Monthly Archives: January 2018

Posted In: Spotlight

Choose from over 300,000 Properties & Benefit from a dedicated Travel Agent Program

Discover the benefits and features of the leading hotel booking website for travel agents, with properties ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts, to local favorites, B & B, apartments, Relais & country homes, and vacation rentals. for travel agents features 300,000+ properties in over 200 countries, a selection that’s not typically found in traditional GDS systems + millions of independent reviews from real travelers.

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Change Your World!

Have you noticed that some people walk around looking as if they have just lost their best friend? These people communicate to the world that life is, and will continue to be, an unfair experience for them. Daily existence for them is a total drag, while life offers nothing in return for their “showing up.” If you know one or more of these individuals (and I’m betting that you do), let me suggest that trying to improve the future of anyone engaged in an exercise in self-pity is an exercise in futility.

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But I Don’t Want to Bother People

 “But I don’t want to bother people.”

That is the common response I hear when I ask clients why they are not attempting to remain more visible in their marketplace.

Here are a few unpleasant facts that you need to come to terms with if you plan to become more successful in your business. Your biggest problem is that not enough of the right people know you are alive. I refer to this as your visibility quotient. Your VQ is lower than it should be and in all likelihood I slower than it needs to be. Not enough people know you are alive.

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Posted In: Point-to-Point

Given the extreme geology — and how difficult it is for even the most experienced climbers to summit the peaks — it’s tempting to think that Torres del Paine means “Towers of Pain” in English.
But that interpretation is only half right.

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Hi, Mary.

I am interested and have been considering this career for the past few years.

Wondering if you have a recommendation of a host agency that would better cater to the Family Adventure Travel niche? This is where my passion is, and I would really like to find a company that can foster and mentor me in this startup.



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The Power of Persistence

Many Americans seem to have been stricken with the disease “quit-itis.” They quit everything too soon. It is almost an epidemic. From marriages to diets, jobs to exercise programs. The malady is even more acute in the sales profession. It makes me stop and wonder what happened to good old fashion persistence? Has “flight” taken over for “fight?”

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Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Standing as the second largest and northernmost island in Japan, Hokkaido is a place of breathtaking natural beauty. From bustling cities and top notch sake to undisturbed forest and National Parks, Hokkaido has many reasons to be on your travel list this year thanks to Super Value Tours, the supplier sponsor of this article.

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Am I the Only Lazy Slug Out There?

The display on the base of the phone read “Unidentified Caller.” I don’t usually answer the phone when I see this display…but last evening I did. Just as I thought…a telemarketer.

The person politely asked for “Mike Marchev.” I said, “Speaking.” The caller then attempted to interest me in her Energy Company. Being that it was dinner time, I politely interrupted her in the middle of her script, and in a calm voice informed her that, “I am not in the market for a new Energy Company, and in fact, you have called before and I have told you the same thing.” I then bid her a sincere good-bye and gently hung up the phone. I was proud of myself for the polite and humanely way I managed to say “buzz-off” without sounding rude or aggravated by this unsolicited evening intrusion.

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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Sometimes little things get under my skin. Often, I will just let them go—typically they aren’t a very big deal. But sometimes they fester. Try as I might, they keep coming back and bugging me. And right now, it is a popular commercial that has me fired up. It is kind of stupid to begin with; but it can also be seen as irresponsible. Have you seen it? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Finding your niche

Developing and marketing a niche area of expertise is one of the best possible ways to differentiate your travel practice from the competition. As an expert in a particular theme or destination, you can quickly establish your travel agency as the only reasonable resource to which consumers should turn when considering travel in your niche venue.

The concept of adopting a niche is often misconstrued. Niche marketing is a way of helping you focus on locating new clients, not a set of restrictions on your business offerings. Niche marketing is not necessarily about gearing your entire business to a particular type of travel. It is about segmenting your marketing efforts to focus on particular groups of people, however. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

King Cartoons – January 12, 2018


Posted In: Agent Perspectives

With Virgin Atlantic offering Manchester-bound non-stop flights from Atlanta, Boston, New York and San Francisco, take a closer look at some of the inspiring new tours that are available for independent travellers and customised groups beyond the Manchester Gateway

In the past, Manchester Airport has been seen largely as the gateway to the north of England, but as the map shows, it’s also the starting point for a new generation of imaginative tours to Scotland, the Heart of England, North Wales and Ireland.

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You don’t have to agree with me today, but I am about to share some advice that could position you as a true professional in the eyes of prospects and clients.

Here are three points I would like to share. I feel each one is in your best interest.

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Posted In: Soundings

In light of recent events, clients and travel advisors are asking this question. If you missed the news stories over the holidays, there have been two recent accidents involving Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise passengers. The first was just days before Christmas when a bus crashed, killing 11 cruise passengers and a tour guide. The excursion to a nearby Mayan ruin site was contracted through the cruise lines. The second incident was last week with a SCUBA diving boat sinking. Again, this was a cruise line contract excursion. Both incidents occurred in Mexico.

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Posted In: Deck Plans

Back in the 1980s, I traveled around the world with a hefty backpack weighing down my shoulders. As I traveled, my backpack became lighter and lighter and lighter. I started dispensing of stuff because I got tired of carrying it, and I learned that I could do with a lot less than I had originally thought I would need. So if there is one lesson that I have learned in my four decades of traveling, it is pack less.

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Stick to Your Value Proposition

Yesterday my wife Barbara received an email from a friend of ours from Scotland. She asked my wife to do a favor for a friend of hers. It involved buying a pair of shoes (boots), which, if purchased in the States, would save $100. The boot was priced at nearly $500 before the savings. Barbara did as she was asked, and everyone seemed happy.

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Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

If your answer is “NO” and you were given an opportunity to hit the “Reset” button and reboot your travel or tour company, would you do it?

Virtually all travel professionals, whether new home-based agent, tour operator, or the general manager of a large, multi-location agency, struggle with similar challenges such as finding new clients, keeping the old ones happy, cash flow, and advertising to name just a few.

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Posted In: Point-to-Point

The Allure of Distractions

As I sat down to write just now, I was completely distracted by so many noises; my phone started ringing, the heater in my house kicked on, UPS  rang the door with a delivery, my neighbor’s gardener came by with the loudest leaf blower imaginable, which caused neighborhood dogs to start barking. I seriously wondered how I would be able to accomplish writing an article.

And then, miraculously, all of the noises stopped at exactly the same time. Complete quiet. Complete stillness. All that I hear right now is the sound of my fingers hitting the keys to create the words that you are now reading.

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I was channel surfing the other day when I came across a program featuring…Ice Skating. As beautifully as these ladies skated, and as precise as each jump executed, I realized that all of this creative balance and symmetry did not come by accident. Polished professionalism, regardless of the trade, is the result of focused and well-initiated practice.

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With the Winter Olympics next month in South Korea I thought it appropriate to dust off an Olympic-related message from a previous venue. I love the Olympics. It provides lesson after lesson that can be related to life and its competitive nature.

During the Nagano Winter Olympics a few years ago, I analyzed the contestant’s finishing times in the women’s downhill ski race. My research resulted in what came to be known as my Rule of 1.6%.

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Stop Focusing On The Negatives

It’s only human to focus on negatives. Heaven knows there are enough negative things going on in this world to provide plenty of opportunities to succumb to the Dark Side. There isn’t much you can do to change this fact, or influence other people’s behavior. You can however, decide to change your response to the world’s stimuli. You absolutely do not have to follow the pack and become a negative person. Being positive is an option.

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