Monthly Archives: March 2019

Posted In: Publishers Corner

The extra mile

No doubt there is a lot of competition out there. If you live in a community of any size, there are likely dozens of travel agents in the yellow pages, networking, writing articles and, in general, marketing hard to get themselves noticed. Beyond the boundaries of your geographic community, just on the other side of your clients’ keyboards, are thousands upon thousands of booking opportunities from the largest sites like Travelocity and Orbitz to small, niche players. But diligence will pay  off and, over time, you manage to attract some portion of your share of the market to your agency.

That’s when the hard work really begins. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Itchy Feet Comics – March 29, 2019

I’m glad you asked.

In all probability…nothing. But on the other hand, maybe something.

Zumba is a form of exercise designed to get the ‘ole body back into some semblance of shapeliness. While Mexico is a country that is known for a lot of things, the sombrero being just one of them. So, what’s the deal? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Unfortunately, a flawless river cruise is not as simple as booking space on any ship and stepping on board. There are many decisions to be made before packing your bags and leaving home, not the least of which are which river to cruise and which cruise company to cruise with.

Preceding those two questions, however, you’ll also need to know if you are able to river cruise. That may sound like an odd consideration, but, in fact, some people aren’t able to river cruise because of physical limitations.

Provided that you’re able to river cruise, you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford to spend. How will you get to the port of departure – and back? What do you pack? How much cash do you carry? How do you book your shore excursions? Which stateroom do you choose? How are gratuities handled? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Magnetic Mykonos and the Lure of Greece

Greece, the birthplace of Democracy and home to some of the most stunning coasts in the world. It’s culture and past run like a main artery through the western world, and the sunshine seems to be unending. Mykonos, an island in the middle of islands, is no different. Surrounded by the bluest of waters and a way of life that only an island could create—Mykonos is a must-see for the traveler. That’s why Homeric Tours has sponsored our 60-Second Geography article for today. Their ways of getting you around Greece, and its islands, will take you to places that fulfill the ideal vacation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

For many travel planners, London Heathrow arrivals are frequently followed by the slow drive through the London rush hour traffic to hotels, where the rooms are often not ready. For more years than I choose to remember, I’ve been championing the idea of starting tours of Britain with the first three to four nights in the English countryside. To illustrate the point, I’m suggesting journeys of less than one hour from London Heathrow to cathedral cities and market towns where jet lag can be parked in fine country house hotels and new travel experiences can be enjoyed before arriving in London, adjusted to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and when bedrooms are ready.

Take a look at my Six of the Best – St Albans, Guilford, the Ashdown Forest, Oxford, Petworth and Winchester. Many of your clients will love this idea.

Read the rest of this entry »

When clients and prospects begin to confuse you by acting strange (by your definition,) I want you to take a field trip to Barnes & Noble to check out the magazine rack.

Why? Because you will see in an instant hundreds of different magazines targeting hundreds of different tastes and hobbies. Who would have thought?

Even if you are an extraordinary target marketer you will find yourself tested at times when your opinion is not endorsed without question. The reason for this is clearly demonstrated at the magazine rack. Read the rest of this entry »

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

You have to practice.

If you want to be the best at what you do…you have to practice. The truth of the matter is that people – adults – do not seem to internalize this message as advice worth taking. If you have not learned anything from me in the past 25 years, please listen to me today. There are no shortcuts to your success. You must dig in, take your shots, listen, learn, try, fail, adjust and succeed. You must practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Since reading the book titled One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, written by Robert Maurer, Ph.D., I find myself eyeballing a million items that yesterday would have gone unnoticed—and worse untouched. I figured if I were not going to complete any one task in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to do so. This has proven over time to be a wasteful decision. (Kaizen goes against the popular teaching to finish what you start. With Kaizen, you eventually do complete the task, but not instantaneously.) Kaizen simply refers to incremental improvement. Little-by-little. One step at a time. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

The Lure of Renaissance Loire Valley

The Loire Valley in France is often called the Cradle of the French, as it home to many of the sights that are thought of when France comes to mind. This 310-square-mile area of France near the northwest of the country has vineyards, fruit orchards, artichoke and asparagus fields, and historic towns that reflect the architecture of Renaissance-era France.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yes, business is a game that you will eventually win or lose.

FYI: Winning happens to be more fun than losing.

