Monthly Archives: March 2020

Create Your Circumstance


It should come as no surprise that daily routines have been altered a bit due to the limitations on our movements through, and around, town. One positive outcome of my “hunkering” at home involved a project I have been putting of for years. My wife reminded me it was finally time to clean out a living room closet.

Computer wires, old record albums, outdated picture frames, cassette tapes and more made up the bulk of the mess. But, it was the books left behind that caught my attention.

Over the past 45 years, I have accumulated hundreds of books on sales Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Mess Up Your Future


I came across this old message and thought I would give it a new slant, given our new and challenging set of circumstances.

If there is any room today for some good unsolicited advice here, it is: If you don’t want to regret your past, don’t mess up your future. The choice is up to you.

During these unprecedented times, I hope you have taken some time to reflect on both the good and the bad as it unfolds everyday. I hope you are learning from the bad and are motivated as a result of the possibilities.

I am often reminded of a sound bite from the popular comedian Woody Allen, who once went on the record to say, “I feel I had grandiose plans for myself when I started. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

We’ve seen some trying times before; but I have to say, this is the most trying one yet. And unfortunately, it is one that virtually no one saw coming.  Airlines are grounding planes. Cruise ships are idling at sea and most of us are sheltering in place in our homes in hopes that the COVID-19 virus will soon be a memory. And it will. But before we get there, we have our businesses to think about. And unlike many of the past bailouts and stimuli packages, this one includes something for us in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).  I don’t have a cure-all, but here are some options to make sure you and your business remain afloat. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Let’s go, Virtually

Travel professionals:

It is so important to stay visible to your clients. A calm and helpful voice will be remembered when the situation we find ourselves in normalizes. Please feel free to modify and use the article below in your own blog posts, newsletters and social media in whatever manner works for you. Looking forward to getting on the other side of all this with you.

Add some virtual reality videos to your website using our tool here:

Check back as we add more throughout the week. Hang in there!


Richard Earls
Travel Research Online

Read the rest of this entry »

Do Not Ever Count Yourself Out

The Olympics are truly special times every few years. I was once watching an event that resembled cross-country skiing. And, as it is only fair, when you take a group of international, world-class athletes, you put the bumper crop of superior athletes in the front – so the second tier of world-class athletes do not screw things up.

The gun sounds, and like it is often the case when you have a group of world-class athletes trying to accomplish their life-long dream Read the rest of this entry »

10 First Moves


March 26, 2020 – People today are on edge more than ever. They don’t know who to trust and they don’t know what to believe. It is more important then ever for you to position yourself as one of the “good guys.”

Going into any new introduction, you already have one strike against you. All you can do is all you can do. But here are a few things you can do, and I strongly recommend you do: Read the rest of this entry »


Businesses are running in reverse. Clients are cancelling. Prospects are pausing. Shoppers are shuddering. Owners are struggling to stay standing as sales are disbanding.

In between the refunds and rebooks, these owners switch roles and become consumers. We lop off the luxuries, reconsider the non-essentials, reschedule, and reduce. And so the spiral goes.

I have been paying close attention to how businesses Read the rest of this entry »

Dear John…

March 26, 2020 – Don’t take my word for it. Test this for yourself.

Draft a two-sentence email to somebody and do not to begin the email with the recipients name. For example: “I have a layover in Chicago next Thursday. You think it might be possible to meet me for lunch? Mike.”

I’ll now write the exact same email, but this time starting it with the recipients first name. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking the Day to Regroup

Good morning hard working travel professionals and faithful readers.

I do not have a specific message for you today, other than to say that for the next unknown period of time I will be offering short, meaningful soundbites designed to give you a morning lift during these ring times. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Hanging Tight

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” ~ The Crisis, Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

There is nothing new about the presence of a crisis. Humankind’s lack of animal instinct imposes trial and error as our preferred methodology for progress. Right now, it’s time to do an internal inventory. As difficult as things are, there are some very basic responsibilities we all need to assume rather quickly.

