Monthly Archives: August 2019

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

An Adventure of the Senses in Vietnam

Anthony Bourdain once said of Vietnam, “The food, culture, landscape, and smell; they’re all inseparable. It just seemed like another planet; a delicious one that sort of sucked me in and never let go.” And this seems to be the prevailing memories people take home from this exotic land of fantastic food and staggering natural beauty. Today’s article on Vietnam is brought to you by, and they want the agent to know all about the possibilities that Vietnam holds.

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With Just A Little Coaching

One of my favorite seminar messages involved a well-known talented golfer and how the best in the business finds time to practice and spend time with his coach.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the higher you climb on the success ladder and use a coach, the better the chances you have. But more than just “having” a coach, it behooves you to “listen” to your coach. And better yet, do something with the new information, techniques, and reminders you are being introduced to. Read the rest of this entry »

A few years back I found myself promoting a cruise to St. Thomas. To make life easier for my marketplace, I included a link which automatically addressed a return email back to me with the subject line reading “Caribbean SAS.” (Seminar at Sea) Using this as an example, I think I have something of value to share with you today. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Dan Conaway is CEO and cofounder of Elegant Adventures, an upscale tour operator specializing in custom travel to Central America and the Caribbean. His travel and tourism career has spanned four decades and has included marketing and consulting services for foreign tourist boards and high-quality hotels and resorts worldwide, as well as operating a chain of retail travel agencies.

This experience, combined with his passion for exploring the reefs, jungles and diverse cultures of this fascinating region was the foundation for establishing Elegant Adventures. Dan is committed to educating and sharing his extensive knowledge and expertise with retail travel professionals nationwide and to delivering superior personal service to their clients. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Surviving in the travel industry can be hard under the best of times. We always need to be on our feet. And as recent indicators show, we may be headed into another recession in the coming months, so you better be prepared to weather the storm. Here are 20 tips (split into two articles) to help you. Of course, I am always looking for your suggestions, so please leave a comment, thought, or idea! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Be Client ecCentric

Readers of TRO know I value highly the concept of authenticity – the idea clients will seek out and choose a travel agent with whom they can identify and trust. A credo of authenticity seeks to fulfill every explicit and every implicit promise made by the travel agent. Making good on your promises is important – authenticity without stellar performance means little. The consumer wants your performance to be well above the norm – to be exceptional to such a degree, in fact, as to be unique. That is why the small services provided to a client throughout the relationship are so important – they can potentially set the authentic travel agent apart from all others. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

When you step off an airplane or cruise ship in Hawaii and look around, it’s hard to imagine this place even exists within the United States. With a world-class metropolitan city, adventure hiking, exotic marine life, and exquisite scenery, Hawaii vacations make the list for a must-see multi-generational destination. It’s also a pretty spectacular place for singles, couples, and just about any other traveler that loves tropical landscapes and adventure. But if you’ve already been to Hawaii, or are just an off the beaten track adventurer at heart, you must try an intimate, local experience to satisfy your wanderlust. Here’s where to go and what to see for a unique tour in Hawaii you won’t forget. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

A travel counsellor recently asked me for a UK garden tour that her clients hadn’t seen before. My suggestion combined the Journées des Plantes in Paris and the Chelsea Flower Show in London. She’s now promoting this programme and shooting for a small group of 12-15 for late May 2020 and it’s my top story.

Other eye-catching updates include two new attractions in the Viking city of York, news of a major ceramics event in the World Capital of Ceramics aka Stoke on Trent, and the annual re-enactment of the 1066 Battle of Hastings. The improved dollar/sterling exchange rate offers possibilities for UK shopping trips and I’ve added a couple of bright ideas for November/December Christmas tours. Bon Voyage!

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You Are Not For Everybody

But you are most definitely for somebody.

I think I already reminded you how effective the simple postcard can be when initiating the process known as sales.

I agree that there is not much space and in no way, shape, or form do I want you to try to sell anything when using the postcard technique. Remember: sales is a process. Step one is designed to lead to step two. Step one is to grab interest and attention.

So, what can you write on a postcard to get you to step two? Maybe all you need is a clearly written web site address. That just might do the trick if step two is trying to get your audience to your web page Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Last week, in the first of a series, we presented a live Q&A about river cruising. If you missed the webinar, you’ll find a recording of it below. We found the webinar format to be an excellent way to connect with our readers (and river cruise company representatives – Mary Murrin from Tauck, for example, joined us live to answer a few questions). Read the rest of this entry »

What Was The Last Non-Fiction Book You Read?

I was 35 when I took up reading as a serious endeavor. After managing to “squeeze” a degree out of UMASS in 1971, I gave up reading for a few years. Many students do. Little did I know, I was retarding my growth exponentially at the time. But, having successfully juggled studies with two collegiate sports for four years, I figured I had read enough for a while.

Today I sing a different tune. As a matter of fact, I write a lot of my articles while sitting in Public Libraries. I remember in one instance hearing over the library PA system that the annual book sale was in full motion down in the basement.

