Monthly Archives: February 2019

Your Travel Payment Experts

I am reminded of this simple yet profound truth on a teleseminar I recently conducted. This one is important my friends, and very deep. Tune in. And listen to what I am about to share with you.

As I always do, I asked my coaching students for their recent good news/bad news stories. I do this so we can all learn from each other…both good and bad.

The topic was distribution, and more specifically, how we can increase our service distribution. I offered an idea and one “student” immediately shared the fact that she had done exactly what I was talking about…and that it worked to perfection. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Just in case you think that I dream up these ideas for my own amusement, almost every one of this week’s collection plays an important role in customised itineraries I’ve recently created for enterprising travel counsellors.

The top story provides the foundations for a small group, pre-cruise extension in September and the Artist Village is in a 2020 Chelsea Flower Show itinerary. A visit to Duke Humfrey’s Library is part of a C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien literary tour for a family of 7 in June and Palladian Elegance appeals to another travel agent as something different for next year. I don’t yet have any takers for the Bluebells at Hole Park (working on it) but Spode and Wedgwood are in a long weekend shopping trip to the World Capital of Ceramics.

Tell me what fires your imagination.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

The Isle of Skye with Globus

Scotland has a distinctive look, one of rocky shores and a thick carpet of lush green grass. The Isle of Skye, located off the west coast of the country, is an example of the classic sights Scotland is known for. From the Glenfinnan Viaduct Bridge, immortalized as the train ride to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies, to the roving flock of sheep—the Isle of Skye holds sights that will be remembered by the traveler for years to come. Thanks to Globus,who offers up a stop by the Isle of Skye on a few of their tours, today’s 60-Second Geography is all about this land of faeries, castles, and mist.

Read the rest of this entry »

I remember it like it was yesterday. Maybe because it WAS yesterday. At 5:50 a.m. That is when my Google Alerts drew my attention to a marketing article that once again got me thinking.

The opening sentence in this particular article read, “Most marketers don’t understand the American Heartland, a unique segment that is ever-evolving and requires constant attention for brands to remain relevant.”

As great a place as it might be, this is not about America’s Heartland. And, although I pride myself as a marketing aficionado, it is not about “segmentation.” The word that grabbed me was the word “relevant.” Read the rest of this entry »

Four Words That Can Change Your Life

Today’s message is powerful. I said “powerful.” Really Powerful. Do you feel me? More importantly are you hearing me. I said powerful.

I happened upon these four words, and more specifically what these four words mean (to you) quite accidentally.

Not long ago, I took a golf lesson. This was way over do, and heaven knows I needed one. The pro was a good teacher. He had me focusing on a very specific aspect of my swing. A very small and well-defined are, an area I could readily identify with—an area my mind could totally comprehend. Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Talking and Start Asking More Questions

Not long ago I was walking through my basement when I spotted a paper-clipped article up against a pile of books next to my furnace. The title of the article was “Stop Talking…And Start Asking Questions.” I stopped walking…and picked the five pages up before noticing it was written in 1995. I read the entire piece and was reminded of what I already knew.

There was a section in the article that listed professional purchasing agents commenting on what they thought were good…and not-so-good questions. It was here where I began focusing on what I could glean from the article before passing it on to you.

If you use your imagination just a little, you can benefit from these suggestions. Read the rest of this entry »

Are People “Getting It” Any Better Today?

This particular whack in the head came via Annapolis, Maryland, the home of the United States Naval Academy. Annapolis is one pretty town…especially on a bright, clear Saturday morning in late May. Weather-wise, my wife and I hit a homerun as we sauntered in and out of the cute little shops.

We eventually wandered into a Christmas Shop down near the docks and began browsing. We both overheard a woman with an accent (Russian) ask the young lady behind the counter if they could take a picture of this lovely “shop” as they had never seen anything quite so beautiful? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

PictureBorn in Kent England, I grew up in a travel obsessed family. The son of a Tour Operator who set up the first private car and driver tours across the Indian Subcontinent, and living a short hop from France, the world always felt like a small place. Having traveled extensively in India, South East Asia, China and Japan, I moved to Beijing in 2008. It was my first experience living and working overseas, and it’s fair to say I caught the bug. Over the next 10 years I lived in London, Hanoi and Bangkok where I worked for a regional Destination Management Company developing and operationalizing products and experiences for Tour Operators and clients around the world. In 2018 after the birth of my son, my wife and I decided it was time to move back to London and start a new chapter at Blue-Roads Touring. A big reason for making the move was the opportunity to own the full customer experience – from first contact through to the operation on the ground. The full product ownership we have at Blue-Roads and our ambitious plans to bring our small group touring experience to North America and Asia spoke to me, was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Continuing on my list of resolutions inspired by Travel Pulse, this week, it’s all about improving your sales skills. This should be an easy one! The first step to becoming a stellar travel sales person is you need to want it. Sales (in any industry) is not for the feint of heart. It is a tough job and many are not cut out for it. Thankfully, travel is not like car or insurance sales—they are a different animal. But how do you become better at selling travel? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Voyage Report – Nieuw Statendam, St. Thomas

