Monthly Archives: December 2015

Posted In: cartoons

King Cartoons – December 18, 2015


Posted In: Deck Plans

On shore excursions from Monaco, you can choose to visit the hilltop villages of Saint Paul de Vence or Eze, tour Vieux (Old) Nice and its famed flower market, visit Villa Rothschild and its gardens in Cap Ferrat, or spend time absorbing the sights and sounds of Monte Carlo. And that’s just for starters. Learn more about shore excursions from Monte Carlo, Monaco. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Susan SchafferIt is hard to believe that 2016 will be here in a very short two weeks, and with it the 2016 wave season. Some travel professionals are feeling the effects of the season already, since some cruise lines (like Royal Caribbean) started their season specials back in November. Even if you are busier than in past Decembers, this is the best time to hunker down and work on your New Year’s Resolutions for your business. Once January 1st rolls around, you will (hopefully) be up to your eyeballs in bookings and won’t have the luxury of time to sit down and plan out your 2016 goals. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Here we are looking down the barrel of yet another year. In wanting to maintain my relationship with Travel Research Online, and in particular with Richard Earls, I didn’t think I had another year’s worth of articles in me. I wasn’t sure what avenue I was going to take, and then an old project of mine popped into my head.

Once upon a time, I was going to write a book titled UNDERLINES.

I’m not sure when my reading habits kicked into full speed, but years ago I found myself being defined as a voracious sales and marketing reader. I couldn’t learn or read enough about the subject. And thanks to my slower-than-fast reading habits, I found myself underlining certain passages in the books that I read in order to internalize the message. Page after page I underlined, circled, and furiously scribbled notations in the margins. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

The New Year Is Here!

I am not going to bore you with an article highlighting the importance of making meaningful goals for the New Year. Nor am I going to highlight the folly most individuals experience who spend an inordinate amount of time making such superfluous goals.

You know what time it is, and you know you have a full 12 months ahead to do whatever it is you are going to do. As Gloria Estefan once reminded us in song, “You determine your fate by the choices you make.”

Before entering the New Year after sharing over 225 messages with you during the past twelve months, I want to remind you of one simple meaningful fact. I happen to know that the following advice is true: I learned it and confirmed it more than once during my training days leading up to competing in an Ironman Triathlon in 1998. (For those of you who may not know, The Ironman is an endurance race covering 142 miles for individuals who are borderline on being mentally imbalanced — just kidding.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing airline in Africa and a multi-award winning airline, registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years. In its close to seven decades of operations, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivaled in its efficiency and operational success.

Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo networks, operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 90 international destinations across five continents. Ethiopian’s fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as the Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200 Freighter, and the Bombardier Q-400 double cabin, all with an average age of five years. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Knowing what to measure can be as baffling as sifting thru all the insights, analytics, and numbers.

Knowing why you’re measuring is key to your success.

Does your analysis give you a better idea of what action YOU can take? Do you better understand your marketing direction or what resonates with your fans?

We all love to see our fan base grow. Yet if those fans aren’t working hard for you by sharing, liking, or commenting on your content, are their growing numbers meaningful to you? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

The Delta Way

As we approach another New Year, I wanted to share this true life experience with you. It happened when I was traveling to Europe on business. I was taking a river cruise, which I hesitate to call “work”, but that is exactly what it was.

It wasn’t until I was packing to return home that I realized that I was missing my Kindle reader. I had over 75 business books loaded on this device, so this more than a slight inconvenience. In fact, I was very disappointed in myself for letting this treasured device slip away from me.

After calling myself every name that I could think of, I realized that most of my readings were backed up on the “cloud”. This softened the blow, but I was still very disappointed in myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

With over 60 years’ experience and around six million drivers in 2014, Europcar is a world player and Europe’s leading vehicle rental firm. Present in 150 countries, we provide customers with access to the world’s largest vehicle rental network through its own operations, franchisees and partnerships. With 6,500 employees committed to delivering customer satisfaction and an average fleet of close to 315,000 vehicles, Europcar is conscious of our corporate citizenship responsibilities.

At Europcar, we understand the environmental impact of what we do. That’s why we have wholeheartedly embraced a sustainable development program and are proud to be the first car rental company with certified ecological commitments. After all, what’s good for the Earth is good for our drivers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

What do Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and George Washington all have in common? Linked together, they all become key players in a memorable early July family travel experience that starts and finishes in London.

