Monthly Archives: February 2018

Friendly Alliances

Savvy entrepreneurs know that there is always help available to them…if they look for it…and if they are receptive to it…and if they proactively cultivate the relationship.

An interesting article by Allison Fass in the New York Times once commented on “alliances.” Two competing TV stations were joining forces on a project, which displayed a scenario which replicated the signs of the times. It read,

“In this day and age, where competition is so great, networks can’t isolate themselves. They’re going to have to reach for and seek ‘out-of-the-box’ opportunities.”

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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Earlier this week, a client came over to pick up his leather document holder with his cruise documents and asked me to print out his boarding pass for his upcoming flight!  Wait…no that’s not right. That was back in 1998.  Long gone are the paper boarding passes and heaven forbid that a cruise line supply a leather folio for printed documents. It’s all electronic baby in this hustle and bustle world. And if you are not on board…well you will miss the boat.  I am still mystified at how many agents are still clinging onto yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Almost time for spring cleaning?

Yikes! We are already deep into the second month of 2018. There’s no more “new car” smell to this year. But it’s not too late to revisit key aspects of your marketing plan and benchmark how well the year is progressing. In fact, there is no better time to do so. The year is not too far gone to re-energize your efforts, to make adjustments to your plan.  Marketing plans are organic – they are not carved in stone and fixed for the year. You can and should make adjustments throughout the year. It’s not even too late to write your 2018 business plan if you have not done so already. As we have said here many times before, the very act of planning is almost as important as the plan itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Enthusiasm Sells

I once was given an opportunity to address an audience for 10-minutes at an annual convention in Phoenix, Arizona. I remember it as being held at the Biltmore. I was attending as an invited guest with no presentations scheduled. The invite caught me by surprise, as an impromptu ten minutes isn’t much time to “connect” with an audience. It is almost impossible to say anything that will give them anything worth thinking about. I agreed without giving it any further thought.
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Posted In: Deck Plans

Five years ago, we came up with a list of Six Tips for Booking Your 2013 River Cruise. Half a decade later, many of these tips are still relevant –  and some of them are even more relevant than they were back then.

As we head into the start of the 2018 river cruise season, there are six things you should consider when planning your 2018 or 2019 river cruise. And as with 2013, the main tips we can provide to prospective river cruisers: plan ahead – and take action.

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Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

Beware The Red Flag

For years I have gone on record to remind my readers that a career in sales can be easy, fun and profitable. I say “easy” because all you’re doing is sharing what you already know, and offering educated opinions to interested prospects. I say “fun” because making money is fun. Helping people is fun. Being your own boss is fun. Making people happy is fun. I say “profitable” because getting paid what you’re worth spending time with the right people for the right reason insures that you will remain in business for some time to come.

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Mission: Cancellation

Travel Agent Matthew Exline shares one of his client stories for this week’s Travel Agent Diaries entry.

I have a story I would like to share about how I was able to save a client’s trip, and ensure that he reached his destination safely and on time.

The client, whom I will call “Joe,” was traveling to an extremely remote and dangerous area of a Southeast Asian country on a humanitarian mission. The stakes were high due to major security concerns, and it was extremely important for Joe to arrive at his destination on time in order to carry out his mission. I was responsible for arranging his complex air itinerary from Florida to a tiny obscure airport in this remote area.

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Posted In: Spotlight

Once known as Formosa, the island of Taiwan is one of the most sought out travel destinations in East Asia. With so much culture and history to the area, it is sure to provide an experience unlike any other for all types of travelers. Thanks to Super Value Tours, the supplier sponsor of this article, you’ll get to see Taiwan in the best way possible.

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Posted In: TRO SMITH

Are you loving the bird’s eye view of the Olympic action?  I’m loving the determination and focus of these athletes.  Just making it to the Olympics is a feat unto itself, but imagine the dedication it takes to win a medal.

We all know about the 10,000 hours theory–that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in an industry or sport.  I’ve read that Biathlon athletes start training at 8 or 9 years old.  Mogul skiers hit their peak at 23 to 26 years old.   That’s the time frame these athletes have to accomplish their 10,000 and get onto the Olympic podium.

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Stop Trying to Sell

Today’s message may sound a bit strange coming from a sales training professional. It will come as no surprise however when I deliver today’s “wisdom” via an example from down under.

“No Worries,” is an Australian phrase that defines a philosophy worth investigating.

Unlike Americans, Aussies don’t appear to be “selling” all the time. They are more laid back. They seem to allow relationships to develop based on simple communication. They appear to be comfortable in their own skin. I find them to be refreshing…and fun to be around.

