Monthly Archives: October 2019

Posted In: Departures

The Croatian Coast

On the Adriatic Sea, just across from Italy, is the coast of Croatia. These 1104 miles of magnificent coasts, and 1246 islands, are world-renowned. The stunning clear-blue waters along the Croatian coast have always been a draw for those looking to experience a vision of paradise. Cliffs and islands offer up sites to behold that can not be overstated. The shores of Croatia are picture-perfect in every way. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

At a recent conference I attended, one of the keynote speakers said something that hit me like a brick – square between the eyes.

He said, and I quote, “Your prospects self-worth or ability to pay is not your problem. They are not your customers. Don’t let them make you feel guilty or drag you down.

This is a profound statement, because we often find ourselves wasting time with tire kickers. These are the folks who are looking for the high service levels you can provide, but don’t want or can’t pay the price. As a result, they will beat you up on price, threaten to buy from a competitor, and basically suck all of the life out of a room. You know who I am talking about. Read the rest of this entry »

#7: Ask Better Questions

Somewhere along the way, some not-so-smart guy or gal suggested that in order to excel in sales, it would work in their favor if they were blessed with the “gift of gab.” Nothing (spelled N O T H I N G) could be further from the truth. Let’s see if I can dispel this notion.

Flash back, if you can, to the movie Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman. The warden in the movie was a tough guy who also had it wrong when he reminded Paul Newman that “what we have here is a failure to communicate.” Nope! Wrong again. Read the rest of this entry »

#6: The Hook

Proof that what I am about to share with you is an effective concept occurred just the other day: My phone rang and, when I answered it, the first thing I heard were the words “University of Massachusetts.” The caller had instantly caught my attention. Since UMASS was indeed my alma mater, I continued to give the stranger a few more minutes of my time. He spoke. I listened. There seemed to be a mutual self-interest as he explained the method behind his madness. He came across as a gentleman.

Long story short: We will meet for a cup of coffee as two independent business professionals with no agenda, other than to get to know each other. His call worked. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

The Ease of Cuban Travel

Conflicting news has travelers confounded about whether they can still travel from the US to Cuba. Caribbean Tours USA has the answer, a resounding – Yes!

With almost 20 years of experience in travel to Cuba, 11 in in the Dominican Republic, Caribbean Tours USA wants to help travelers get the real information about traveling to the land of classic cars and gorgeous beaches. As they are already welcoming 25,000 customers per year to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, their knowledge of what is required for Cuba travel is tried and true. Read the rest of this entry »

#5: Networking Secrets

A great many marketing specialists suggest that you should add networking to your overall general marketing campaign. I never was one who received the fuzzes by walking into a room full of strangers and trying to say something that would grab their immediate attention and become enamored with me. I am fast to admit that I, like many of you, had this networking thing backwards which probably was the cause of my networking chagrin.

Looking at networking from a visibility vantage point, at the very least you should be looking for ways to work your net. Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry »

#4: Your Tone Speaks Volumes

We all have our little problems and concerns. I am fully involved with mine, and quite frankly, I just don’t have the time or the interest to adopt yours as my own.

  • As a general rule, given the choice, people would prefer to be around people who appear to have their act together. On the other hand, listening to others complain, whine and cast dispersions with little thought to the consequences is not what I call a good way to spend my time. With this in mind, I would like to share with you today three things to seriously think about.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

What travel professional doesn’t love travel? A hallmark of practically for everyone in this industry is their passion for travel, and it shows.  Is it possible, though, that our love of travel gets in the way of our travel business?

Many, if not most, travel professionals back into their careers.  Most business people choose their area of expertise, train for the necessary skill sets, and then launch out into the field of their choosing.  The path from neophyte to professional is logical and surrounded by training and support mechanisms.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays!

No, I have not lost my mind. But Halloween IS this week and before you know it we will be kissing significant others and ringing in 2020! And who really thought we’d ever live to see 2020 anyway? So like it or not, the holidays are upon us; and it presents a great time to touch base with your clients and prospects by email. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Live From Crystal Bach: First Impressions

Last Thursday, I stepped aboard Crystal Bach in Amsterdam. Today, docked in a vineyard on the Moselle midway through our 10-night voyage, I sat down to pen my initial impressions of Bach and Crystal River Cruises. Here are three things that stand out for me – so far. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Previously, I’ve introduced you to eight great Flower Shows staged between April and September by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). This week, I’m showcasing the four – soon to be five – RHS gardens around the country, which have to be included in itineraries for the most experienced horticulturists and those like myself who just love to be surrounded by the beauty of some of the best gardens in England.

