Travel hosts (PATH) and the President of her local ASTA Chapter.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Fill A Need

The concept of “supply and demand” infers that if there is no need for your particular skill, product or service, there is little justification for your employment. If people (owners, managers, clients or prospects) don’t feel you provide value, then you are in for some bad news….. similar to the same bad news you read about everyday in your morning paper when it announces another 5000 jobs have been eliminated in an attempt to save the company. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

There is so much conflict in today’s world. We operate, for the most part, in a very happy industry. You would think that we all could somehow get along.  I am not suggesting we all need to be BFFs with the competitor down the street, but how about some mutual respect for what each of us does.  There was a time when the only channel for travel purchases was…wait for it…the travel agent. You wanted to go somewhere and you called your travel agent.  I might go so far to say that because of travel agents, many suppliers have achieved the level of success that they have today.  And then there is this. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Tapping Into Walter Mitty

I admit to being one of the few people who liked The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. The movie is a reminder of the importance of travel to the human psyche. Travel is not just a mechanical act of movement from one point to another. On occasion, it helps to be reminded of this small and obvious truth: travel is often an outward expression of something happening internally. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – February 20, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The strange weather that has followed Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom throughout our Western Caribbean itinerary from Galveston shows no signs of letting up. Last night, guests were advised that our arrival and departure time for our port of call in Cozumel, Mexico today would be changing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Susan SchafferI am saddened and disturbed that this issue exists at all.  Even if it not prolific, it can damage the reputation of the travel professional industry, as a whole.  Specifically, I am talking about deceptive, unethical, misleading and potentially fraudulent advertising. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Fail Faster

What would you try to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

More than you are attempting today I bet. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

As we are working through our 2015 resolutions – lose weight, get organized, increase our business – I’d like to suggest a broader category that would cover all of your business goals and personal resolutions.  What if we were to “Get a Life?”  I do not mean that in the literal sense of being a person that is breathing and has brain activity, but a person who is well rounded and maintains a high degree of health, happiness and productivity.

It is all too often that I see colleagues glued to their electronic devices, taking calls at all hours, and experiencing challenges from clients. This leads to less time with family, less time to pursue other interests, and less time for maintaining overall health.  This cycle is difficult to break, but it must be done! Read the rest of this entry »