Monthly Archives: November 2018

Lazy, Busy, Befuddled

Your buyers are no different than you are. Chances are, they’re overworked, underpaid, and scurrying morning-to-night trying to get have the things on their to-do list done. Their scurrying around day in and day out might even paint them as action-oriented individuals. But, when push comes to shove, nothing could be further from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Crystal is a name that’s been synonymous with cruising for 25 years, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the company entered the river cruise market with Crystal Mozart, an older ship refitted to suit the line’s plans. Crystal Mozart made a big splash, boasting a width twice the size of the other river cruise ships and allowing for grander public areas like the Life Spa, fitness center, an indoor pool, plus king-sized beds in every stateroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

In the world of customised UK/Ireland tours, I never know what’s going to appear overnight on my laptop. Requests in the past few days have been for a Public Broadcasting Station tour to Cornwall (Doc Martin and Poldark), a food and whisky tour of Scotland, a post cruise 3-nighter to the Cotswolds and a Methodist church interested in next year’s 350th anniversary of Susannah Wesley, mother of her 2 famous sons, John and Charles. More on that shortly.

I also created a small group tour for an action-filled 3 days at Europe’s largest Viking Festival in York which made me curious to learn more about some of the other living history events that fill the UK’s calendar each year. What I’ve discovered is a nation-wide Aladdin’s Cave of edge-of-your-seat historical re-enactments and living history experiences that add something memorable to any customised tour of Britain. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

The six weeks or so between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a special time in our home. Like most families, we have our “Griswold” like traditions. The biggest being, our annual tree excursion. This always takes place the day after Thanksgiving – no exceptions. As our girls have gotten older, their boyfriends have thankfully helped out. They have been good sports as we (my wife) often spend hours searching for that “perfect” tree. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

When you head out of town for work or on vacation, do you find that your social marketing or your checked baggage get lost?

While we don’t have any control over our checked bags, we do have control over our social presence. We work hard to engage with our fans, post relevant videos and create ads that convert. But, how do we carry these strategies thru when we’re on the road?

Short of cloning or hiring more staff here’s some strategies to keep up socially. Read the rest of this entry »


“The fortune is in the follow up. It takes five to seven touches before winning the sale. Most sales occur after the eighth contact. RUBBISH!” – David Newman, Do It! Marketing

I am quick to endorse just about everything I read in this man’s book. But, certainly not everything. Read the rest of this entry »


I am sure you have already figured out today’s message.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

The travel industry does not corner the market on this truism as we all know that plenty of “stuff” happens in our business. Much of which can be filed in the “Why Me?” folder. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

The Eternal Beauty of Petra

Out in the wide expanse of Jordan’s terrain is a city that was once lost to time. A city cut from the stone face of a deep and winding valley, Petra is a magnificent example of human ingenuity. Journeying through the rose-colored rock that surrounds and comprises the ancient city is a walk through the history of humankind. Considered to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and a UNESCO World heritage Site since 1985, Petra is for the adventurous that wish to have life-long memories of another world. Thanks to G Adventures, we’ll learn all about it in today’s 60-Second Geography.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

The Limburg region is a peaceful area that spans across the borders of Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium. It is a place of calm and peaceful atmosphere, stone bridges that lead into historic cities, and rolling greens surrounding old villages. The Limburg region of Flanders has the some of the most scenic and safe rides in the world, whether it be for leisure or sport cycling. Read the rest of this entry »

Accepting Responsibility

When I read this quote, I immediately recalled a passage from the movie actor and producer Woody Allen who once said that he had accomplished many fine things in his life but managed to come up short on a number of occasions. What he failed to accomplish was nobody’s fault but his own.

According to him, Woody was given every opportunity to do more with his life, but he can’t blame anybody but himself for his shortcomings. Read the rest of this entry »

Defining Your Mission

When you first decided to enter the whacky world of travel, it probably was because you had a passion for the industry. You truly believed you could help people enjoy their time off while maximizing the experience. You only had good intentions…back then. And then, like a un-forecasted hurricane, reality entered the picture and started screwing things up.

If this wasn’t bad enough, you started to slow down and your future started to be questioned. In short, you lost your mojo. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

PictureJOHN FEENAGHTY was appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer in early 2018.

Feenaghty is a travel industry professional, with 25 years’ experience across a variety of industry fields. John’s most recent tenure has been with the Flight Centre Travel Group in Australia where he held a number of senior roles over his 14 years with the publicly listed company. His broad experience covers retail, wholesale, product, e-commerce, operations and marketing.