Major literary anniversaries make great foundations for a customized tour, and in 2016 with the Brontë Sisters, Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl, and Alf Wight (aka James Herriot), we have four very well known names with which to work.

Don’t be put off by the words ‘Literary Tour.’ With the addition of privately owned homes and gardens and the inclusion of pubs and tearooms, tours to the sources of inspiration for great writers and poets can be informative, entertaining, and fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

5. Thinking social media is your answer. Social media is in no way, shape or form today’s flavor of the month marketing strategy. It is “real” and it is here to stay. My warning is not to solely rely on this strategy in hope that it will lead you to the Promised Land. It won’t. It is merely another cog in the wheel to help you let others know that you are alive and that you may have something of value to offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

The island of Roatán is nestled right on top of the world’s second largest coral reef, soaking in all the sun-drenched charm of the Caribbean. From the cuisine to the beaches, everything on the island is laced with warmth and heat, perfect for travelers looking to escape the icy clutches of Jack Frost. Discover this Caribbean rhythm and paradise for yourself with ShoreTrips!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

One of my most often reminders requoted by those attending my live training sessions is: “There are only two types of people you will ever encounter. Those who you can help and the other kind.”

No truer words have ever been spoken.

I plan to touch on nine reasons why most salespeople are not more successful at arriving at deciding the candidates for each category.

Today we will discuss the first four. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

It seems that the older we get, the easier it becomes to do more—technology is the likely culprit. Sometimes I think that we never get a chance to stop and smell the roses anymore because we are always in “go, go, go” mode. I sniffed at the roses last weekend with my getaway; but I was back to the grind this weekend with a terrifically over-scheduled Friday and a trip to Philly to see the Army-Navy game (if you ever get the chance… do it). I slept in as late as I could on Sunday; but my dog had other ideas. So, a break is definitely welcome and I will be taking one after this column. As we do each year, TRO will go into hibernation on December 19th and come back with a vengeance on January 4th. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – December 11, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: Deck Plans

What is a “Leaf Peeper?” That is a term coined in the last few years to refer to those who travel to eastern Canada or New England between late September and the end of October to marvel at the magnificent beauty of the changing autumn colors.

Leaf peeping has become a multi-million dollar travel industry in eastern Canada’s provinces of Ontario, Québec, and the Atlantic Provinces. It also applies to the hundreds of thousands of people who tour upper New York State and New England. For the past decades, such tours were normally road trips, people simply motoring along the back roads and byways to view the progression of changing colors, staying at quaint country inns, and also enjoying the cultural flavor of these locales. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Can You Handle The Truth?

Never known to mince words or to endorse the practice of political correctness, I have some bad news for many of my readers working the travel industry. If not “bad news,” it certainly falls under the category of “less-than-motivating facts.”

The truth is… the undisputable truth is… the undeniable truth is… many of you in the travel business DO NOT want to become successful. That’s the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Susan SchafferAs another calendar year winds down and we enter the holidays, bookings may temporarily slow down, but there is still a lot of work to be done in preparation for 2016. As I’ve said before, there is no rest for the weary travel agent.
What work you ask? As an example, have you reached out to your past cruisers? Or past clients that have yet to cruise? What about that list of potential clients that you’ve been accumulating? (You do have one, right?) ‘Tis the season to reach out and touch everyone. However, I’m not talking about mass email blasts or generic formulaic marketing. This is the time of year to get personal, and reach out to past, current, and potential cruisers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Let’s Keep Things Simple

I do not see what all the fuss is all about. Who said that building a business had to be difficult? Certainly not me. Like everything worth pursuing, it is the fundamentals that will get you to where you are trying to go.

In an attempt to simplify your journey, I’ve outlined five steps that will have you feeling like a pro in very short order. The work stems from the concept of “consistency,” and not from tedious and laborious “work.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

GT Tours, Your Experts in Central and South America

G.T. Tours is your partner in travel!  For over 30 years, their marketing and sales staff have 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. GT Tours takes pride in tailor-making trips to suit the tastes and interests of travelers, and to create a truly memorable holiday or adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

There is a thin line between “customer service” and being a doormat. Remember–you can’t be all things to all people.

If there is one common refrain I hear (and if I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times) it is:

Potential clients contact me to milk me for as much information as they can before they head out to book their own vacation on the internet. Read the rest of this entry »