Monthly Archives: January 2019

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

As you, and many of your clients, may have seen on last Sunday’s Masterpiece screening of ‘Victoria’, my top story will help you to convert their interest in fiction into reality UK On Location tour. As I’ve successfully run it for a Public Broadcasting Station, I can offer you a programme that works extremely well as a customised small group tour.

You’ve probably read about ‘The Favourite’, the historical period comedy-drama film starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. Acclaimed at the Venice Film festival, what you may not know is that Hatfield House, just north of London was the chosen filming location. Use the link in my second story for a closer look.
With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings just around the corner, I’ve added something on the role played by the North Devon village of Clovelly in the build-up to Operation Overlord.
For clients cruising in or out of Dover, a visit to the Denbies Wine Estate will add some sparkle to a transfer to or from the port and for those who enjoy Living History experiences, The Eboracum Festival in York will tick all the boxes as will the annual Alice’s Day celebrations in Oxford!

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Posted In: cartoons

Whistle While You Work

My dad was a salesman. He regularly left home on two-week missions to sell more of his “stuff” in order to pay the mortgage for a home large enough to house my mother and seven children. I was #2, and I remember those days like it was yesterday.

My dad loved to fly and he loved his work. Based on our comfortable living conditions while growing up in a big house open 24/7 to all shape and size kid and their friends, he was a pretty good salesman.

Flying to him used to be an exciting proposition. I suspect that another reason he enjoyed traveling so much had a little to do with that 24/7 thing…but that is just my guess. That being said, he liked meeting people and was quick on his feet. He whistled a lot. He was a happy guy. Read the rest of this entry »

A Reminder From Talk Show Host — Larry King

I may be dating myself on this one, but I will give it a shot knowing that many of my readers do not know of or have ever heard of Larry King. In a nutshell, he was a TV interviewer who invited famous people to his show to entertain viewers wanting to see behind the curtain. It was a good show. Similar to today’s night-time shows hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Seth McFarland among a host of others.

Here is a message I received while watching Larry King one evening a few years back: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

If you don’t have your Europe wish list handy, go ahead and toss it aside because you’re going to need a new one altogether after this. Instead of the usual European vacation, conjure up the kind of bucket list experiences you’ll always remember from speed boats, golf cart tours, icy hideaways, and snowmobiling across glaciers. Here’s what to do and see in Europe to remember for a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

As sales and marketing advice goes, this may very well be up there with the best of it. I was reminded of a natural phenomenon this week, and I could not find my way to my computer keyboard fast enough to share it with whoever is out there listening. This is a BIGGIE. Tune in.

I recently ended a teleclass I was conducting with what I consider to be some sage advice. To me, what I am about to suggest is both logical and extraordinarily simple. It is effective and incredibly apropos. It does not cost a red cent and the results are extremely powerful.

The truth is, however, that nobody can do what I am about to suggest without feeling uncomfortable to some degree. This last sentence, in and of itself, may explain why there are not more successful travel-related sales professionals in the United States today. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Your Business…Do Something About It

There is a thin line between “customer service” and being a doormat. The painful truth is you can’t be all things to all people. It is time to make a few hard decisions.

If there is one common complaint I hear more than any other 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.”

Fasten your seatbelt and prepare for a blast of reality: It is your business and you can run it any way you choose. If you have a fee, the best time to explain this arrangement is upfront. Nobody likes surprises. Not me. Not you. Nobody! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Last year, Travel Pulse listed some resolution that travel professionals devised for 2019. Last week, we spoke about getting the word out. And this week, I wanted to tackle another outstanding resolution—getting certified. Easier said than done. Maybe!

The problem is, that certification in the travel industry has always been like trying to nail jello to a tree. No one ever agrees who should be the certifying agency, or what the criteria should be, or what it even is that should be certified. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

A Talent for Practice

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” ~ Albert Einstein

Talent.  You have it or you don’t… Right? Isn’t talent the reason Bobby Fischer was a grand master chess player at 19?  Isn’t talent why Bill Gates was a boy genius and is now the world’s richest man, or why Tiger Woods was a child golf prodigy? Is talent why some people seem to be natural born successes and others struggle up and down the steep slopes of the Pareto Principle their entire life, never breaking into the top 20% of their chosen field?

Maybe not. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Viking’s 2020-2021 World Cruise

Viking announced its new 2020-2021 Viking World Cruise, which will span 161 days, six continents, and 75 ports, with overnight stays in 13 cities. Setting sail on December 14, 2020 from Miami, the itinerary will include six new ports of call for Viking, including Honolulu and Nawiliwili, marking the company’s inaugural visit to the Hawaiian Islands. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Repetition Pays

Although there may not be any “do-overs” or mulligans in business these days, there is certainly time and rationale for “Do-Agains.”

Let me explain.