Starting out in the RAAF as a flight steward nearly 30 years ago, John moved from hospitality to travel, with a career at the Queensland Government Travel Centre in Brisbane. A few years followed with Thomas Cook retail, Sunlover Holidays, and a short stint in the USA with an Australian travel specialist. In 2003, he took over the Marketing division of Flight Centre’s emerging wholesale brand Infinity Holidays for several years. This evolved into many key roles across the company, including GM of, SVP Product & Marketing at Liberty Travel (USA based) and GM of Product & Marketing with the Infinity Group.

John has a passion for travel, the industry, customer experience, and the positive impact of travel on society. John has a double major degree in Marketing & Management from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. He is married with two adult children and one spoilt dog. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I read an article earlier this month about the EU implementing lie detectors using Artificial Intelligence (AI) on certain borders with non-EU nations. Apparently, travelers will be grouped into categories and subjected to interviews by a video terminal that will analyze their speech, facial movements, and mannerisms to determine if additional security is needed. Wow, how frightening. And I hope the TSA doesn’t get any more bright ideas and think about bringing this to America. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Revisit Your Marketing Calendar

Already those of you working on business plans are deep into 2019. It’s time to get moving. Every reader of my travel marketing column knows I think written business plans are important. Organization is essential. Clarity of expression and correctly assessing markets are requirements. But not a one of these is worth anything without ACTION. Along with every Marketing Plan (what to do) you need to write an Action Plan (how and when). Too many times we over-plan and over-perfect and in the process lose valuable opportunities to others who are quicker to act. It’s time to take another look at our marketing calendar. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Traditionally, travel-related merchants have a difficult time obtaining merchant accounts. National Transaction Corporation (NTC) is a full service merchant account provider with extensive experience in the travel arena and related markets, servicing thousands of travel-related merchant accounts by specializing in non-cash electronic transactions. Our services include processing credit card transactions, gift card transactions, and e-commerce transactions, among others. We offer a full line of products including credit card terminals, cellular devices, supplies, and accessories for each model sold. We offer aggressive rates and pricing for mail/telephone order, retail/restaurant, wireless, and online transactions while specializing in the travel and high volume sectors of merchant processing, and we are proud to be the preferred merchant provider for ASTA. Read the rest of this entry »

Live for Productivity

I am certain of one thing when it comes to rendering travel services to the general public, although you can try to be many things to many people, you can’t be all things to all people. This is particularly true if you have any intention of accomplishing your financial goals.

I bet you are already as busy as a 1-armed paperhanger, and you do not have enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks on your to-do list. You did not invent this conundrum, but you do have to find a way to deal with it.

“Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil… It’s more about priorities, planning, and fiercely protecting your time.”Gary Keller

Let me see if I can help you. Try these two strategies for the next ten days and see how your life changes for the better:


1. Spend the first 15-minutes of every day “thinking” and “planning” about the day ahead.

This simple exercise will help shed light on your most pressing obligations. Determine what work is important and what work is urgent. There is a difference.


The distinction between the two is referred to as The Eisenhower Principle. Dwight D. Eisenhower was quoting Dr. J. Roscoe Miller from Northwestern University when he shared with his audience: “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

Always do what is important at the expense of the urgent.

Click Here!

2. Practice at saying “no” more often.

(This may be the most important advice I may ever give you.)

I purposely suggested “practice” because you are most likely going to fail at this in the early stages. You must, however, become more comfortable with your decision to say “no” to outside requests for your time.

I suppose this is another way at looking at your “priorities.” If the task at hand does not replace your number one priority, perhaps it is best to say “no” sooner rather than later. This is in your best interest of time, stress and efficiency.

Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at

Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.


I’m so grateful for your website. I’m 2.5 yrs into my (currently) Part-time career in travel. I need to change host agencies and am having trouble sorting through who is great at paying the highest commissions to part time ICs. Do you have any suggestions on where or how to search this?


Marnie Read the rest of this entry »

What Really Counts: Results

The travel industry is better than most when it comes to wanting to pursue an entrepreneurial dream. Why do I say this? For the simple reason that you do not have to buy anything.

You have equal access to virtually every product, place, and mode of transportation that everybody else has…and you don’t have to build any products or warehouse any inventory. When it comes to building a business that is what is known as “a beautiful thing.” Read the rest of this entry »

Coaching Works

A huge difference between amateurs and elite performers is that the elite performers sought out teachers and coaches while they were still amateurs. They worked hard at getting better and they recognized the value of working with a coach.

The more skilled a person is at their craft, the more likely it is that they have a coach to guide them. This goes for Olympic Athletes, pro football players, musicians, TV celebrities, movie stars, and singers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Where did the year go? It seems like yesterday it was spring and we were ramping up for a busy summer travel season. I looked at the calendar and realized it was November.  NOVEMBER!!  And more to the point, I realized that Thanksgiving is this week! Every year, I like to look back and reflect on things for which I am thankful. Call them blessings if you will; but here is my list for 2018! Read the rest of this entry »