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Posted In: Supplier Profile

Explore Local Croatia With Via Tours Croatia

If you’ve ever wanted to see the less traveled side of Croatia, Via Tours Croatia is the tour company for you. This family-owned company wants travelers to as if they are a part of the family, offering a local, authentic link to many of Croatia’s best sites and activities.

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Posted In: Point-to-Point

Bridal Fairs 101

According to Tripsavvy, couples spend an average of $4,466 on their honeymoon. That’s three times as much as the average U.S. adult spends on a vacation. Luxury honeymooners, which comprise 15% of the market, spend an average of $9,954 and vacation for 11 days. (, Wedding Statistics and Honeymoon Facts & Figures, By Susan Breslow Sardone, Updated 08/22/17)

Are you getting your share of this lucrative market? One viable way to reach these prospective honeymooners is to participate in bridal fairs and expos. I have compiled some tips that have helped me prepare for successful events.

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Fill A Need

The concept of “supply and demand” infers that if there is no need for your particular skill, product or service, there is little justification for your employment. If people (owners, managers, clients or prospects) don’t feel you provide value, then you are in for some bad news…similar to the same bad news you read about everyday in your morning paper when it announces another 5000 jobs have been eliminated in an attempt to save the company.

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Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Amazing Auckland with Goway Travel

Auckland, New Zealand has quickly become one of the most popular travel destinations. Auckland’s devotion to education and the arts has garnered it status as a Beta + World City, but that’s only one of the reasons to visit Auckland. Thanks to Goway Travel, the supplier sponsor of this article, you’ll have every opportunity to see Auckland in all of its glory.

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It is important that we “CONCENTRATE” today. It is more important than ever. There are just too many choices and options for us in every situation. A short attention span is the shortest route to failure.

Not only should we be concentrating on our families, friends, relatives and loved ones, but also on ourselves, our future, and our personal goals. We also need to be CONCENTRATING on our businesses.

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Posted In: 1:1

Joel Cohen, New York City Vacation Packages

PictureJoel Cohen is a travel industry veteran, having worked closely with the President of New York City Vacation Packages, Barry Tenenbaum, for over 40 years. Both an accomplished author and speaker, Joel Cohen has appeared at many travel industry events. He was once named the Who’s Who of American Business Leaders, and with his customer first attitude it is no wonder why. Joel has helped to build great relationships with both travel agencies and industry suppliers. To find out more about Joel and New York City Vacation Packages, continue reading.

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Fail Faster

What would you try to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

I bet you would try to do a lot more than you are currently attempting. If you couldn’t fail you would step outside of your comfort zone and try all sorts of new and exciting things.

Failure has a way to erode one’s self-confidence, and self-confidence is as delicate as a soft breath. It makes a huge difference between what we accomplish, and what we don’t attempt for fear of failing. Most people talk themselves right out of accomplishment and right into a more comfortable state of mediocrity. Why? Because they don’t think they can succeed. It is safe to maintain the status quo. Shunning failure seems like a logical choice. (It isn’t.)

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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Tomorrow I am going to a program in my hometown called Ignite! Actually, I attended my first one last year, and I am going again to maybe work up my courage for next year! Ignite is (my definition) a very short TED Talk with a twist. You come up with a topic. You provide 20 slides to go with your presentation and you have 5 minutes to finish it with each slide advancing every 15 seconds. No pressure there huh? So what does that have to do with travel?
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Posted In: Publishers Corner

Making Sales from Your Website

I often hear travel professionals complain they are making no sales from their websites. To my ear, the complaint, however, sounds a bit strange. If you are making “sales” from your website, I suspect you are using a booking engine or a search engine geared to supplier specials, much like Travelocity or Expedia. However, for personal travel consultants, a website is far more of a marketing tool than a sales tool.  The difference is an important one to consider.

Firstly, every website should be designed with the business model of the company behind it in mind. There is no “one site fits all” website. If your business model resembles that of Expedia, then you are gearing for great volumes with little personal client interaction. In this scenario, a booking engine or supplier search engine makes sense and your website is indeed a sales tool. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Scenic has announced that its flagship, Scenic Eclipse, will be joined by a sister, Scenic Eclipse II. Launching in 2020, Scenic Eclipse II will embark on her maiden voyage from Athens to Lisbon, before the debut sailing season, which will include the European and Russian Arctic, a region of diverse wildlife and habitat, well suited to discovery by Scenic’s fleet of “6-star luxury meets expedition” ships.

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