Read the rest of this entry »

12 Word Marketing Plan

For the next few days, I want to share my 12-Word Marketing Plan with you. “Get Up. Get Out. And Make More People Glad They Know You.” To many of my travel industry associates, these twelve words will be interpreted as absurdly simple and might even border on insulting their intelligence. No apologies from me, my amigos. 12 words are all that are needed to turn your businesses around.

To help internalize the message, I will dissect the words and provide my take on the subject accordingly. Today we will begin with the first two words… Get Up.

Get Up!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I am at a loss right now. I wish there were some encouraging words to offer or a crystal ball that had some accuracy. I have neither this morning, but I do have some facts.  In two months, we have gone from zero to 26,747 of the COVID-19 virus in the US. And just between Saturday and Sunday we added another 7,123.  This is spreading fast and we need to be very concerned for our health (primarily) and our businesses (secondarily). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

What Are We Doing During The COVID-19 Outbreak?

A lot has happened in the past week. COVID-19 has become more widespread throughout the world, especially in the United States. A bit closer to home, someone on my sailing aboard MSC Meraviglia tested positive for the virus – and I began to show symptoms.

Let me start off, first, by saying that I am okay. I have had a dry cough and fever, along with a few other symptoms related to the virus, but my breathing is fine. I am 24 years old. I have very little to worry about in terms of the impact of this virus on my body. What I do worry about, though, is the impact of the virus on my community. Read the rest of this entry »


This could take a moment. Go grab a cup of coffee and come back prepared to give today’s message some serious thought.

The answer to my question is “20 years ago.”

Not in the spring. Not in the fall. Not in the winter. Not in the summer. If you planted a tree twenty-years ago you would be enjoying a little shade today. I can hear some of you now, “Is that all you have for us today Mike? Have you turned into a dendrologist?” Stay tuned.

I am betting you are a lot like me when it comes to the following Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Sane Social Solutions for Crazy Times


Chaos. Uncertainty. Fear. It’s everywhere! TV, newspapers, social feeds!

Our industry is suffering. Yet, you have the power to change the tone for your social fans. Help them cut thru the chaos and find a bit of sanity and serenity.


We all know our industry has survived many downturns. We’re resilient! We’re tough! As we start thinking about how to inspire our fans, we’ll prove that resilience once again. Read the rest of this entry »


With or without having a pandemic as an excuse, some people walk around looking as if they have just lost their best friend. These people are communicating to the world that life is, and will continue to be, an unfair experience. Daily existence is a total drag while life offers nothing in return for their “showing up.”

If you know one or more of these types (and I’m betting that you do), let me suggest that trying to improve the future of anyone engaged in an exercise in self-pity is often an exercise in futility.

You must stop thinking that it is your responsibility to get these people singing happy songs. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

There are so many companies that provide travel to destinations around the world, it can be difficult to find the right person for the job. There are companies that can get you anywhere in the world but, a “Jack (or Jill) of all trades” lacks the specialized knowledge needed to give the traveler a thorough plan for their getaway. Fortunately, when it comes to the tropical country of Costa Rica, Costa Rica Dream Adventures is your go-to planner for a trip to this majestic country.

Read the rest of this entry »


Although I am not a regular fan of mindless television shows, I found myself channel-surfing recently when I came across The Shark Tank. Hopeful entrepreneurs plead their case in front of four potential investors in hope of gaining some “cash” in return for giving up a percentage of ownership.

One fellow approached the panel and suggested that his new idea would (could) compete with FedEx. Politely, but with a modicum of terseness this fellow was dismissed, sans monetary contribution. He thought he offered something different, but what he was really doing was saying, “Me-too, me-too.” He failed to garner the attention or interest from any of the potential investors. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

I’m Just Saying…


A few personal thoughts from Mike Marchev.

I was lying in bed at 4:15 a.m. this morning with my mind turning to the topic that is on everybody’s mind these days. In one way, shape or form, the Coronavirus is affecting each and every one of us regardless whether you are involved with travel or not.

Under the cover of darkness, I found myself thinking specifically of my travel professional associates and the thought that this “monster” might get a lot worse before it gets better.

But the truth is that it will get better. The truth is that there will be life after COVID-19 Read the rest of this entry »