Monthly Archives: February 2020

Posted In: Deck Plans

How Are Ocean Cruises Different From River Cruises?

Thinking of switching from ocean cruising to river cruising, or the other way around, can be daunting. Those who have ocean cruised often feel like their options will be limited if they try a river cruise. Those who have river cruised often worry that they will be overwhelmed by the number of people on an ocean ship. But how much do these modes of transport actually differ? Let’s find out. Read the rest of this entry »

More On Service


Customer service in the travel, or any other, industry has become a cliché. Everybody says they give world-class service; yet, why is everybody whining about the absence of world-class service? Maybe it is because we are singing from the wrong song sheet. Perhaps it is because we are drinking from the wrong Kool-Aid vat. Maybe the answer is because you’re making this harder than it has to be.

Make a list of the things you expect as a customer. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

For you and many of your clients, the names in my top story read like a list of old friends. You, and they, will have studied them at school, college and university and then watched them as they appear on Masterpiece. With all the groundwork done, you will find that they need little persuasion when it comes to discovering the sources of literary inspiration and making visits to On Location sites of their favourites. To heighten the interest, we need to blend in privately owned castles, stately home and gardens, a pub lunch here and an afternoon tea there, and choral evensong in one of our magnificent cathedrals.

The UK has the product experiences. The target audience is ON YOUR DOORSTEP. The missing link? YOU, the travel agent with the skills to make it happen as you convert popular fiction into profitable reality.

Read the rest of this entry »



I chose “Proactivity” as today’s title. Why?

It was the take-home message of an audio clip I recently recorded. And the word hit me right where it counts… between the ears.

Contrary to what you may think of yourself, you are not the best thing that happened to this world since a guy named Wheels Davis decided to stick a few wheels on the bottom of a suitcase. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

The Deadliest Sale Mistake


I know what you’re thinking. How can I isolate, hands-down, the single most glaring error a professional can make in the field of salesmanship? You are probably wondering right now about the myriad possibilities to choose from, including lack of follow-up, talking too much, inconsistency, failure to listen, and a hundred more sales-related snafus – as well as the more obvious business-killing turn-offs.

But there is one mistake that stands head and shoulders above the rest. In my 35-plus years of “carrying the bag,” I have yet to uncover a sales mistake that even comes close to the “deadliest mistake.” The irony is that this mistake, along with most of the others, does not have to be made. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Enterprise Holdings Inc. has been the largest vehicle rental companies in the world for quite some time now. Enterprise Holdings offers travelers three great car rental brands. Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental are internationally recognized brands with an extensive global car rental network. Read the rest of this entry »


I fired my HVAC company because they made big customer service promises that they could not deliver. Their technicians, who were friendly and capable, were not to blame. Folks in the call center dropped the ball.

Bold slogans are empty promises when the company can’t deliver consistently. That annual contract encompassed heating, air conditioning, and plumbing for three houses. That losing company was out of sync and now they’re short a valuable customer – no more revenue, no shot at referrals. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Marvelous Madrid


Madrid, the capital of Spain and a city where the golden era of creative and culinary imaginations has not stopped. With traditional and reworked cooking to delight the taste buds and architecture that ranges from contemporary Spanish to the seeming motion of Baroque – it offers the traveler an exciting all-around experience. Madrid is a vibrant city that is full of life around every corner.

Read the rest of this entry »

I believe I know why most professional sales people are not more successful. Regardless of the industry, the geographic location of your company, or the size of your average order, this single shortcoming is responsible for damaging potentially lucrative sales careers.

Ask any seasoned sales professional person what he or she feels their biggest roadblock is and their answer will sound like the words follow-up. If you’re looking for just two words to help guide you to more profitable sales without hesitation or apology, they are the words “follow” and “up.” Read the rest of this entry »

Show Sincere Interest and Build Your Knowledge Bank

Today’s article at first may appear to be an attempt at stating the obvious with no particular message of value. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There’s an old saying reminding us that if we want to be considered as an interesting person, we must first become interested in others. The sad, but true, commentary is that most people don’t listen while they wait for their turn to speak. This practice could be considered as “business suicide.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1

Steve Born is chief marketing officer for Group Voyagers, the company that markets and sells the Globus family of brands (Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways) worldwide.

