Monthly Archives: May 2019

Have you ever stopped to wonder why multi-millionaire entertainers and business people take the time to sit down with any of the late night talk show hosts for just a few minutes? Their compensation for doing so is probably less than what they paid for lunch that day. So why does every celebrity you can think of try to get themselves booked on talk shows? The reason they want their faces on the airwaves is simple.

They realize that regardless of who they are and what they have managed to achieve up to that point disappears once they are out of the public’s sight. Read the rest of this entry »

With a Little Help From Your Friends

Although all my posts are important, this one may very well be more importanter than all the others combined. Yes, I know I said, “more importanter.” Do I have your attention?

For those of you pressed for time, I will cut to the chase. Get this and get it good. If you want to succeed in this business or any other business, it is more important than ever to “use” your friends. “Two heads (set of eyes) are better than one.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Last week, I discussed the things that travel professionals need to bring to the supplier table to make a true partnership. But partnerships are only part of the formula for success. Your agency (really no matter how large) is a smaller part of their pie. And to the consumer, you are even a smaller piece of that pie.

I just Googled “How many travel agents are there in the US” and got this answer: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Pulling Out of a Slump

Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting. ~ Yogi Berra

I hope nobody told you the travel business was easy.

I’m just back from a travel conference in the great city of Memphis.  The travel professionals in attendance seemed upbeat about business prospects, affirming the general sentiment that pent-up demand for travel is taking hold of the general public. One agent, however, indicated things had not been going her way lately and everyone else’s enthusiasm was just making her feel worse. Her business was down and she didn’t know why.

We have all experienced a slump in our business activity.  Suddenly things grow quiet… too quiet.  The reasons for a slump can be purely individual and unpredictable, but down-turns in business can be reversed if you take appropriate measures. Immediate action is the key. The worst thing you can do is “wait and see”- a slump is psychologically tough to handle, but giving into depression is self-defeating and prolongs the misery.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Itchy Feet Comics – May 17, 2019


Whoa! Slow down big guy. Did you just say Magic Pill? Everybody knows that there is no “Magic Pill.”

There does seem to be a pill for just about everything these days…from headaches, to pain killers to weight loss to cholesterol control…to unforeseen “intimate moments” for you old guys. Yet most sales and marketing gurus, coaches and trainers are quick to remind you that there is no “Magic Pill” for business success. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Later this month I head to Europe to cruise the Adriatic with Ponant and Backroads. I’ll be writing lots about those experiences, but for now, with only a few weeks ahead of my departure, I’m concerned with staying connected while abroad.

These strategies also apply to river cruisers. I will have the same challenges when we board AmaMagna in July. What I intend to do in this post is answer this question: How do I find the most cost-effective mobile data plan, or plans, to stay connected while ashore Europe? The contenders are T-Mobile, Verizon and Google Fi. Which one, or which combination, will best serve me while abroad? What’s the secret to staying connected while river cruising? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Rolling vineyards, centuries-old masterpieces, cobblestone lanes, world-class cities, and colorful coastal fishing villages just scratch the surface of what to see in Italy. There’s never a lack of things to do in this magnificent country, the real challenge is figuring out how to create your own tour of Italy and plan your time in “The Beautiful Country”. You can get to know the area in just a day while you’re at port, but it all depends on what you want to see and do. Here are our best tips on how to plan your next Italy shore excursions.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Rolling Who?

The Rolling Stones recently had to cancel their concert schedule to allow their lead singer, Mick Jagger, to recuperate from a brief health-related set back. They will be back on stage doing what they do best before you know it.

As most of you know, the Rolling Stones are a rock group…a really, really old rock group. They are still doing their thing after fifty plus years of rocking & rolling. Absolutely incredible!

They still have “the juice.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

Choose Role Models Carefully

One of the more useful lessons, I learned early on, is to seek out and emulate role models. When the Virtuoso owners who took this naïve young man under their wing to share the “business” of the travel industry, and when recruited into industry roles, I modeled those I considered to be good managers with a high level of trust and integrity. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

A Look at ShoreTrips

ShoreTrips offers more than 2400 excursions and activities, all personally tested, in more than 500 destinations around the world. They travel the globe to find the best shore excursions, day activities and city sightseeing tours. Their high standards let them create outstanding trips, and along with their helpful tools and their expert staff, they continually garner support from clients and partners. Read the rest of this entry »

When the Rolling Stones sang “Time Is On Your 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.

