Monthly Archives: December 2020

Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda

 

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to this behavior:

  • I would’ve done it if I had more money.
  • I could’ve tried if I had more time.
  • I should’ve called them but …

This happens more often than not, when you get an idea and fail to act on it. This simply does not have to happen.

Once you have an idea for a notion to do something, do it. Don’t think it to death. And don’t procrastinate until you forget what it is you were going to try. Read the rest of this entry »

Jordan Rises for 2021

 

Kaz Brown of Intrepid Travel says Jordan is one of the global adventure tour operator’s top destinations, and climbing toward the top of the list.

“Jordan is in the top 10 in the US and Canada,” said Kaz, a partnership growth manager, who recently led an online discussion about Jordan. That’s out of more than 100 countries that Intrepid offers tours.

“But in the last couple of months,” she said, “it’s in the top five destinations people are booking to.”

You might well ask: Why this sudden surge of interest in Jordan? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

 

Question of the day: Will mandatory covid vaccines cure the fear of traveling and get customers back on the road—or will customers feel bullied and refuse to travel at all?

As in all things 2020, the answer is a clear split decision. Travel advisors have strong—and differing—opinions. And meanwhile, big industry players are moving forward with implementation plans.

Apps designed to make traveler information (including covid test results and vaccines) accessible via QR code include The CommonPass app, in testing by JetBlue and Aruba; IATA’s Travel Pass, in testing with British Airways parent IAG SA; and the travel security firm International SOS’s AOKpass, being used on flights between Abu Dhabi and Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan. Dangui Oduber, Aruba’s minister for health, tourism and sport, said the island already is testing a screening program that will include vaccinations by the end of 2021. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said proof of vaccination will be a condition for travelers entering or leaving Australia on the carrier’s planes. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Removing COVID-19 as a Daily Threat

There are at least four effective methods for eliminating COVID-19 as an everyday threat.

  1. Use travel restrictions and quarantines to restrict entry into areas you want to safeguard.
  2. Use stay-at-home and masking regulations to prevent person-to-person spread.
  3. Use technology to identify those who may be infected.
  4. Use survey testing and vaccinations to provide long-term solutions.

In this week’s column, I’ll cover the first two of these topics. Next week, I’ll take on the other two. Read the rest of this entry »

 

We are just days away from what historians refer to as a New Year.

In addition to calendar manufacturers, a great number of our peers are getting excited as 2020 comes to an unceremonious close.

Here are the facts. Yesterday has come and gone. Mentally, politically, and financially – it is done. Over. Kaput.

The one and only question worth asking is, “What are you planning to do with today and tomorrow? I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, you are driving the bus. Where you take it is entirely up to you.

One thing is for sure. Read the rest of this entry »

I Know You’re Busy, So I’ll Let You Go!

 

A phrase I find somewhat humorous (not) while talking on the telephone is one you might be guilty of yourself. “I know you’re busy so I’ll let you go.” Translation: “I’m done talking to you. I have better ways to spend my time. I gotta go. Ta-ta.”

I am reminded of an old Yogi Berra saying that reminds us “It’s not over ‘til it is over.” Your conversations are not over until they are over. This is particularly apropos if you are interested in making a favorable “lasting” impression when speaking to both prospects and current clients.

I’ll cut to the chase, and leave you with today’s reminder Read the rest of this entry »

Make Your Move

 

Today is the perfect day to wish everybody who reads my column regularly a very Merry Christmas, along with sincere wishes for a fun and productive 2021.

But before doing so, I would like to share two experiences with you I had just yesterday. They have nothing to do with each other, but both serve as good reminders.

The first one occurred during my biweekly Inner Circle Meeting. The meeting ran a full 70-minutes, but by the reports received we accomplished a great deal. It wasn’t until I signed off at the end of the meeting that I realized that I had neglected to hit the record button. Since many of my members rely on the recording you might imagine how poorly I felt as a result of this oversight. The word I used was DUMB! Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Sell “Snail Mail” Short

 

Like everything in life, there are two sides to every coin. My observation will not sit well with everybody reading today’s message; but it does, and will, pertain to many of you.

I was sitting at my desk the other day when I glanced out the window and spotted one of my older neighbors shuffling toward the mailbox. I watched, hoping I would not have to run to his aid should he stub his toe and take a tumble.

He made it unscathed to the mailbox and inserted his key. Upon opening the box I saw him lean down and peer into an “empty” box. He closed the box and headed back to his apartment with no news, good or bad. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Taking Control

It’s Better to Give than Receive

 

What a strange holiday season this has been. I have to be honest with you, I’m not feeling it.

More than 300,000 Americans have died due to Coronavirus and the number of daily new COVID-19 cases are rising at an alarming rate. Over the weekend, European countries started to announce restrictions on U.K. travelers to protect themselves from the next mutation taking hold in England.

Whenever I’ve gone through troubling times like these in my life, I’ve found two things help me get through. One is to focus on my strengths, and the things that I can control. (Hence the name of this column.)

The second thing I focus on is trying to be of service to others. Helping other people is a source of endorphins for me. I have heard from friends and colleagues Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

 

It all started by the poolside bar, when a young guest who was traveling with her elderly grandmother tilted back on her bar stool and fell backward – crashing her head on the deck. Since she was semi-conscious and unable to stand, the ship’s captain requested an emergency evacuation from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, through which the ship was sailing.