Born began his marketing career outside the travel industry more than 30 years ago, and for the past 20 of them, has been responsible for guiding all marketing and call center initiatives for the Globus family. He spends his days bringing consumers the experience of travel–one of his true passions–and he could not be happier. A self-proclaimed people person, Born thrives on the daily interactions he has with travel industry colleagues, as well as with his staff–a group of individuals he fondly compares to NASA engineers; a team which now extends worldwide to global markets. With the help of this “rocket science” crew, Born has helped grow the Globus family from two to four brands, including the introduction of Monograms and Avalon Waterways. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

My clients love me, of course they’ll return. My clients had a good experience, they’ll come back, I’m pretty sure. Well, they said they had a good time, I’m pretty sure they might come back next time. I wonder where they went?

Sound like a familiar refrain? It does to me. And I can confidently say that it is likely nothing that we have done to see a client list dwindle. Times have changed and that client list is not nearly as valuable and robust as it once was. Last week we talked about the CAC and the ATV; and this week, let’s talk about keeping them around once we get them—that is the goal right? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

One Client at a Time

Marketing is too often an afterthought – companies launch campaigns when they need business.  The problem with this approach, of course, is the timing.  If you wait until you need business to seek it out, you are a bit late to the races.

The first quarter of 2020 is already half over.  What better time to evaluate our progress to date?  Better now than playing catch up in August!

When business is good, many companies lay off their marketing efforts;  big mistake.  Quiet spells in marketing today inevitably equate to slow business periods in the future.  If we are to maintain a consistent flow of income, marketing must be a constant.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Cheatsheet: Is This Included In My River Cruise?


Knowing what’s included in your river cruise (and what’s not) can sometimes be a deciding factor as to which river cruise company to book.  While our comparisons identify much of what’s included, sometimes the answer requires more than a simple yes or no. For example, while most of the river cruise companies that we write about offer complimentary shore excursions in ports of call, some charge for “optional” excursions. Read the rest of this entry »


Once you have the proper competitive attitude in place, have clearly selected a specialty that warrants your full attention, and you have listed a number of prospects whom you want to become customers, it is time to begin communicating with them on a regular basis.

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the majority of so-called sales professionals terminate their business building efforts prematurely. I wish there was a magic pill available that could speed up the process but, as of today, such a pill remains on the “yet-to-be-discovered” list.

Building a business takes time. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

The Modern Marvels of Dubai


Rising from the Arabian desert, on the Persian Gulf, is the luxurious and futuristic city of Dubai. Said to be settled in the 18th-century as a fishing village, Dubai has come a long way since then. Though forts and watchtowers remain from that time, skyscrapers and man-made islands create an entirely different aesthetic. As modern as Dubai has become, there is an undercurrent of tradition that keeps. Dubai has defied the harsh terrain to be become one of the most well-known metropolises in the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH


Have you ever been to an industry event and met someone who instantly exchanges cards and then walks away? You know the type; they don’t really start much of a conversation with you and it seems like all they want is to grab your card and run off to the next person.


Would you ever re-connect with that person? Or, more importantly, do business with them?

Probably not! Read the rest of this entry »

There Is No Harm In Asking


Today’s marketing minute falls under the category of current events. This happened to me twice in the last few days. Here is my story and accompanying lesson/reminder.

Adjacent to where I live in Florida are two gated communities where I have always wanted to see beyond the gates. For years, I drove past these two communities trying to imagine what their layout looked like.

This week I banged a left turn and found myself speaking with the guard. I rolled down my window and said to the uniformed guard, “My name is Mike Marchev and I am interested in your property. Can you recommend me to a real estate agent I can schedule an appointment with?” Read the rest of this entry »