Monthly Archives: March 2020

Turn Off That Darn Computer!


One of the most difficult lessons we learn as adults is that we are virtually all the same. We are just a bunch of older children.

Some adults have a little more gray than others. Some come with a few more regrets. A few have a few more letters after their names, and some are adequately skilled at explaining their police record.

But life unfolds as a sine wave, and the back and forth motion of your piano’s pendulum sums up our existence. Therefore, it is time to give you the same advice you gave to our children: “Why don’t you turn off that darn computer and go to the library?” Read the rest of this entry »

Time For a Reality Check


 “I’ve lost my passion for this industry. I find myself feeling bummed-out and I seem to be spinning my wheels more often than not. I find myself questioning if I am in the right business.”

Have you ever felt like repeating the above passage?

I don’t expect this to make you feel any better, but I do want you to know that you did not invent this feeling. I think everybody reading this report can identify with a momentary loss of passion now and then. We go up… we come down. We feel good… we feel bad. We win… we lose. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

A month ago, I had a feeling that “this corona thing” might be a problem for the travel industry. As the weeks went on, and Princess was taking it on the chin with a cruise ship stuck in Japan, I knew it was going to get worse. But a month ago, never did I imagine we’d be here where we are today.  I am speechless. But even so, it is time for some straight talk. Read the rest of this entry »

Hooray For The Seasons!


As I was admiring the flight of a recent golf shot, I couldn’t help but notice the bright blue sky, the luscious green surroundings, and the white little ball heading in the right direction for a change. When Ponce De Leon named Florida “The Sunshine State” he knew exactly what he was talking about.

But today’s message has nothing to do with Florida, golf, or whether the Mets have a snowballs chance in hell to win the pennant come September. It has everything to do with the way things work… and should work… and more often than not, do work. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans


Last week, we wrote an article called Should You Stay? Or Should You Go? that addressed some of the concerns that our readers had about cruising during the COVID-19 outbreak. We encouraged readers to weigh the losses that they would take if they had to cancel their trips.

Now, things have changed. It is not only a question of should I go, but also can I go? There have been more travel restrictions put in place in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the virus in the United States. The US President has said that starting tomorrow, all travel from Europe, with the exception of the UK will be banned.

There have also been cruise lines Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives


This week, I’m sharpening the focus on some irresistible travel experiences in the north of England which are made all the more accessible because of Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop flights to Manchester. With airside to curbside in around 30 minutes, let me whet your appetite with an amazing Liverpool and London Beatles tour (also available in a modified format as a Liverpool shore excursion) and the idea of creating imaginative three county combinations like England, Wales and Scotland, or England, Wales and Ireland – which is what the Manchester gateway can deliver for you. Nearly all of these suggestions are for August and September 2020. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview Faux Pas

I become mildly embarrassed when I hear myself reminding people of things they should already know. But, they don’t. Or, perhaps they just forget – so I remind them. And, I continue to get mildly embarrassed.

Today’s reminder comes via a Sun Sentinel Sunday Morning news article titled, New Rules to Aid Struggling Home Owners. My message has little to do with homeowners, and everything to do about the professional salesperson.

In a pullout box labeled: Stat of The Week, the following percentages were listed as “common interview problems.” Read the rest of this entry »

You Can Thank Me Later


As sales and marketing advice goes, this may very well be up there with the best of it. Today’s message is BIG. Tune in.

I often end webinars with what I consider to be some sage advice. To me, what I am about to suggest is both logical and extraordinarily simple. It is effective and incredibly apropos. It does not cost a penny, and the results are extremely powerful.

The truth is, however, that nobody can do what I am about to suggest without feeling uncomfortable to some degree. This last sentence, in and of itself, may explain why there are not more successful travel-related sales professionals in the United States today.

I challenged my audience on this particular day to pick up their telephones Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

Downtown Travel Group


Downtown Travel is currently the most comprehensive travel supplier in the US. Going on its 33rd year of uninterrupted growth, Downtown Travel is poised to be the number one household name in the B2B travel market! Downtown Travel, also known as the Downtown Travel Group, has not only expanded vertically in the consolidator market but also horizontally through its 4 divisions, Consolidator, Group Department, and Holidays with Downtown!

