Monthly Archives: June 2015

First off, the GTM-induced cold didn’t kill me. So that’s good. It did, however, make the rounds of my recently enlarged family and made for an interesting couple of weeks.

And during that time (completely changing subjects now), my partner and I decided (well, I decided and she is humoring me) to take a giant leap in to the unknown – trade show exhibitions in search of agents.
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Posted In: 1:1

Bryna Blum, President of The WCBS Group

BrynaB_smBryna Blum – AKA “The Printress” – is President of The WCBS Group (“WCBS”). Bryna and her partner and IT Manager, Marty Gronewald, have grown WCBS from providing invoice and itinerary forms to a local clientele in 1981, to becoming a national, full-service company with 4 websites under the WCBS umbrella. WCBS has clients in all 50 states, Canada, the Pacific Rim, and the Caribbean, and has suppliers across the USA and Canada. WCBS provides everything from online offset, digital, and large format printing to promotional products, logo design, and corporate packages. WCBS continues to evolve to be who their clients need them to be. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Easter always reminded me of the days when hunting for eggs played an important role in our development. Realizing it or not, this little exercise taught us how to have fun; how to accept rejection; how to celebrate our small victories; how to remain persistent; how to run fast and think on our feet; and many other important lessons that I just can’t recall at the moment. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

2015 is almost halfway gone and if you are a smart agency owner, you are probably thinking about getting your 2016 ducks in a line pretty soon. As we all know, business does not go anywhere until someone is interested in our product. Very few of us have a stable of high-spending, loyal clients. My own business (by definition) will turn over my client base about every ten years. So, it is imperative that you are always looking for new leads and prospects. A few weeks ago I was brainstorming with some non-travel business owners and came up with some obvious methods and some less-than-obvious ones. Here are our top 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – June 19, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

See the beautiful photograph below? That is where I would be about right now, on a Tuesday evening, taking a walk along the river after having washed down a bowl of moules-frites with a glass of rosé from Provence.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Before we decided otherwise, Barbara and I were once investigating log homes and we did what any investigators might do. We purchased a log home magazine at the supermarket and sent away for all the free stuff that was not nailed down. We began planning our next home.

Send we did. Stuff we got. But here is where today’s lesson begins.

I am absolutely appalled at the lack of professionalism shown by the log home industry.  (They do not have the monopoly on this, believe me.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Susan SchafferEarlier this week the word came down: Tripology is no more. And with that news I joyfully sang “So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, goodbye.” In the years that Tripology has existed, travel professionals have had an intense love-hate relationship with them, with more hate than love. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Find it yourself

There are a myriad of advertisements to entice people to become a travel agent, travel for free, and tap into the billion dollar travel industry. The reality is very different from the hype.

There is more to being a travel agent than printing business cards and having a slick website. Much more. Being a travel agent is work; it’s a job. There is no magic bullet to get clients, no free travel, and certainly no path to instant riches. On top of that, you need ongoing education to ensure you are selling the right products, matching them with your client, and keeping up with changes in hotels and destinations. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

My “A” List

Today’s message may sound like a whack in the head. That is because it is.

Brian, Sara, Lauren, Megan, Will, Anne, Anthony, Mary, Cassidy, and Andrew.

Turning suspects into prospects into customers is the way the sales cycle works. And in today’s competitive sales arena, it takes a great deal of time and effort to see the cycle through to completion. It takes time. It takes effort. It take communication. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Las Vegas needs no introduction: “Sin City”, “The Entertainment Capital Of The World”, and “The City Of Lights”, all spot-on descriptions of this dusty desert city. While most think they know the real Las Vegas, all glitz and glamor with sequins falling from the sky, there is so much more beyond the Strip and all its casinos. You can scale rust-colored sandstone canyons, enchanted by dazzling acrobatics, and visit some of the best entertainment of the past and present.

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Posted In: The 365 Guide

Being a “non-auto mechanic”, I blamed it on the cold weather. Soon I caved in and determined the screeching sound coming from the engine area of my Ford Explorer might be a little more pressing than just a cool breeze rushing across the “frigus diametris”. This is an auto term pronounced FREE-Guz  Die-a-met-tris.

In addition to not having a regular doctor (something I am coming to terms with), I don’t have a regular auto mechanic since “my guy” closed shop at midnight and did not leave a forwarding address. (Enough said.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Since 1980, Trans Am Travel has been the preferred supplier for travel professionals, offering competitive pricing with excellent service. Trans Am Travel provides discounted travel services to the travel agency community. Acting as a wholesale distributor for airlines, hotels, and tour operators, we provide travel agents the ability to purchase travel services for their customers at deeply discounted prices. We offer travel services to every major country in Africa, Asia, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East, the South Pacific, and within in North America. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

I think it is time again for me to get on my old soapbox in regard to agents complaining about the low commissions they receive when selling cruises that have a low lead-in price. I’m very aware that competition in the 3 & 4-day market has driven the commissionable fares so low that agents are not making very much on those sales. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Explore Ancient Xi’an With

Surrounded by ancient stone walls, Xi’an is one of the most historically significant cities in China, and home to one of its greatest tragic love stories. With a large Buddhist and Muslim population, there are Indian and Arabic influences all across the city. Let lead you on a tour of this ancient and beautiful city!

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Posted In: The 365 Guide

It appears that the trend towards minimizing expenses and setting up camp in a spare bedroom or in the corner of your dining room table is still very much in vogue.

The mental picture that used to be referred to as “a consultant between real jobs” is now known as “home-based entrepreneurship.” The difference today is that the “home-baser” can truly be considered a professional in every way. The travel industry is very supportive of this category. It is a growing segment that requires some focused attention and understanding. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

A beach vacation is often considered one of the most relaxing options for travelers who want to get away and unwind. Nothing beats sun-warmed beaches, refreshing ocean spray, and the quiet tranquility of nature spread before you.

These days, many of the best beaches have been discovered and often disrupted by towering hotels, crowded beaches, and dotted with litter; that much sought-after peace and quiet you expected is gone. Read the rest of this entry »

I appreciate and enjoy my clients, I really do.  Sometimes however, working with prospective clients can be like herding cats.

I’m still learning the finesse of closing the sale when a prospective client is indecisive. I’ve read articles, watched webinars, sat through conference sessions and still find it difficult. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

What Does Zumba Have To Do With Mexico?

Zumba is a form of exercise designed to get the ol’ bod back into some semblance of order. While Mexico is a country known for a lot of stuff (the sombrero being just one of them), Zumba isn’t on the list. So what’s the deal?

Now that I have your attention, allow me to introduce you to a marketing tool I affectionately call “The Flyer Letter.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

ismailismailIsmail Ismail is currently the Interline & Tariffs Officer at Precision Air Services Plc, joining the company in 2007.  His journey in the travel and tourism industry started in 2006, when he joined Anderson’s African Adventure, a tour operator company based in Arusha, Tanzania, as a Sales & Reservations Agent. He has worked in many different commercial departments within Precision Air Services Plc., including sales and revenue management. He also performs other duties as a Sales Executive of Precision Air Offline Markets. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Let me give it to you up front. Five simple words could save your business: Would. You. Like. Travel. Insurance?

A few weeks ago I read a horrifying story that might have some serious implications for a travel agent. A mother and child were essentially being held medically hostage in Mexico after her son fell ill onboard a Carnival ship. Most of us have been on a cruise before. Most of us know that we all cringe when we see the bill that is quietly slipped under the cabin door on the last night. But what if that bill were for tens of thousands of dollars?

And you were held until it was paid… Read the rest of this entry »