Monthly Archives: November 2020

How About Starting Today?


In a very few weeks we will be saying goodbye to the year 2020 and we will be getting ready to make 2021 a year we can be proud of.

Many of you reading this article today will be coasting through the month of December, celebrating the Christmas holiday, primping for New Year’s Eve, and drafting your list of good intentions.

This is always the way it has been done, and it will be the way for many years to come. But you and I are not one of the many. We are one of the few. And as a result, we choose to do things differently. Stay calm. My message is coming. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Good news is on the horizon. And you have no idea how happy I am to type that out after nearly 9 months of suffering the fiscal ramifications of COVID-19. As we have all likely heard, there are not one; but three vaccines which should be available to the general public within the next several months. The trick will be making sure our practices remain viable during what might be the most challenging period. But I am bullish and here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Time to grind an axe

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

An employer once asked me to figure out why a restaurant and bar he owned was doing so poorly.  He suspected the manager was the source of the problem, but asked me to basically live at the establishment to determine the matter with certainty.

I was twenty-two  years old and I was about to be schooled.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report


In a different world in 2019, most presentations on “How to Grow Your Travel Business” suggested groups as a great way to attract new customers and maximize your revenues. In 2020, that advice is just another victim of Covid-19, as travel advisors find that keeping groups on track and safe can be harder than they expected. Here’s advice from those who have been there—including some who had Covid-19 join their party.

As a new spike of the virus crosses the country this week, Cruise Planners agency owner Jeff Page finds himself all dressed up with nowhere to go. “Most people are hunkered down—but my luxury clients want to go,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives


With news of the long hoped for COVID-19 vaccine lifting our spirits, here are some more profit-generating ideas for those of you with April/May travel to the UK on your radar. They come to you with my warmest good wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving.

Read the rest of this entry »

Collette Masters Traveling Well in the Time of COVID

Everything changes with COVID. In the biggest whack the world economy ever took, millions of businesses were knocked flat, with their revenues cut off cold, just hoping to hang on to survive the storm. So, it was good to speak to Jeff Roy, the executive vice president of Collette, the century old tour operator of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and hear him say, “It’s going really well. We’re happy with it.”

Some context here. Obviously, Collette, a major tour operator that takes thousands of people a year to seven continents, took a serious blow this year. There was no way it could continue its normal operations.

Like nearly all tour operators Collette had to curtail virtually all travel when COVID hit last March, just as the heavy summer travel season was emerging on the horizon. Even now there are few international doors open to American travelers.

So, Collette’s good news is in that context. Read the rest of this entry »

Going Against The Flow

Today’s message may require a little explanation. But first, I will share the catalyst that prompted my thoughts.

My wife received an email the other day with birthday wishes from a doctor she once visited. That, in and of itself, might have been considered as a nice gesture. The last time she saw this doctor was when she was living in New Jersey… and that was twelve years ago. Isn’t it amusing how computers can recollect important dates once an assistant finally gets back in front of an outdated database and hits the merge button with a pertinent “reminder?”

Obviously, the cockles of her heart were not warmed that day. Read the rest of this entry »

It is Better Together


Yesterday morning, I was listening to an interview with the famous marketing author Seth Godin. This gentleman has written over 20 books and has a style that comes across both genuine and easy to identify with. In short, I like this guy very much and I endorse the vast majority of his work.

A segment of the interview referenced how small business people and entrepreneurs often slide out of sight while waiting for the magic pill to arrive next week, next month, or next year. He reminded the listeners that life in general is enjoyed more when sharing it with others.

Being a solopreneur myself, this short phrase got me to thinking. I soon found myself soon agreeing that “two heads are indeed better than one” and that misery and success both enjoy company. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point


As everyone knows, last month the SeaDream 1, a luxurious small ship accommodating 112 guests and 95 crew, became the first ship to try to resume cruising in the Caribbean for 2020. Roundtrips were planned from Barbados, which, along with most Caribbean nations, has a very low infection rate from the coronavirus.

After sailing without incident along the Norwegian coast this summer, the SeaDream Yacht Club’s Executive Vice President, Andreas Brynestad, said: “Our health protocols are vetted by the Barbados government, our medical advisors are aligned with CDC rules (even though we are not in US waters) and with the Healthy Sail Plan, as well [as with] CLIA rules for cruise lines.” One proof of their sincerity was the fact that of the 53 guests that were on the cruise, 20 were journalists who would get the word out if the voyage was safe and worth trying. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Taking Control

What Have We to Be Thankful For

Editor’s Note: This article was incorrectly published under Mike’s 1-Minute Marketing column yesterday. This is a corrected publication and attributed to the author Richard D’Ambrosio. Thank you.


Even when times are good, sometimes Thanksgiving is a difficult concept for me to grasp. It calls on me to distinguish between wants and needs, and explore what true gratitude feels like and how I put my thankfulness to work.

I wanted the Mazda CX-5 I currently own because its practical, gets good gas mileage, has a sunroof – and it’s red, my favorite color. I shop for certain foods in my home because my children and I enjoy the way they taste, and they’re generally healthy for us to eat.

But I noticed something recently, when my car didn’t work properly. What I treasure more than my car’s sunroof, Bose sound system, comfort, etc., is that it affords me freedom. Living in a New York City exurb, you really can’t get very far quickly here if you don’t own an auto that runs properly. Read the rest of this entry »


The most recent audio book I am listening to is titled Essentialism by Greg McKeown. In a nutshell, it suggests that we eliminate the non-essential tasks in our lives that are holding us back from achieving what is most important. I listen while I walk at noon each day. (You are finding the time “making the time” to walk each day, correct?)