As a consolidator, Downtown Travel offers contracts with over 100 airlines Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

There’s a reason that La Fortuna remains one of the most visited areas in Costa Rica. Simply put, it is paradise. This small town, located in an area named the same, is a fortune of relaxation and allowing the richness of life to wash over the traveler. With a magnificent volcano as a backdrop, La Fortuna’s lush natural surroundings and laid-back atmosphere lets the traveler settle into a worthwhile vacation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Persistence Pays Dividends


Although there may not be any “Do-Overs” or “Mulligans” in business these days, there is certainly a time and rationale for “Try-Agains.” Let me explain.

I recently sent out a blast email promoting one of my books. In this case I was featuring my How To Capture More Profitable River Cruise Business.  What better time to start planning for a brighter future than right now?

I wrote a sales letter and hit the button, which sent my words out into Internet Land. As expected… the orders began to come in almost immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Hunkering Down

“…to prepare to stay in a place or position for a long time, usually in order to achieve something … (Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Another fine mess we’ve found ourselves in. But we are not without power and a course of action. We have weathered these storms in the past. The first responsibility we have to our families, companies and employees, is to preserve our house.  While the most immediate impulse, correctly so, will be to cut expenses,  it is important to do so rationally and with an eye to the future. Done correctly, cutting expenses has the same effect as trimming your sails in a strong wind – you gain more control over your boat. Done incorrectly, however, you lose the ability to navigate, to steer beyond the storm. Read the rest of this entry »


You personally may recognize the following word as “putting the cherry on top.” The word is “lagniappe,” which I believe stems from a Cajun French word that means more than expected.

Regardless of what you call it, it has become important to exceed the value your customer has come to expect. This has much to do with the competitive nature of the travel business and every other business.

The sad news is that in many instances, today’s customers do not expect much. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

With more than 300 million people living in the United States, over 27 million of them are entrepreneurs. While I despise that word nearly as much as many women despise the word “moist,” for the sake of this column, it is probably most fitting. The travel agency segment of the travel industry is generally run by entrepreneurs. From Ted Arison to Thomas Cook to Curt Carlson to Arthur Tauck to you and me. And while my agency is different from yours; and we are certainly vastly different than a Carnival Corporation or a CWT, there are three concepts we hold in common that will go a long way to assuring our success. And they are surprisingly simple. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Should You Stay? Or Should You Go?


For those of us who are on river cruises soon, a prevalent question can be summed up in the first two lines of The Clash’s 1982 hit, Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

It’s an easier question to answer for hesitant travelers who stand to lose only fractions of their substantial investments than it is for those who will lose all that they spent on their holidays if they cancel. In case you’re wondering how some travelers stand to lose only part of their investments should they cancel, we’re referring to Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Are You Working For?


In your presentations, insure your clients that you are working for them.”

One of the reasons why sales has earned such a poor reputation over the years is because the salesperson themselves speak and respond in a self-serving fashion.

One glaring example of this less-than-attractive reputation is the failure to listen to the prospect’s specific needs, wants, and desires. If one had to identify a single missing link in the success chain, it would have to be the skill, or lack, of listening. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

An Insight Into Traveling With Style

Since 1978, Insight Vacations has offered up experiences in travel that go beyond your normal agency. Their philosophy relies on getting the traveler to the heart of a destination, a way to feel the cultural vibrations and taste the local flavor. This immersion is met with a higher quality of planning, and shows in the way that they organize journeys.

One of the ways Insight connects travelers with locals is authentic dining options. As many travel shows have reminded us, meals are the time for connecting to others around us – a time to simply enjoy the tastes. When these tastes are infused with the love of locals for their culture, a meal is a memory. Read the rest of this entry »


I have gone on record to say that I believe most people are lazy. I didn’t just infer it, I said it loud and clear. I have recently been thinking about that. I have been wondering if I should rescind my comment. After all, I would hate to think that you would stop reading my column based on an opinion of mine. I asked myself, “Should I apologize?”

My answer? No way.

So, as not to upset the majority of my readers, I will try to remain somewhat politically correct today – while delivering yet another “career-altering” reminder.

I looked up the word “lazy” in the dictionary Read the rest of this entry »

Give Your Customer The Fish

I am about to burst a number of bubbles out there in travel land, and I fear that many of those reading this article are about to have a mild cardiac arrest. The following reminder and accompanied advice is going to sound 180-degrees juxtapose to what you have been taught to believe for the last quarter of your life.

The familiar quote says that if you “give a man a fish, he eats for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” This may be true at face value, but I am afraid that most people have little interest in learning how to fish. They want to cut to the chase. They want the fish. Read the rest of this entry »