Monthly Archives: September 2019

This is Marketing Mistake #13 of 15. Here is the fastest way to go out of business: Wait for the phone to ring and then answer it. If the caller wants to book a trip, help them the best you can.

Here is the surest way to maintain a healthy business: Make it your business to make your phone ring. When it does, answer it like you are happy I called.

In the first example above, the agent has fallen into the trap of wishing, hoping and praying that things will work out. They don’t take the initiative since somebody once told them that all sales professionals are aggressive, manipulative, self-absorbed, pushy and can’t be trusted. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

The Best of Budapest

Budapest is a treasure of Eastern Europe, an architectural wonder of baroque and neoclassical. Located on the famous Danube River, its beauty is from a time that memorializes eras of classical music and Roman roots. The sights, the food, and nightlife combine into a fantastic foray into the “Paris of the East.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Israel, a place of holiness to many around the world. It is steeped in the ancient history of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths. Calls from mosques ring out in contrast to the prayers along the Western Wall. Markets buzz with life, while holy sites like the Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount stand as monoliths in time. Modern Israel is full of amazing opportunities for the traveler to experience, from relaxation to the deepest of historical sites. Read the rest of this entry »

This is Marketing Mistake #12 of 15. This mistake has to do with “clock watchers.” Who ever said that the world had to dance to the beat of your drum? Who said the magic hours are between 9 to 5? Not me.

In fact, other than business travel, 9-5 is probably the worst hours one could ever keep in today’s 24/7 world. Thanks to shift work, traffic patterns, internet shopping, after school programming, personal family obligations and a million other daily responsibilities – yesterday’s “normal” workweek has taken a leave of absence. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

The Mississippi River is an American treasure. It has been a central figure of trade, exploration, literature, and music in the United States. In fact, Mark Twain once wrote, “The Mississippi River towns are comely, clean, well built, and pleasing to the eye, and cheering to the spirit. The Mississippi Valley is as reposeful as a dreamland, nothing worldly about it…nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon.” Thanks to American Cruise Lines, you’re going to learn all about why cruising the Mighty Mississippi should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Read the rest of this entry »

This is Marketing Mistake #11 of 15. Upgrade is in quotes because I don’t necessarily endorse the concept of “up-selling.” Notice I said “don’t necessarily.” There are times when it is in the best interest of the buyer to be introduced to a product that costs more than the original item. Regardless of the price point, I endorse the practice of “selling right.” And if ‘right’ is up I say go for it. On the other hand, I also endorse the practice of “selling down” – if it is the ‘right’ thing to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Michael was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. He attended Northern Illinois University where he received a BS in Biological Sciences. It didn’t take him long to realize the routine of scientific testing work didn’t match with his personality.

Following a 29-year career working for the airlines in increasing sales roles, Michael joined Sky Bird Travel & Tours in 2015 as Sky Bird’s first Business Development Manager. As the sales team grew, Michael took on the role of Director as well as overseeing the Customer Service division. He is often the face of Sky Bird at industry events and the voice of Sky Bird on webinars featuring our WINGS booking engine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Do I really need a blog?

Yes! All the cool kids are doing it and they must know something you don’t. That would be an easy answer, and it would be correct; but that’s not much help to you. You need some solid reasons? Read on! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

10 Suggestions for Travel Professionals

Next week I have the opportunity to travel for pleasure and, as always, small apprehensions about all of the work I have to do at the office shadow my travel plans. I thought it might an opportunity to re-focus on a few critical issues- like why I do what I do, how to do it better, and what to do more often.  As I wrote down my thoughts, it occurred to me we far too often lose sight of the reasons we are in the travel business. So I developed the following suggestions for myself. At first I called them commandments, but they really are suggestions more than commandments. The real commandments, the ones from the burning bush, were mostly about what not to do.  The ones below are more about steps you can take to enhance your travel practice and drive it forward. Read the rest of this entry »

This is Marketing Mistake #10 of 15. The human response after you lose an account is to assume the worst. There is a tendency to avoid all future contact because you think that the people you were once servicing or working with don’t like you anymore. You automatically feel you did something wrong.

Foolish you. In all probability the reason they terminated a business-relationship with you is because you stopped paying attention to them. Yes, it could be (and probably was) as simple as that.

Regardless of your “reasons,” or the way you feel today, why not make an attempt to contact former clients and find out what their current status is? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

This week on Avid Travel With Britton Frost we are covering one of the river cruising topics I am most passionate about – family travel.