I recently sent out a blast email promoting one of my books. In this case, I was featuring my 52-Week Sales Planner. What better time to start planning for a brighter future than right now? I wrote a sales letter and hit the button which sent my words out to internet land. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Keep This Business Thing Simple

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

In an attempt to simplify your journey, I’ve outlined four 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.”

Let’s break this thing down to its component parts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

A Very G-Normous January

Founded in 1990 by social entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is a small group adventure travel operator offering more than 700 tours in 100 countries, on all seven continents. G Adventures’ award-winning trips support local communities, giving travelers meaningful experiences with people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife, while offering them the  freedom and flexibility to explore on their own. G Adventures’ responsible approach to travel is demonstrated through its ‘G for Good’ social impact initiatives, which include travel guidelines for children, wildlife and Indigenous people and community-based social enterprise projects that travelers can experience on trip, plus its industry-leading ‘Ripple Score’ assessment to measure what percentage of customer dollars stay in the local economy. G Adventures offers life-changing tours for individuals of all ages, interests and budgets. Because our world deserves more you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

In the 2000 hit movie, What Women Want starring Mel Gibson, Marisa Tomei, and Helen Hunt, a chauvinistic executive played by Gibson (imagine that) after an accident gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking or rather the inability NOT to hear it.

One of the greatest things about my “job” working with travel agency clients large and small is finding the that they all experience the same challenges – just on a different scale. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Still Competitive?

With an increasing number of home-based travel agencies, coupled with a growing number of travel management options, competition for the traveler’s dollar is as competitive as ever. But many agencies, and in particular their owners, are not very successful in marketing their travel services.

Moreover, the agency glut has led to a buyers market. It appears that fewer and fewer agencies are willing to accept the challenge and are beginning to seek shelter from larger, better-connected organizations. But even these groups are not immune to growing competitive pressures.

A suggestion: The amateurs need to decide if they are going to get into the game—or get out. It is time to make a real commitment. It’s as simple as that. Those in the business for the travel benefits need to find profitable work elsewhere so they can start buying their weekend junkets to Las Vegas.

Click Here!

The true professionals, those in the business to pay their mortgages, feed their families and send their kids to college, need to hone their business skills and sharpen their competitive edge.

But the good news is that there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Travel professionals simply need to take a refresher course in sales and marketing basics.

Although the competition is becoming intense, the rules of the game are remain the same:


  • Rule #1: Find someone who is receptive to your help, knowing there are many more “candidates” who are not. Build a target list.
  • Rule #2: Find out how you can help these people. Some will require more help than others. “One size will not fit everybody.”
  • Rule #3: Do your thing. Help them and then do a little more to prove to them they hooked their wagon to the right horse. (Poetic license.)


Sound foolishly simple? It is. Then why aren’t more agencies back in the game playing by these rules? A more pressing question: Are you?

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

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: To be placed on the distribution list to receive Mike’s Marketing Memo filled with tips and proactive ideas send him an email byCLICKING HERE.

Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

Posted In: Preview

Surrounded by a sparkling harbor and beaches, Sydney wows year-round visitors with its world-class attractions and access to unique and natural beauty. Fortunately, travelers looking for Sydney shore excursions have plenty to choose from. Attractions like the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Opera House are nearby, while Sydney day trips to the Hunter Valley unveils some of the world’s most popular wines. The best things to do in Sydney are an easy shore excursion away. Read the rest of this entry »

Little Things Work

I just got off the phone with a former business associate, who was casually reviewing his contact list (Rolodex) and came across my name. He took the time to give me a call. We talked.

After we exchanged pleasantries, I began to ask a few questions. I found out that most if not all of his new accounts resulted from informal calls like this one. He had no hidden agenda…just time enough to say hello and remind his prospect that he was standing by and in position to offer assistance when needed. Read the rest of this entry »

I Know

If you are over the age of 35 and happen to have children, nephews or neighbors over the age of 10, you know exactly what I am talking about today. Young people like to believe that they already “know” just about everything. This trait I am sad to say is not limited to just young people. For my money there are too many adults who seem to already “know.”

In today’s message, I would like to remind you of one very important fact: Knowing and doing are two entirely different things.

The majority of adults, both young and old, know what to do…what to say…what to think…what to try…what not to say…what not to do…what not to think. After all, “they know.” Suggesting anything of value to these people is like preaching to the choir. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Last month, Travel Pulse performed a survey asking agents about their New Year’s resolutions and came up with an outstanding list that really showed the passion and professionalism in this industry. Despite the pundits, we most certainly are NOT a dying industry.   The top 9 resolutions (and I went back and counted to make sure there weren’t 10, because 9 is weird) were… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

5 Ways To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Day is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” ~ Mark Twain

New Year’s resolutions often are a topic of derision. We treat the annual ritual of making promises to ourselves as a joke, a light-hearted acknowledgement of our inability to keep a commitment.

Something about that sits poorly with me. Read the rest of this entry »