Monthly Archives: October 2015

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Customer Service Rationale

It still amazes me how so many companies still do not pay more attention to making their customers feel more comfortable. I won’t bore you with my true stories, but I do want to remind you of the following four facts: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Celtic Tours World Vacations has been a leader in providing customers with excellent travel experiences since 1972. We pride ourselves on bringing excellent tours to Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales and tours throughout Europe, with new and exciting itineraries added yearly, coupled with unsurpassed service and support provided to our customers. We offer a full range of touring services, from escorted motorcoach tours, to self-drive vacations, city-stays, and custom chauffeur drive and group itineraries. Your clients will always find a friendly human voice on the other end of the line when your clients call Celtic Tours World Vacations. We don’t welcome your clients with automation, but personally answer every call that comes into our office during business hours, making sure your clients do not have to navigate through a phone queue and are taken care of straight away. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Do something!

Things work when you make them work. Seems pretty simple, right?  Your job is to make things work. Pretty simple concept as well, right?  If so, then why isn’t more of this type of stuff going on? Here are three ideas to think about as you map out the future for your agency.

The Lunch Meeting

Last week out of the blue, a subscriber of mine called and asked if they could meet over a salad and a cup of coffee—”just to brainstorm and explore a few opportunities.” I did not know this person, but my calendar was clear so I agreed. I enjoyed lunch immensely and I now have a contact that might be useful for me someday. How did this meeting materialize? Someone asked me to lunch. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Explore Kangaroo Island With Down Under Answers

The quieter side of Australia, Kangaroo Island offers a tranquil jaunt through the best of the country’s wildlife and nature, far from urban Adelaide or Sydney. This island’s focus and dedication to wildlife conservation makes it a nature-lover’s paradise of flora and fauna. Down Under Answers is your guide to this gorgeous island and all it has to offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

“The primary purpose of any organization is to create customers.”

This “dog” analogy makes all the sense in the world if you pause long enough to reflect on behavioral characteristics of individual pet ownership.

Think about how people treat their beloved dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other furry animals. It should appear pretty obvious that this is a winning strategy if we can manage to connect with this analogy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

With over one million residents, Cologne is Germany’s oldest major city. Past Roman influences are still seen today between the architecture of City Hall and the Cathedral, the Rhine River, and Rudolfplatz. Visitors who venture below ground find remnants of ancient Rome: sections of crumbling walls, tarnished coins, and intricately decorative mosaics. One of the most stunning of these mosaics can be viewed and admired in the Romano-Germanic Museum. Read the rest of this entry »

Those who know me know that I’m all for discounts, promotions, and free things. I take coupons to the store, only buy clothes when they’re on sale, and will wait in lines for free Rita’s Italian Ice on the first day of spring. When I first learned about FAM trips, I was all about the free or discounted travel; but the more I thought about it, the more I wasn’t sold on the idea. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

daniellevanderkwartelDanielle van der Kwartel, originally Dutch, arrived over 24 years ago to Mexico where she started working at Hyatt International Hotels in Puerto Vallarta. She started as a Corporate Trainee and within a year, she moved up to Director of Sales.

After her tenure as Director of Sales & Marketing of several renowned hotels, including Camino Real and the Acapulco Plaza Hotel, she worked at the All-Inclusive chain Blue Bay Hotels. During her time at Blue Bay Hotels, she opened nine representation offices in South America and was part of the St. Martin Hotel pre-opening team. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

I was reminded recently (twice) how the sine wave of life actually works. This curve has been mentioned in my live programs for years and it made the headlines recently.

The first example comes by way of a horse. A very fast horse. A very beautiful and elegant four-legged creature who goes by the name of American Pharoah. (Spelled wrong, correctly.)

American Pharoah overcame incredible odds earlier this year by winning the Triple Crown.  This was the first time this has happened since Affirmed won it in 1978. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings


Over the years, accepting credit cards has been fraught with liabilities. With the Airlines Reporting Corporation, to be absolved of liability, you needed to have a manual imprint of the card—despite the fact that your client might be miles away and all transactions were processed electronically. This was more of a way for ARC to push liability away from themselves than anything else. Then came the PCI compliance issue where even if we were passing along credit card information to a supplier for processing, we were still liable. Today’s liability is the chip card compliance issue that requires merchants to have a special terminal to read the chips that will be standard by the end of 2015. If not, then the merchant is responsible for any fraudulent charges. This does not even begin to address the transactional costs of accepting a credit card. But on that front, there is some great news! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – October 16, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

A cruise, on its own merits — and without any ports of call — can be a romantic vacation choice. But coupled with the right destination, a cruise can be so much more; it can be a romantic adventure to last a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Susan SchafferEarlier this week Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that they are changing their affinity group program. Although the announcement came out this week, it will go into effect for new group bookings starting on December 1st of this year, applying to any sailings departing after January 1, 2016. This gives travel consultants plenty of time to familiarize themselves with the program before it goes into effect.

A solid groups program is important for any cruise line, and it appears that NCL has been paying attention to feedback from their travel partners about what we need/want when it comes to booking groups with them. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

True, false, or indifferent, a book is still judged by its cover. So is a movie, a magazine, a car, a house, and people, people, people.

You can’t afford to take the chance that your prospect might not approve of your “packaging.” I’m not talking about the price of your wardrobe. I’m referring to the condition of it… and yourself.

Here are a few reminders:
 Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Sales Mistake #9: Lack of Focus

68% of lost business comes from a lack of attention. Counter this statistic by paying attention to current customers, those on your prospect list and all lost customers who you still care about.

The selling profession runs rampant with “hit and run artists.” It is a costly practice. Think about it: You spend endless hours investing good money after bad trying to schedule face time with some stranger. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Delicious Flanders – The Flanders Kitchen Rebels

Flanders-Belgium is a fairy-tale destination where streets are paved with chocolate cobblestones and the air is filled with the smell of hot waffles, fries, and beer. Or so they say. Are you ready to discover delicious Flanders?

Gastronomy is an integral part of Flemish identity. The love of good food and beer is in the Flemish DNA. Spending time over a quality meal at home or out in a restaurant is part of the culture in Flanders. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

After all is said and done, more is said than done. The key is follow through. Everyone says they know this, but very few people manage to do it.

Talk is cheap, so after all is said and done, more is said than done. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Stuff happens; fix it!

The Northeast Blackout of 2003 was big news more than a decade ago. One minute, there was light. In less than a blink, and without warning, there was none. Just like that.

This is yet another example of how quickly things change. How quickly things can change. And, how quickly things will change. One minute you are sailing nicely, the next you are hung up on a sand bar. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Sales Mistake #7: Not Taking Detailed Notes

Relying on memory is a fatal practice. Here is the long and short of it: Write everything down. Take notes.

Memories can be short. Nights are for sleeping, not tossing and turning trying to remember if you have forgotten some important issue for tomorrow’s sales presentation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

The original vacationer’s dream, Havana charmed many a traveler in its heyday before the Communist revolution in the 1950’s. With travel restrictions on US citizens easing and relations between the two countries warming, Cuba is poised to reclaim its title as one of the hottest Caribbean travel destinations. Havana, its capital city, is already getting out her best dress for new visitors, made of salsa dancing, vintage cars, and a survivalist spirit found nowhere else. Let Downtown Travel be your guide to this mesmerizing Caribbean paradise. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

A true gem in the crown of South Africa, Cape Town is one of the most progressive and contemporary cities in Africa. From delightful wines to thrilling wildlife encounters, everyone will find something to treasure in Cape Town.

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