Chapter 17 was titled The Power of Small Wins. Coincidentally, three days ago my sister sent me a motivational YouTube link from a Navy Seal outlining the ten most important steps to success. The initial step focused on “small wins.” Twice in the same week, from different sources, one of my main topics of discussion were supported from without. Read the rest of this entry »

Walking Your Talk


To set the table for today’s message, I would like to ask you a few questions. Answer these as honestly as you possibly can without attempting to cover up your humanness. What is are your initial thoughts when you come across these situations?

  1. You see a stranger walk into a restaurant with a baseball cap on. He does not remove it as he takes his seat at the table.
  2. You see a man walk to the passenger side of his car only to open the door for his companion.
  3. A stranger, a good 20 feet in front of you, holds the door open for you.
  4. You spot a woman in a food store parking lot return the empty shopping cart back to where she initially picked it up?
  1. You see someone walking down a walkway stop to pick up some litter that was not their own.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Right around St. Patrick’s Day of 2020, it appeared that the sky was indeed falling. Cruise ships were afloat and being denied entry to ports around the world and we all were hoping that this strange, new virus from China would somehow decide to not visit the United States.  We now all know how that worked out. But all is not lost. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Message in a Bottle

I’m thinking about containers and contents lately. We all love great containers. Last year, I went to a local shop and purchased a new hummingbird feeder crafted by an artist somewhere near Asheville. Instead of the plastic parts found on a standard retail feeder, this one has a very unique red bottle as a container. It is decorated with copper tubing from which the hummingbird drinks and metal flowers are soldered onto the copper. It is a real work of art, and I enjoy it tremendously.

I’m pretty sure the hummingbirds, however, care more about the content in the bottle.  If I put something less to their liking in the bottle, it doesn’t matter how attractive the container.  Not only will they not drink from it, they will eventually quit coming to that particular bottle. Birds are quick learners. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report


Travel agency owner Michael Graham is an overnight expert on the morality of selling travel during a pandemic. He took four customers with him aboard the SeaDream’s first Caribbean voyage last week – and left two behind in Barbados, in quarantine, when they caught Covid-19 onboard. (More on that below.)

Personally, I’ve learned a thing or two myself these past weeks about the moral dilemma of whether to sell travel right now. A B2B writer all my life, I was excited when the consumer press gave a shout-out to my column and my Facebook page. But soon I – and TRO along with me – found ourselves in the middle of a shoot-out between USAToday’s Chris Elliott and ASTA.

The controversy brought to mind three questions I used to tell the reporters to consider before pitching a story: Is it true? Is it news? Is it fair? No one wants to hear what you think, I’d tell them. It’s about getting your facts straight, telling both sides, and letting your readers decide for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

After taking delivery of the new ship from Fincantieri in Ancona, Italy, on Friday October 30, 2020, Silversea Cruises unveils the first glimpses of Silver Moon’s interiors – the ninth ship in the cruise line’s fleet. Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s Chief Marketing Officer, hosts a series of five virtual ship tours, in which viewers are guided through Silver Moon’s new S.A.L.T. venues, public spaces, restaurants, and suites. Read the rest of this entry »

The Deadliest Sales Mistake


How to stop making the most glaring error in salesmanship.

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 glitches, as well as more obvious business-killing turn-offs.

But there is one mistake that stands head and shoulders above the rest. In my 30-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: Outposts

The Interests Around Budapest


Budapest is, of course, a highly sought after destination. As the Danube passes by its shore, the city is alive with 2,000 years of history. You can read all about the details in another article. However, the outskirts of Budapest are waiting for those to see castles overlooking small villages, magnificent houses of aristocrats, medieval castles, and vineyards that stretch to the horizon. All along the Danube river bend, the atmosphere of these towns is one of pure beauty that only Hungary and its history can offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

3 Reasons Why Social Ads Fail


Are you ready to give up on social ads?

Maybe you don’t feel like your ads are generating any interest. Well, you’re not alone; 62 Percent of Small Business Owners Say Facebook Ads Miss Their Targets.

Stop wasting your time and effort creating ads that fail!

But wait… why even look at this if social ads fail so often? Here’s the deal: out of all of the B2C companies using social media, 97% of them use Facebook! It matters! It works! Let’s explore 3 steps to get you on the road to fail-proof ads today. Read the rest of this entry »

Your Two “A” Lists


Turning suspects into prospects then customers is the way the sales cycle was designed. And in today’s competitive sales arena, it takes a great deal of time and effort to see the cycle through to fruition. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes communication.

Once a prospect “raises their hand” and indicates an interest in what we are offering, I have always recommended you place this “HOT” prospect onto your “A” List. Then, it becomes your responsibility to cultivate your “A” List – until the prospect becomes a customer or drops off of your list.

Your “A” List is made up of some very important people.

Prospects come and suspects go. Customers renew and you will lose some to attrition. The business beat will go on. But wait a minute…

Just the other day, I was thinking about my “A” List. And then I started thinking about my real “A” List. Read the rest of this entry »


Austin Adventures, the Billings, Montana-based adventure tour operator, acquired Wildland Adventures, a 36-year old company based in Seattle. To ensure a smooth transition, Wildland Adventures CEO Kurt Kutay will stay with the combined company for “the foreseeable future,” working on quality control and product development.

The happy ending of this story is that the acquisition will keep Wildland Adventures going after hitting a rough patch in 2020 that threatened to bring the company down for the count. And, in addition to that, this move also keeps the prime mover of Wildland involved in the company’s operations as it evolves through what can only be called a catastrophe for the travel industry. That’s as close to stability as can be hoped for in the Age of COVID. No company is going to come out of 2020 the same as it went in. Read the rest of this entry »