After waking up and looking out onto where we were docked, an obvious staple in any cruiser’s day, Natalie and I ventured to Club Orange for breakfast. Club Orange is a dining venue specifically for Club Orange members. It features the same menu as the main dining room with a couple of extra options – oh, and free mimosas at breakfast. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

(Originally written a few years back but worth reading today.)

Just when you think you have seen, heard, and done it all along comes an email that shakes your world.

Let me go on record to say that I don’t know what she looks like, sounds like and what her preferences are in any category whatsoever. I have heard of her…and about her. This is what makes this article in and of itself worth reading. I kind of “like” her. Not for her clothes. Not for her make-up. Not for her sound or choice of songs. But for her street-savvy understanding of “marketing.” Read the rest of this entry »

Here Is Another Great Idea

Have you ever had a good idea that went “south” faster than a Nolan Ryan fastball?

If not, then you are not doing enough of whatever it is you are doing. If failure is the fastest way to success, (which I have been known to say), I am fast on my way to the top shelf. A few days ago I thought I had a good idea. As it turned out…I didn’t.

Let me share my faux pas with you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

One recent afternoon, my wife decided the down cushions and covers from our sofa could use a good cleaning. Being too large for our own washer and dryer, a trip to a commercial laundry was in order.

That evening, armed with detergent, dryer sheets and about $15 in quarters, I loaded up the car and headed to the only laundromat I knew of close to our home. After hauling everything inside, I tried to stuff a cushion into a washer only to discover the equipment was actually smaller than our own.
Frustrated, I did what anyone with a smartphone would do, I asked the Google. Turns out there was another laundry a few more miles in the opposite direction but since it was late, I ordered Chinese takeout and went home. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

A G-Normous Chance to Get More & Win Big

G-Normous is back and bigger than ever! Sell big, win bigger. With every G Adventures tour you sell from now until April 30th, you’ll be entered for a chance to win free tours, cash money, and more. This February, all participating G-Normous agents will get 2% extra commission on eligible new bookings! Just use promo code GNORMOUS at the time of booking – perfect for introducing new travelers to National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures!  Read the rest of this entry »

A Balanced Attack

I remember speaking to an international group representing 50 countries who worked for a Fortune 100 company.

I opened my presentation by asking the audience to lift one leg off the ground and to hold that position. This was an easy exercise…balancing on one leg. I congratulated them for their athletic prowess and quickly related this position to their current state of “balance.” Read the rest of this entry »

Make The Call

When the Rolling Stones sang “Time Is On My Side”, they were not talking to you or me. When Simon & Garfunkel suggested that we “kick on down the cobblestones while feeling groovy” they obviously were not aware of the 24/7 thing soon to be coming into vogue.

If nothing else I believe I piqued your interest in wondering where Marchev is going to take this one.

I am certain that you can all benefit from today’s message.  Read the rest of this entry »

Consider Yourself Whacked!

I am referring to the infamous and much often needed “Whack-in-the-Head”.

We all need one now and then. Some refer to them as a “wake-up call.” Some call them a “blinding flash of the obvious.” Some are a tad more painful than others. Some make us laugh. Others simply make us think. The good ones actually change our behavior for the better. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Continuing on my list of resolutions inspired by Travel Pulse, this week, it’s all about gaining more travel experience. Let’s face it, it is hard to sell a Ferrari when you drive a Yugo. When the Samsung social media team tweets from an iPhone, the job of selling a Galaxy Note becomes that much more difficult. To effectively sell anything, you need to know your stuff. And that likely means you need to use your stuff. But what about travel? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Itchy Feet Comics – February 1, 2019

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Posted In: Deck Plans

Before boarding Nieuw Statendam, I didn’t know what to expect. The last time I went on a Holland America Line ship was about 15 years ago. What I did remember about that trip, though, was that I had the time of my life. Looking to Nieuw Statendam, I could only hope that the same would be true.

I was fortunate enough to spend the four days I was on the ship with my best friend Natalie. We embarked in Puerto Rico, where we got on a bus with a few other journalists from the hotel to the ship. When we got to the terminal, we were alerted that Natalie was not on the lists of guests to embark. Read the rest of this entry »