Monthly Archives: November 2017

Posted In: Departures

Bruce Hodge, Owner and President of Goway Travel

PictureBruce Hodge is the owner and President of Goway Travel, what has evolved into one of North America’s largest travel companies to the South Pacific. Founded in 1970 upon Bruce’s arrival in Canada, Goway Travel has offices scattered across the globe and Bruce continues to set the strategic direction and drives the growth of the company. Australian born, Bruce is an avid globetrotter committed to growing the company and increasing the number of Goway travelers from the USA as well as Canada.

Read on to learn more about Bruce Hodge, and the thriving travel company that is Goway Travel.

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Why are the most meaningful messages the most personal? And painful? Because they are. To avoid boring you to tears with specifics, suffice it to say that I gave myself another personal wake-up call last week. (I hate when that happens, but if there is any truth that life is a journey and not a destination, I am having one heck-of-va joy ride. (Yes, I did type “heck-of-va”)

Last week a Speaker’s Bureau I do business with introduced me to a hot lead and asked me to call the would-be client for a quick phone interview. I did. In haste. I reacted too quickly. I was wrong.

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Testimonials Are Powerful Things!

Today’s MessageGood Enough May Not Be Good Enough

Not long ago I found myself researching a few restaurant reviews in the local newspaper. I spotted an establishment that caught my attention and thought this particular spot would serve an upcoming occasion quite nicely.

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Posted In: Outposts

Mendoza is the capital of the Mendoza Province located in the western central part of Argentina. Though most known for being one of the nine great Wine Capitals, Mendoza has much more to offer than just that. The desert-like town of Mendoza is charming yet exciting, a perfect place for a visit on your vacation to Argentina.

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This email just arrived from one of my marketing mentor participants:

Hi Mike,

I’ve been out hitting the pavement and just got another two bookings one for the Mexican Riviera and one for the Caribbean from the Harbor Light Restaurant. So I am following through with my commitments about visiting Businesses and asking for the business.

I love to receive emails like this. They make my day.

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Get Good At What You Do

A few of you have hats like the one pictured below. The letters L-I-G stand for Life Is Good.

While strolling down Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue one Saturday evening with my wife, sister and niece, we popped into a store that carried the LIG line and as a book junkie knows no boundaries, I exited with a simple book of reminders that Life Is Good for those who want to see it that way.

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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Every year, I look forward to Travel Weekly’s Travel Industry Survey. It is a great snapshot into the industry, our competitors, and best practices to help me figure out how to best navigate this changing industry. Recently they released the report of 2017 and I was surprised. Approaching 20 years in the industry, I run the risk of sounding like one of those old and crusty travel agents of yore; but I’ll bite the bullet and let you in on the five trends that surprised me. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Creativity and Your Travel Practice

I spend much of my time speaking to the importance of positioning and differentiation – setting your travel practice apart from the crowd. From the emails and comments I receive, however, it’s clear it’s not always easy to really BE different.  Where do the ideas arise that will energize your travel practice in such a way that travelers will choose you over another agency or booking on their own?

The most important thing is to lead with is your personality. You are the one thing that is truly unique about your travel practice.  You are the one thing not duplicated online, in your office, or at another agency. You are the human element with which people want to engage. Learn to infuse your creative thinking with your own personality. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

King Cartoons – November 24, 2017


Referrals Are Good Things

When I first moved to Florida my wife and I did not have a Rolodex of “go-to” sources. When an eye ailment hit my wife we first went the Walgreen’s route. When the problem persisted, I began to wonder if a doctor’s office may be a better place to tear up?

If you make a habit of hibernating up north during the winter months you may not realize that Florida is a place where old folks go to hang out for a few months. It became obviously apparent that folks, both young and old, learned how to prey upon these older folks.

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Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

What Are You Worth?