And just like golf, people will do just about anything to play only to soon find out that it is not always an enjoyable way to spend one’s time. Like golf, most “players” think they are better than they are. Most “players” do not see the need or take the time to practice. The one thing they do have in common is the thousands of excuses they manage to materialize as soon as the ball takes a funny bounce. As in golf, one usually faces a reality check before too many swings. “It could be a long day.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

The Delectable Treats of Paris

Undisputedly considered the most romantic city in the world, Paris is a city of passion and culture. Iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris add a special effect to the air—one of unique beauty. The legendary Louvre, with it’s glass pyramid and tens of thousands important works of art, is a staple of any trip to Paris. Love and passion saturate this city and, even more importantly, the cuisine.

French food is world-renowned for good reason. The richness of flavor from everyday fresh ingredients deserves a spot at the top in the culinary world. Though simplicity doesn’t mean easy. The preparation process is often precise and lengthy, but absolutely worth it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Matt’s career in travel began as a hobby. After returning from the Peace Corps in 2006, he began to help family and friends with their own travel plans. By sharing his experiences abroad he inspired and assisted them as they created their own trips and memories. In 2014, by chance, he got the opportunity to turn his passion into a career, and never looked back. In 2017, Matt left his full-time Silicon Valley career to devote 100% of his time to building his travel business.

Matt has been nominated by Carnival Cruise Lines as CLIA’s Rising Star of the Year and is an active participant in many travel industry associations and boards.

In addition to his thriving travel advising business, Matt is the Supplier & Industry Relations Manager at Ticket 2 Travel, where he is responsible for developing strong relationships with trusted partners in the travel industry. Matt has been an advocate to others who want to follow his path, and has become a mentor to many who desire to seriously build a career in travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Define Your Home Run

Regardless of how many years I have experienced, and how many times I have fallen and managed to get up again, I amaze myself at just how much I still don’t know, and how much I have forgotten along the way.

Today’s message (lesson) is one you can benefit from at once. Learn from my oversight. It is the painless way to go.

The setting is a conference room; the place where I have been making my living for the past 35 years when not sharing my business-related experiences on stage at various industry conferences. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Your Points of Contact

Most travel agencies pay a great deal of attention to the brand image they project in their advertising. An advertisement printed in a magazine or newspaper gets a rare amount of attention from everyone involved. The agency owner, the marketing department, the ad designer, all get involved looking closely at the details to ensure that it projects the appropriate image for the agency. After all, the advertisement will be seen by hundreds, even thousands of potential travel agency clients. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

First impressions count. I think we can all agree on that one. Just like when someone walks into your store, or perhaps meets you for the first time at the local Starbucks—you are being judged. Will there be another meeting? Do I like this person? Do they seem trustworthy? All of these thoughts go through your prospect’s head when they first meet you. Today, many of the first “meetings” happen over email. And a good portion (if not the majority) will be from your mailing list. Are you making the right impression with that first contact? Or are you making some mistakes right out of the gate with your welcome email? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Tauck’s Small Ship Ocean Cruises

Tauck started as a tour company over 90 years ago. The product has grown not only into a river cruise line, but an ocean cruise line as well. Although Tauck has been operating ocean cruises for over 25 years, you still may not have heard of its ocean cruise product. But that’s okay – neither had I.

As mentioned earlier, Tauck has a line of river cruises, which you can read more about on our sister site River Cruise Advisor. I learned about Tauck’s ocean cruise product while doing an interview with Senior Vice President of Tauck, Katharine Bonner. After wrapping our river cruise interview, I realized that we would have to sit down again so I could see what Tauck had to offer when it came to small ship ocean cruises. Read the rest of this entry »

The truth of the matter is that many people in the travel business know exactly what they need to do to become more successful. They have read the books and taken copious notes at numerous conferences, workshops, and seminars.

They publicly endorse the fact that the customer is in control, and they are cognizant of the truth that today’s action will determine tomorrow’s results. They even know that the majority of their success has much to do with a “cause and affect” proposition.

So, why aren’t more travel professionals smiling more? The answer just might have something to do with a familiar four-letter word. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Milk & Cookies!

Peanut Butter & Jelly!

Bacon & Eggs!

All these things go together so well that we can’t imagine one without the other. Like two peas in a pod! They bring back fond memories, fill our tummies and make us smile.

What’s this got to do with social marketing?

There are some things in social marketing that go so well together that I can’t imagine one without the other. Plus, they make me smile! (not so sure how they fill my tummy unless I’m eating a cookie while working on my social marketing.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Johannesburg with EgyptAir

Johannesburg is a colorful city, with yellows and greens accenting a city that is alive with culture. The largest city in South Arica, it was started as a gold mining town and grew to become of the world’s 50 largest urban areas. The music is festive, the museums informative, and the culture is a truly original mixture of different peoples. The city of Johannesburg has a bit of everything to offer the traveler. Read the rest of this entry »