Monthly Archives: November 2019

Posted In: Deck Plans

Scenic Expands Tours In Jordan And Egypt

Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours has expanded its roster of cruise and land-based tours to Egypt and Jordan for the 2020-2021 season and have also added escorted tours to Israel and Oman.

Guests booking by December 31, 2019 have several options: free premium air on itineraries of 20 days and longer; free economy air for trips of 10-19 days; and $405 per person air credit for tours less than 10 days. Paying in full by Dec. 31 fares on 11 day and longer trips by $300 per person and $150 for eight-10 days. Read the rest of this entry »

Attitudes Are Contagious

There is a familiar saying that reminds us that “attitudes are contagious.” I then ask you if “yours is worth catching?”

Regardless of your industry, the product, or service you’re selling, it seems that making a living today is far from being a casual “walk in the park.” In fact, it often resembles a slow crawl through a minefield.

I’m afraid I can’t say or do much to soften your competitor’s blows, but I can remind you that in most instances you can fend most of them off before “bobbing and weaving” toward eventual victory. The secret is to stay on your feet and keep moving forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

27 Minutes to a Savvier Social Presence

Do you feel like you’ve got a lot on your plate?

  • marketing
  • selling
  • researching
  • client meetings
  • webinars
  • the list seems endless at times…

Then you have to add in social marketing… stressful, right?

Wouldn’t you rather feel like you’ve got it all covered… that you’re a savvy marketer?

Here are some social marketing tactics you can do in 27 minutes or less to market your social presence, earn new fans & skyrocket your marketing savvy. Read the rest of this entry »

You heard me right. It is okay to fail.

I’m not suggesting that you commit flagrant fouls. I’m simply asking you to allow yourself to experiment and make mistakes that come with trying to stretch beyond your current comfort zone. Mistakes are visible signs that you are trying to do something new. Here is a corollary:

Allowing yourself to make mistakes will actually make you and your life more interesting. The words “mistake” and “boring” do not work well together. Mistakes are never boring. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Keep Things Simple

I do not see what all the fuss is about. Who said that building a business has to be difficult? Certainly not me. Like everything worth pursuing, it is the fundamentals that will get you to where you are trying to go.

In an attempt to simplify your journey, I’ve outlined five steps that will have you feeling like a successful entrepreneur in very short order. Any work involved stems from the concept of “consistency,” and not from tedious and laborious “work.”

Let’s break this down to its component parts. Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Care?

Take a lesson this week from the founder of the Peanuts cartoon character, Charles Schultz, and go out and make a difference in other people’s lives. This is a splendid reminder that it is us “ordinary” people who are already in place to make a difference. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Fact: owning and operating an agency is tough business. Fact: survival is never guaranteed. Long gone are the days of heading home with red fingers and being a clearinghouse for all things travel. Our role has evolved from a true “agent of the supplier” to a trusted advisor to those who continue to seek our services. But here we are entering into a new decade in about a month. For me, it is a decade that forever seemed so far into the future that I didn’t think I’d ever be around to see it. But here we are on the cusp of 2020 and trying to figure out how to survive and thrive moving forward. I have some thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Thanksgiving

Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” -Dalai Lama

In many ways, Thanksgiving is the greatest of holidays, a reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe to everyone and everything around us.  It is always tempting to magnify our losses and minimize the ordinary, daily miracle.  We long for big, outrageous fortunes and forget the small, mundane but truly astonishing gifts.  One day of the year, however,  is a reminder to contemplate the undeniably interdependent nature of our existence.  How amazingly special is it when a client takes the time and effort to say “Thanks”?  Being on the receiving end of gratitude is a pretty special thing. We all get too few “Thanks”, don’t we?

Everything is connected. We don’t have to look far to find people and institutions deserving of our thanks. Every success we enjoy, every small achievement, is the result of an interplay of grace and circumstance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

With interest in UK customised pre and post cruise extensions on the rise, this week’s collection of 2-3 nighters for Southampton arrivals and departures will certainly catch the eye – especially with those who want a closer look at the living history and traditions of their old friend Britain.

I’m a great fan of matching UK tours to niche markets ON YOUR DOORSTEP and if you know any flower arrangers, my final story will really grab their attention for a unique tour next September.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do What Is Right

Somebody once went on record to remind us that bad news travels light-years faster than good news. This may be true but today I am going to focus your attention on a little good news that happened to me a few years back.

I want to share this true-life experience with you. It happened when I was traveling to Europe on business. I was taking a river cruise, which I hesitate to call “work” but that is exactly what it was.