Our industry has become its own worst enemy. According to a survey by Pam Danziger in her book “Let Them Eat Cake”, she cites that the majority of consumers pay full price for luxury experiential goods – except travel.  64% of individuals surveyed said they got a discount or a deal.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a $299 Cancun package or a $100,000 World Cruise, over the years as an industry we have promised the customer, they always will get the lowest price available. Even if that happens after the sale has been completed.  Here are the cold, hard facts of this promise / guarantee:  The lower the price, the lower the commission.  Because you have set the expectation, you have to watch every promo, every one week & flash sale to keep your promise.  That’s a lot of work!

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The Devil Is In The Details

Today’s Message: “A pilot who sits on his checklist is flying by the seat of his pants.”

The Power of a Checklist

Years ago (many years ago) I learned how to fly single engine airplanes. It was a great experience and I have enough “war stories” of my own to pass an afternoon with any pilots.

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Posted In: TRO SMITH

9 Blog Hacks to Save you Time

  1. You’ll have a 20 hour work week with a computer (circa 1989)
  2. A vacuum robot will make your life easier
  3. Blog writing can be easy

Which of these statements is true?

If you chose C, you’re absolutely right!  Whether you LOVE to write and can’t wait to write your next article or if you HATE to write and procrastinate, you’ll find some reassurance and tips here.

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You Are a Marketing Specialist!

Today’s Message: Use your business cards more often.

Playing off the theme of a previous message, I will refer to a professional golfer’s bag of tricks.

He/she is limited to the number of clubs they can carry and use each week to ply their trade. Some are used for the short game, while others are used to whack the blazes out of the ball. When used properly, the desired result often occurs when one selects the proper tool.

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Posted In: Point-to-Point

ASTA has been a reliable source of research on the travel agency industry for many decades. We collect, collate and analyze data that is not available anywhere else on agency operations from agency business models to revenue sources. Our data can be used to pinpoint agency trends, compare and contrast agency operations, and develop marketing tactics.

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Some Real Timely Advice! 

Today’s Message: Don’t allow strangers to dictate your future. I was catching up with a friend of mine this past week when he shared with me some advice that merits repeating.

LF (Let’s refer to him as Larry, as that is his name) reminded me to pass on the following directive to all sales professionals who still have “eating regularly” as one of their 2018 yearly objectives:

“Stop reading the news and stop watching the news!”

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Posted In: 60-Second Geography

The region of New England is compromised of six states with no shortage of sights and activities to offer visitors and residents alike. With beautiful and diverse scenery and history, the New England region is a vacation destination with fun for the whole family. Thanks to American Cruise Lines, the supplier sponsor of this article, it will be a breeze to explore all that New England has to offer.

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I am having some trouble narrowing down my niche.

I wanted to start a travel business because my family and friends are always asking me to help them find affordable airfare and accommodations for various locations.

I think I want to do budget/bargain travel because so many people think that travel has to be expensive. Have you seen anyone specialize in shoulder season travel?

Also, I am big into yoga, wellness, and I’m a mom! Definitely want to add that into something. Can I have a few niches?

Thank you for your time!

Natalia Carden,

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Posted In: Outposts

Bruges, both the capital and largest city located in the province of West Flanders, is a beautiful place with history and culture galore. Thanks to VISITFLANDERS, the supplier sponsor of this article, take some time to learn about the wonders found within the city limits of bountiful Bruges.

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Today’s Message: Thank your lucky stars you are not a pharmaceutical sales rep. Every 25 years (+ or – five years) I get bit by a bug that puts this 190 pound, 6 foot boy down flatter than a Tuscaloosa, Alabama Flap Jack.

Last week, the bug hit, and hit with a vengeance. Against my macho judgment I ended up in the “walk-in” local doctor’s office.

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Posted In: 1:1

PictureTodd Powell, CEO and Co-Founder of Vacations By Rail, fell in love with the art of rail travel studying abroad, and has extensive experience traveling through Europe, the USA, and Canada by rail. With the support of the Vacations By Rail staff, Todd evaluates rail journeys based on an array of things including personal experience and extensive customer feedback. Todd Powell worked in many different areas of the travel industry, from management to marketing, before the creation of Vacations By Rail in 2004 which has since become one of the United States’ largest producers of rail vacations and trail tours throughout the world.

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