We have talked about family travel and cruising with families in multiple podcasts, but family travel has never been the focus of an entire podcast. In this episode, we will look at which cruise lines are the most family friendly – not only in their itineraries and cruise offerings, but also in their accommodations. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

On Location tours, Viking Festivals, Wallabies in one of England’s finest woodland gardens, and an audio tour of a fine collection keyboard instruments. Welcome to the world I live in and the experiences I include in customised itineraries for couples, families and groups cruising or flying in and out of the UK. Read on and discover more about the bubble, fizz and pleasant surprises I can add to your tours.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is Marketing Mistake #9 of 15. What do you know? We are back talking about the importance of persistence and The Rule of 7. Apparently, repetition is the key to learning.

Contacting your prospects seven times over an 18-month period sums up the importance of The Rule of 7 nicely. But, it is also important to understand that the numbers are not written in stone.

It has been reported that the average consumer needs to hear a commercial 17 times before making a “buying” decision? Then why do so many marketers miss the boat when it comes to follow-up? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

A hospitality and tourism professional, Kelly Bigel joined ASTA in 2015, and has served in multiple positions during her tenure. Currently, Kelly is the Vice President of Business Development, where she recruits travel supplier company members, collaborates with them to create creative, customized outreach campaigns, and leads the Business Development team in executing successful trade shows and events.

In addition to her Business Development duties, Kelly was lead contributor on reorganizing the chapter structure, created and managed multiple Education Sessions and represents ASTA at various industry events. Before joining ASTA, Kelly held a series of Sales and Management roles at multiple Ritz-Carlton Hotels. In addition, Kelly worked as Strategic Account Manager of Escapes at LivingSocial, after coming from her position of Regional Sales Manager at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas.

Kelly received a BS in Hospitality from the Rosen School of Hospitality Management at University of Central Florida.

Kelly lives with her husband in Washington, DC, where she spends her free time volunteering, sailboat racing on the Potomac, practicing yoga, and of course, traveling! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Along the coast of West Africa is the welcoming country of Ghana, its name meaning “Warrior King.” As one of the most stable countries in Africa, it is quickly becoming the perfect gateway to Africa for first time visitors. Tourism is steadily increasing, and there seems to be no slowing soon. Ghana is harmony between the diverse cultures that exist within its boundaries, a land of nature and humans coexisting. Read the rest of this entry »

Marketing Mistake #8: You Are Boring People

You can answer this one yourself: Who do you want to spend time with?

  • Choice A: A boring, whining, negative slug?
  • Choice B: A proactive, fun, creative, idea-generating bundle of energy?

This my friends is what is known in the business as a “no-brainer.”

Give me the “action-guy/gal” each and every time.

If you are boring – stop being boring. Read the rest of this entry »

When you believe that customer loyalty is achievable, and you have a plan that is actionable, then losing your best customer is avoidable. That’s the win-win practice. When you believe otherwise, your business bears the burden of constant turnover. That’s the lose-lose practice.

The turnover strategy is terribly exhausting and requires the biggest investment of money. The loyalty strategy is wonderfully rewarding and requires the biggest investment of effort. You can champion turnover by championing loyalty. Read the rest of this entry »

Marketing Mistake #7: You Don’t Ask For The Business

This is Marketing Mistake #7 of 15. Think of it this way: I am sure you like to think of yourself as a professional. If you don’t ask me to do business with you, you are an AMATEUR. Now the choice is yours. Are you a pro, or are you a wannabe?

Here are some facts:

  • Some people are going to think you are pushy no matter what you do or say.
  • Some people are going to tell you to “buzz-off.”

Read the rest of this entry »

This is Marketing Mistake #6 of 15. Let’s get this clear once and for all: It is your business. It is your life. It is your future. You have yours and I have mine. Others have theirs.

If you want to do or accomplish something (anything), it is entirely up to you. The ball is in your court. You are driving the bus. If you want to speak to me, it is up to you to call me and leave a message. It is not my responsibility to call you back. Read the rest of this entry »

This is Marketing Mistake #5 of 15. The Rule of 7 comes to mind whenever I talk about persistence.

This rule states: To make an impact in a strangers mind, you must make a connection with them a minimum of seven times in each 18-month period.

Most people quit or give up after the first sign of rejection. A number of sales “professionals,” deciding to give it another shot, quit after try #2. Seven contacts is the secret.

There really is nothing magical about the number seven, but you don’t want to become a nuisance. Read the rest of this entry »