Like a mouse attacking an unattended cheese pile, I found myself in the basement in short order. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

In the foothills of the Anders lies a city surrounded by majestic peaks and natural forests. A city known for skiing and hiking, as well as its mild and windy summers. This small and charming city is known as San Carlos de Bariloche, otherwise known as simply Bariloche. Thanks to Aerolineas Argentinas, one of only three airlines that fly to Bariloche, for sponsoring today’s article. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Join a Network Focused on YOUR Success!

Serving the travel industry for 75 years, Travel Leaders has understood what it takes for Independent Contractors to succeed in today’s world. When working with Travel Leaders, your clients will have confidence knowing that you’re aligned with an established, respected, brick-and-mortar operation that provides solid national support and clout.

Their network is an extensive collection of successful, independently owned travel agencies across the USA and Canada. Each agency has its own personality and unique hosting program, but they also get the valuable core benefits that Travel Leaders is known for. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

This is the sixth of seven articles in a series titled Discover Your Group Niche. You will be able find the others in our Point-to-Point section.

Is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal set?

My BHAG for GSSS1 (Group Sales Success Summit 1) was to execute a gigantic event that would be a life-changing catalyst for growth, prosperity and happiness. I envisioned 1,000 participants. Almost 2,500 showed up. (It’s a good thing an online conference offers space for an infinite audience!)

A couple hundred entrepreneurs bought the GSSS1 FOR KEEPS package. I not only covered my costs, I cleared a respectable margin.

These agents have added it to their permanent learning library. I get correspondence weekly about how it has totally changed their game. It is an ‘on demand shot in the arm’.

Friends, if you can think big, I will help you do big. I talk it, I walk it! Read the rest of this entry »

What Are You Waiting For?

Today. Now. This minute. Pick up your pen, grab a clean sheet of paper (or sit yourself down in front of your computer) and write/type that letter you have been talking about for the last six months.

In ten minutes the “chore” will become yesterday’s news, and just think how good you will feel? Better yet, think of what good might come from this very small investment in time.

It’s not your words that will make a difference. It is the fact that you took the time to do it. Today more than any time in history, people know the right thing to do. They just don’t do it. And, in most instances, their excuse is spelled out in a four-letter word: T-I-M-E. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

The Northern Territory of Australia is a silent dream, one that stirs the imagination in its bare beauty. National Parks provide an immersive feeling of quiet, while islands of aboriginal peoples remain culturally intact for an authentic experience. From a coastal capital city to natural sights that can only be seen here, the expanses of the Northern Territory are reflections of serenity away from the traveler’s worries waiting at home. With AAT Kings offering up guided tours, short breaks, and day tours, the Northern Territory is within reach of the traveler – as well as the hands of a friendly and engaged tour operator.

Read the rest of this entry »

Walk Your Talk!

Today’s message involves an article I read in the Florida Sun Sentinel.

It involved customer service, and this particular article featured the DHL Freight & Shipping Company as an example of how to do things right.

As I might have expected, in came a few emails with examples to the contrary as far as DHL’s professionalism and care for their customers were concerned.

I am sure that with a company the size and width of DHL, one could expect a few balls to drop now and then. But that is not the point of today’s message. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Since 2017, Eben Peck has served as Executive Vice President, Advocacy at the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), where he is responsible for ASTA’s work to advocate for the travel agency community at all levels of government, within the travel industry and before the traveling public. This includes management of ASTA’s Government Affairs, Industry Affairs, Communications, Research and Legal functions, and ranges from day-to-day association management to federal/state government affairs to interaction with national and trade media to liaising with travel suppliers and industry groups to content for ASTA’s annual conference and other events.

From 2012 to 2017, he served as ASTA’s Vice President, Government Affairs and Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, with a heavy focus on the Society’s core advocacy functions – federal and state lobbying, regulatory compliance and ASTA’s political action committee. Accomplishments of note during this period include legislative and regulatory “wins” that saved the travel agency industry an estimated $563 million in new taxes, fees and other costs and more than quadrupling annual PAC receipts to over $230,000. Read the rest of this entry »

I know exactly what I am talking about in today’s message, as I recently dodged a bullet. Let me share my good fortune with you.

Months ago, I was contacted and requested to send a speaking proposal regarding an upcoming assignment. By my calculations, I categorized this as a “significant” project as measured by net profit.

My “ducks were in a row” and because they contacted me, I felt pretty confident as to the eventual outcome.

Then, nothing happened. For weeks I heard nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

When people hear you work from home, the reactions can range from complete adoration and jealousy to “oh, when are you going to get a real job?” I am sure we’ve all heard similar. But as an independent businessperson, it really makes a lot of sense. But there is a downside. Unless you have a dedicated space in your home with an external exit, the perception of your agency being a hobby is very real. There is a solution. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Find Your Niche

One way top travel agents stand out from the crowd is to develop a niche area of practice. Though we hear the advice to specialize,  the concept of niche marketing is often misunderstood. Niche marketing is a way of helping you focus on locating new clients, not a set of restrictions on your business offerings. Niche marketing is not necessarily about gearing your entire business to a particular type of travel, but rather about segmenting your marketing efforts to focus on particular groups of people.  Many travel consultants avoid it as a concept out of fear of having to turn away business outside the chosen niche, or being too closely identified with the niche. Properly executed, however, niche marketing is a terrific way of locating and marketing to a group of potential clients in a highly effective and cost efficient manner. Read the rest of this entry »