Well, 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 »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

The Blazing Fall Colors of New England

There is a place for everyone in this world, a personal paradise that encapsulates each person’s ideal destination. Some choose the beach, sipping on a cold margarita. Others climb mountains, taking in the dizzying heights. For others, the blazing colors of dense fall foliage, small Americana towns and scenic coasts of New England fit that dream place—especially when viewing the sites from a window of a train or car, as it winds through forests and mountains.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cool Your Jets

This is Tip #10 in a series of 10 relationship building reminders.


You made it. You read, thought about and hopefully have internalized the last nine non-verbal tips which will help you position yourself as somebody “special.”

My final tip in this series titled Non-Verbal Behaviors reminds us to slow down. Slow down and think. Think about what it is we are trying to communicate. Read the rest of this entry »

Pace Yourself

This is Tip #9 in a series of 10 relationship building reminders.


Hang in there. We just have two more tips to go. You are doing good.

Similar to tone, you would be doing yourself a great service if you slowed your pace of speech to give the receiver sufficient time to digest your message. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

PictureRicko Tindage is’s Director of Sales and Marketing. His task besides sales and marketing to the travel agent community…is also creating new tour products.

Originally from Bali, Indonesia, Ricko has called Los Angeles home since 1981.

His academic background was in the hotel management. He has had hotel stints in Jakarta, Indonesia; Brussels, Belgium and in Los Angeles. Instead of a career in the hotel industry, tour and travel industry have shaped the majority of his professional career.

He started in the travel industry in 1990, Ricko has always been in the hospitality industry, even his spouse was a former director of sales of a major U.S. hotel chain. Prior to working for he has served in several major U.S. tour operators namely UNIWORLD River Cruises and SITA World Tours. In between, he has developed and created small boutique-style tour operators specialized in incentive travels, honeymoons, destination weddings, luxury travels and leasing private jets. One of these tour companies was Romance Travel Concierge, a luxury boutique outfit based in Pasadena, CA, and he was president of the company. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Last week, I tried to explain what I, as an agency owner, needed from my preferred travel suppliers. If you missed it, go take a read and leave a comment about what you need. But you know, travel is a two way street. We build our client base off of relationships; and it should be no different with suppliers. When you have a relationship with a supplier, they are much more willing to work with you to help you succeed. Waivers and favors can be managed. More co-op dollars can be wrangled. And just as much as we can help build a supplier, they can help build our business. But, don’t expect that relationship to come automatically. Here’s what suppliers need from us. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Itchy Feet Comics – May 10, 2019


The Way You Shake Hands

This is Tip #8 in a series of 10 relationship building reminders.


“Mike, how can you make such a simple thing like shaking hands sound so complicated?”

I can’t. Shaking hands is as simple as it gets, but too many people still get this wrong and, as a result, can easily start a relationship off on the wrong foot.

You can classify today’s tip under The Double “O.”

Obnoxiously Obvious. Then pay attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Emerald Waterways’ 12-day Imperial Charms of Russia cruise on the Volga River takes place aboard the chartered MS Rossia, and sails between St. Petersburg and Moscow.

The journey also takes guests through parts of Russia’s Golden Ring – a circle of ancient cities and towns famous for preserving the memory of the most significant events in Russian history. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Most of my Windows on Britain articles concentrate on ideas that will appeal to adults flying or cruising in-and-out of the UK; but today, I’m going to highlight some of England’s countryside attractions which dramatically bring history to life during the summer months. Weekends are when many of these imagination-stretching re-enactments take place and, as that’s when the world descends on London, they offer a very good reason for escaping from our people and traffic-filled capital city.

If your client’s holiday starts on Saturday or Sunday, break the habit of a lifetime by heading straight into the English countryside and start the vacation with one of our jaw-dropping historic events. Then on Monday, with jetlag parked and a morning visit to a castle under their belt, head for London where, during the early afternoon, their rooms will be ready. Doesn’t that get things off to a better start?

England offers a VERY long menu of experiential tour opportunities and here are just a few that have caught my eye.

Read the rest of this entry »