Monthly Archives: May 2015

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Taking it Personnel-ly

A travel professional I speak with frequently called me the other day to talk about an idea for an article. She wanted to write about the need for agents to continually update their skill set in destinations, technology and sales techniques. I told the agent that I was impressed that she was so deeply interested in continuing education, and I asked her if the other travel agents in her agency felt the same way. She indicated that some did, but in general most seemed content to do things the way they had always been done, to service the clients the agency ownership put in front of them and to clock out at 5:00. I asked the agent what motivated her, and I really liked her answer: “I want to be valuable to the agency’s owners. As long as I am bringing in new business and generating loyalty to the agency, I’m valuable. I take it personally.”

Wow. I could not have said it better myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – May 29, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Soundings

Don’t Let Me Get Me

Susan SchafferSo, when I fly I don the sound-cancelling headphones and crank the iPod as loud as possible without blowing out my ear drums. This is a sure-fire way to drown out the screaming babies and other sundry noises that can interfere with sleep. Typically this is good enough to have me sleeping before the plane leaves terra firma. Recently while I was flying it didn’t work, and I ended up paying attention to the songs pouring out of my iPod. And it struck me: Pink was singing about some travel agents with her song “Don’t Let Me Get Me.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

For Torstein Hagen, returning to Bergen, Norway, was about much more than christening his new and much-lauded ocean-going vessel, the 930-passenger Viking Star. The event marked a “coming home” for Hagen as well as the crowning achievement of a Lazarus-like return from two potentially catastrophic events in his life. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Some of you might recognize this as the title of a Toby Keith song. It leads me to the first of three nuggets I would like to share with you today.

  1. Titles in articles and newspaper columns do get attention. The same goes for the subject you choose to write in the Subject Box in your emails. Don’t skimp on these important areas of your marketing communications. Don’t get hokey, but definitely don’t gloss over them in haste to get your message out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Where I am, if you’ve been to a big celebration recently you’ve probably heard the song “I’ve Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. It really gets the party started! The lyrics, “I’ve got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night” really sets the tone for the evening and everyone is up on their feet dancing in no time flat. It may sound basic, but clients want to feel good about their travel advisor and have that preparatory excitement to get the planning started. It’s important to examine that aspect of your relationship with your clients, co-workers, and even suppliers.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

My Advice To You: “Get Out There!”

The title of today’s message needs a bit of clarification, but it is absolutely imperative that I share these thoughts with you. This is a true story. This is a story that I had internalized years ago, but needed to be reminded of as recently as last Friday.

Please do not sell today’s lesson short. It could very well change your life for the better, for years to come. I will try to keep your interest. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Another Long Shot Beats The Odds

Today’s message was borrowed from my archive of lessons. The story is not current, but the lesson still holds water. It involves the sport of horse racing.

“Mine-That-Bird” was the name of the nag who left the gates at 50-1 odds, and won The Kentucky Derby.

Apparently nobody told him or his jockey that 50-1 was just another way of labeling the duo as a “loser.” Winning The Kentucky Derby being a 50-1 long shot was just a tad short of impossible. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

ShoreTrips offers more than 2,400 excursions and activities, all personally tested, in more than 420 cruise ship ports of call and cities throughout the world. Shoretrips are the experts – having researched every location thoroughly, choosing the best sites to visit, and the best things to do. They interview the guides and providers, and only when they meet their strict criteria do they offer their services to you. With 30 years of international travel experience, Barry and Julie have worked very hard to develop the way for travelers to have smaller, more personal tours and experiences. They have ensured that all the partners ShoreTrips represents have an excellent understanding of traveler expectations. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

You’ve heard it a ton of times: Travel agents are becoming obsolete with all the online travel planning platforms available. There’s no way to make money in the travel industry anymore. It’s a travel industry apocalypse for travel agents!

Well, guess what? Over the past several years, I’ve taken my boutique travel business and turned it into a million dollar company. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

What are you going to do about it?

There has of late been some good news for travel agents. The media has been consistently reporting on the resurgence of travel professionals in the estimation of consumers.  Many travelers who historically used the internet for their travel bookings were shifting back to a brick-and-mortar travel agent model. Tales of the perils of booking online are not new – in fact, there are sites devoted to the horror stories. What’s new is the tone of the recent articles that are not just indicating that self booking is both time consuming and dangerous, but also that using a traditional travel agent is a better alternative. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

The warm weather has returned after a long, cold winter, and couples are coming out of the woodwork to enjoy the sunshine. If you’re looking for a unique romantic getaway, then look no further than the Czech Republic, and most especially the stunning city of Prague. All year long the Czech Republic is home to amazing music and film festivals, and Prague boasts gorgeous castles and picturesque lanes and streets to stroll down with your special someone. Let CzechTourism show you how this amazing Czech city can send any traveler’s heart aflutter! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

It Is Never Too Late!

If this reminder doesn’t put some wind in your sails, I am afraid I have failed to connect with you. Good luck, and have a nice life.

I heard this one on the radio. It involves a man who is over 100 years old. In New Jersey lingo, this guy is known as a fossil. In fact, he probably wrote the book on “fossils.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

China is an enticing blend of natural beauty, amazing historical sights, and fantastic shopping and entertainment. The major cities of China have so much to offer the traveler: let Alexander+Roberts take you on an original tour of the greatest cities in China!

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One of the first things I do when I get up in the morning is check my email, and it is also the last thing I do before I go to bed. I have notifications set up on my cell phone and an alert goes off as soon as I receive one. I frequently will take a peek to check the subject. Much to my chagrin, it is often junk mail and I roll my eyes frantically trying to unsubscribe. I sometimes think of all of these unwanted emails as being similar to those pesky telemarketing calls that you just can’t seem to shake at home. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Xavier MasuleXavier Masule is the Chief Commercial Officer for Air Namibia. He brings over 15 years of airline experience to the table, with previous roles in finance as the Senior Manager at Air Namibia. Xavier received his MBA from the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) in Cape Town, South Africa.


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Posted In: The 365 Guide

What Are You Reading?

“More-On Marketing” is my latest project and the first in a series of business-development books is now ready for distribution to interested parties.

You have heard of the Dummies Books, and are probably familiar with The Idiot’s Guides. Enter my “More-On” Series. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Yeah, whatever…

Recently I read an article on customer service that struck a chord with me. It discussed a phrase we hear all too often and one that I find myself uttering more often than I should. The phrase, in essence, diminishes the value you bring to the transaction and worse, may leave a bad taste in your client’s mouth. And I bet you are guilty of using it as well. Want to know what it is? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – May 22, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Soundings

When Life Gets in the Way

Susan SchafferIt happens to the best of us – life interferes with work. In the corporate world, or storefront agency model, there are other agents on hand that can pick up the slack. So if you call in sick, have a family emergency, or life gets in the way in others ways, there is someone available to take care of your clients in your absence. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

There are few things that can beat biking with friends, whether old ones or new ones. When the weather is good, as it always seems to be in Corfu, and you add that gorgeous island landscape into the mix, you have a day that feels like you’re pedaling through paradise — and indeed that’s how I felt as we pedaled well-maintained bikes along roads without a lot of traffic. Read the rest of this entry »