It wasn’t until I was packing to return home that I realized that I was missing my Kindle reader. I had over 75 business books loaded on this device, so this more than a slight inconvenience. In fact, I was very disappointed in myself for letting this treasured device slip away from me. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

River cruising and ocean cruising seem miles apart. Well, that’s because they are – or at least oceans apart. A small ocean cruise ship is characterized by a guest capacity of 1,000 passengers or fewer, meaning that river cruise ships can be ten times smaller than these small ocean vessels. Because of the lack of space on the rivers, it means that river cruise companies may have to give up certain amenities to make room for guests onboard – but that’s not always the case.

The amenities that you give up on a river cruise may not be those that matter most to you. In fact, you may not feel like you are giving anything up at all. Sure, there are certain river cruise ships with one dining venue, no fitness area, no spa area, and little onboard entertainment. For some, this is appealing. There is less distraction, guests spend more time off the ship, and variety in meals every night is seen throughout one main dining room rather than in multiple venues. For others, especially frequent ocean cruise passengers, this isn’t enough. Read the rest of this entry »

  1. Thinking social media is your magic pill. Social media is in no way, shape, or form today’s flavor of the month marketing strategy. It is “real”, and it is here to stay. My warning is to not solely rely on this strategy in hope that it will lead you to the Promised Land. It won’t. It is merely another cog in the marketing wheel to help you let others know that you are alive and that you may have something of value to offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Thailand’s Colorful Charms

Bangkok, the land of delectable street food and colorful temples. This capital of Thailand was once called Siam, until the late 19th century. It is a mix of modern technologies and buzzing streets with an admiration for ties to tradition. The culture contains a sense of fun, whether it be the nightlife or haggling at a floating market. Bangkok and its surrounding areas of jungles and beaches are quite the pleasure to experience. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most often re-quoted reminders by those attending my live training sessions is: “There are only two types of people you will ever encounter. Those who you can help and the other kind.” No truer words have ever been spoken.

In the next two days I plan to touch on nine reasons why most salespeople are not more successful. Today we will discuss the first four. Read the rest of this entry »

You Can’t Handle the Truth

Never known to mince words or to endorse the practice of political correctness to excess, I have some bad news for many of my readers working the travel industry. If not “bad news,” it certainly falls under the category of “less-than-motivating facts.”

The truth is… the undisputable truth is… the undeniable truth is… many of you in the travel business DO NOT want to become successful. That is the unfortunate truth.

Say what? It seems many travel industry practitioners would rather offer excuses, appear overworked, be misunderstood, and be victimized than recognize the truth. I don’t mean to insult anybody. Read the rest of this entry »

Muscle Memory: The Key to Positive Results

This term was brought to my attention again just yesterday. In this case, it was while I was reviewing a YouTube video on finger picking methods on acoustic guitars.  (Yes, among my many interests the six-string guitar has always been one of my favorites. My Martin D35 is a treasured friend and can be found next to my bed stand.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

As a small business owner you wear many hats. If you are a single person travel agency, you wear all the hats—from CEO to the janitor that mops the bathroom floors! No one ever said it was easy. But there are steps you can take to ease some of the burden. I am sure you know of some, but here are five big steps that come to the top of my mind! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Unexpected in Common Hours

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Perhaps you remember the 2006 best seller, The Secret. The self-help book, authored by Rhonda Byrne, spoke to the Law of Attraction – the idea that we create our own realities by being open to possibility and attracting to ourselves the things we most want. The Secret describes gratitude and visualization as being two of the most potent forces in our quest for manifesting our desires.

It may seem a bit suspect to be calling on a book written in 2006 and as controversial as The Secret for a topic. But as this year begins to wind down, I actually think it a good place to pause. Because what the vast majority of us endeavor to do each and every day is take small steps toward the realization of our dreams. I think it worthwhile to consider the extent to which positive thinking memes like The Secret or Napoleon Hill’s famous Think and Grow Rich can influence our efforts to achieve what we most want in life. Read the rest of this entry »

It Is Your Business, Do Something About It

There is a thin line between “customer service” and being a doormat. Remember, you can’t be all things to all people.

If there is one common refrain I hear (and if I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a hundred times), it is:

Potential clients contact me to milk me for information before they head out to book their own vacation on the internet.

It is your business and you can run it any way you so choose. If you want to give away the shop and be taken advantage of that is your decision. You or anybody else are not going to stop people from taking the easy way out. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

One big surprise during my cruise on Crystal Bach was the Moselle. It wasn’t my first time on the river, but the weather and the time of year conspired to make the Moselle Europe’s most beautiful river – at least in my view.

On Crystal Bach, we cruised from Amsterdam along with sister ship Crystal Debussy. In Koblenz, Crystal Bach docked with its nose pointed up the Moselle, while Debussy docked in the direction of the Rhine. We each departed, and after a few hours of sailing, my feeling was that we got the better end of the bargain. Read the rest of this entry »