Offering a year-round calendar of Rose Festivals, Sculpture Trails, craft showcases imaginatively themed private tours and festive ‘Glow’ illuminations, RHS gardens are inspirational at any time of year with something different to see and experience whenever you visit.

From RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey (their historic home) to the quintessentially English country garden that is RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon, and from RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate, Yorkshire to the wide-open spaces of RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex, each has its own distinctive personality; but all of them bring delight and inspiration in equal measure.

Read the rest of this entry »

#3: Speed Wins

I am about to share with you a truth in business that you can virtually take to the bank: Speed wins.

I know. I know. I can hear a number of you saying, “But Mike, it is a well-known fact that haste makes waste.” Yes it does. I am not referring that you shoot out of the blocks mindlessly. I am reminding you in no uncertain terms “he/she who hesitates is lost.”

Speed wins in horse races. Speed wins in car races. Speed wins in most every competitive contest. And speed definitely wins in business. I am not talking about casting your fate to the wind and jumping at opportunities without planning, thinking, or doing your homework. I’m talking about placing more emphasis on action than you normally do. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Since its beginnings in 1970, Goway Travel has offered the kinds of adventures that turn travellers into lifelong globetrotters. Almost 50 years later, Goway’s destination specialists are proud to arrange custom trips and classic itineraries to suit any kind of traveller, from those embarking on their first journey, to seasoned globetrotters setting foot in some of the world’s least trodden destinations. Read the rest of this entry »

#2: Repetition Works

When it comes to repetition, or following up with a prospect, you must be careful not to cross the thin line and become obnoxious or, even worse, boorish.

Being a pain in the neck and appearing too aggressive is not a good idea. In fact, it is a very bad idea.

The secret is to remain visible while you continue to offer value to your prospects and customers consistently over time.

Each time I send out a duplicate invitation for one of my webinars, I receive additional registrations. I also receive one or two requests asking to be taken off my list. This is OK. In fact, the faster somebody asks to be taken off your list the better off you are. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

How to Ace your Next Video

Have you ever watched a video and realize it’s a total waste of your time

Maybe it didn’t live up to the description or deliver what the title promised. Or, maybe it was such horrible audio quality you just couldn’t stand it for more than 3 seconds.

When I first started shooting video, a dear client let me know gently (and luckily early on) that my audio was scratchy and hard to listen to for more than 3 seconds. I had no idea!

Why does all this matter for your travel & tourism business?

Video is the fastest way to engage and reach more of your social fans.

Here’s 5 video success secrets I’ve learned along the way. Read the rest of this entry »

#1: Eye Contact

For the next eight days I’m going to offer little “stings” of information, which I believe will make all the difference in the world to you and your future.

Most individuals believe they do not have to be reminded of something as simple as looking somebody in the eye. Wrong!

Most individuals think they perform this simple procedure well. They don’t. Their eyes (and yours’) wander all over the place during a conversation with just a brief second or two periodically glancing at their target audience. Read the rest of this entry »

I received this email just the other day:

“Dear Stuart, is there a fast way to get started with travel at home and not work myself to death?”


Could you answer her question? If you could, would you even invest the time?

This 18-word question could easily inspire me to write a 100-page book (appropriately called How to Quick Start a Home Agency Without Killing Yourself). Unfortunately, I am in no position to write a third book presently. Right now, my business plan has me hyper-focused on writing and delivering speeches, not books. I must remain disciplined. Read the rest of this entry »

The Curse of The Social Buffoon

Today’s message has little to do with travel, but a lot to do with your status within your community.

In not so many words, The Curse of the Social Buffoon sounds like this: “You think that’s cool, wait until you hear what I have to say.”

The “curse” its ugly face when one person in a group shares some interesting news (according to them) only to be trumped by the next person’s “exciting information.” The remaining people in the group immediately interpret this as a sign that it is time to play “one-upmanship.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

On the stunning coasts of eastern South Africa sits Durban. The third most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg and Cape Town, its beaches seem endless. A place where Zulus make up the bulk of the population and the largest number of Indians live outside of India itself. All of this gives it a unique feel compared to the rest of South Africa. Embracing both its roots and the future, Durban is a worthwhile alternative to the more famous of South Africa’s cities. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Southern Spain is hot in far more ways than the climate. This area, covering the entirety of the south, is called Andalucía. It has been the front line of heated wars between Islamic and Christian cultures, and the fire of emotion brought out in art. Flamenco dancers and Roma singers spice the air, while the passion shown in the architecture and felt in the atmosphere keep the emotions high. Andalucía is what one thinks of when they think of Spain in cultural snapshots.

Read the rest of this entry »