A small powerboat from one of the Aussie’s famed Sea-Rescue Squadrons met the ship within hours, and the woman was evacuated to a hospital ashore. The woman did not do well, and a few days later, the captain of the ship asked the grandmother for permission to have the hospital do brain surgery. The grandmother collapsed with a stroke and had to be evacuated from the ship by helicopter. When both were stabilized, the grandmother and the granddaughter had to be evacuated to the United States by private jet and transferred to local hospitals. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of The Well-Executed “Launch”

 

If you are looking for a good business book to read, I highly recommend Jeff Walker’s Launch. It reminds us of the importance of timing and the value of “setting up” your next important project. I was introduced to a great example of how “anticipation” works earlier today.

Stuart Cohen and I are training for an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon along with a mutual friend of ours, Frank Adornato. The race is not until May 15th, and they have been postponing registration week after week. Since this is a rescheduled race, and we were not originally planning to compete, we were beginning to fear that the regularly allotted positions would be taken. Read the rest of this entry »

Mediocrity Is Not a Good Thing

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I was thinking about this word the other day (mediocrity) and, for reasons unknown to me, I connected it with the travel industry. Maybe it had something to do with a previous article I wrote focusing on doing things above and beyond that which is expected. I am sad to say that the “expected” does not involve more than simply showing up today. On the other hand, the “unexpected” demands attention, admiration, and a certain degree of creativity.

To borrow from a book titled with the same reminder, the secret is to Become The Exception. This, like all good advice and good intentions, is easier said than done. Allow me to fill in a few blanks. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

A Failure to Advise

On occasion a neighbor or an acquaintance, knowing I am somehow connected to the travel industry, will ask me about a vacation they would like to take. I use those opportunities to refer the person to a rotating selection of travel professionals I know. I tend to use different travel advisors depending on the person’s request. About a month ago, a neighbor asked me about a trip to Scotland she and her family wanted to take next year. We had the obligatory discussion of Covid-19 issues, refunds and cancellations. I checked with a travel agent friend to see if he wanted the referral and I then put the two of them together.

Yesterday, weeks after our original conversation, I ran into my neighbor and asked how the travel planning had progressed. Looking at me a bit sheepishly she said “Well, your travel agent friend couldn’t find us anything cheaper than we could get online by ourselves.”  I explained to my neighbor the travel professional is not about the “best price” but was instead looking for the “best value.” I explained the travel professional was looking after my neighbor’s interests by choosing reliable suppliers, coordinating their travels and acting as their advocates. My neighbor listened, but the lesson was, I fear, arriving too late.

Yikes.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

 

Though the COVID-19 pandemic put most of our travel plans for 2020 on hold, many people are dreaming of the days when they will be able to travel again. With good news about vaccines on the horizon – and some countries already vaccinating – it seems that time may be sooner than some of us expected with some experts saying things could return to “normal” by spring of 2021. We at Avid Cruiser are dreaming of the days when we will travel again. I know that I, for one, am quite literally counting down the days until the spring – daydreaming of trips that I want to take next summer and fall. So today I am going to share my daydreams with you.

Here are five voyages that I would like to take next year to ring in my return to the seas:  Read the rest of this entry »

We have spoken about sales and customer service in days one and two of this three-part series. Today, MOTIVATION is our focal point.

As I warned you yesterday, what you are about to hear should not come as news to you, but I am betting you are not following through on these reminders. Please, prove me wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Yesterday, we spoke about five sales reminders that will put you miles ahead of your competition. Today, customer service deserves our attention.

The first three reminders are borrowed directly from The Ritz Carlton’s famous reputation for superior customer service. Brace yourself for a blinding flash of the obvious. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

 

Good-bye 2020!Good Riddance!

2020 was a _________ year.How would you fill that one in?

For our industry, 2020 was an exercise in resilience and hope for the future. I keep thinking about how we can prepare and move forward as our industry recovers. And guess what, I’m feeling excited because of all the changes that have happened in social marketing in spite of (or maybe because of) the pandemic.

Many of us also feel 2020 is a year to look for as many ‘rays of sunshine’ and ‘bits of silver lining’ as possible. Here’s a couple of things that fit into that category and really matter for our industry moving forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

 

When the pandemic first hit, no place was affected more than New York. During the first few weeks of the pandemic, we all watched as New York struggled to contain the COVID-19 virus. To battle the virus, New York implemented one of the strictest travel advisories in the country that limited travel to New York unless you were an essential worker and required anyone who traveled to New York from a designated hot spot to quarantine for 14 days. Read the rest of this entry »

 

South African Tourism, the country’s national tourism marketing agency, is making a strong case for South Africa as the ideal destination for your first post-lockdown trip.

Travel to South Africa became possible again on Nov. 11, when South Africa opened its borders to all travelers, with safety requirements for entering the country. All entrants must show proof of a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID test within 72 hours from the date of departure from their country.

It was welcome news on both sides of the Atlantic. “South Africa’s borders are now open to international leisure and business travelers,” said Jerry Mpufane, president of the North America Hub of South African Tourism. “When North Americans are ready to travel, our wide-open spaces and friendly people will be ready to warmly welcome them Read the rest of this entry »

A Proven Success Formula: Day One

 

In cleaning out an office drawer last week, I came across an old business card of mine. It brought me back to the days when my slogan was TGIF: Thank Goodness It’s Today.

On the back of this card were 16 reminders split into three categories. Starting today, and for the next two days, I will share my thoughts on each of these 16 reminders.

The first category was SALES: Read the rest of this entry »

You Can’t Automate This

 

No app, widget, web site, software, hardware, lap top, desk top, upload, or download does justice to gratitude.

The computer doesn’t have innate gratitude. We tell it to express gratitude through automated emails and silly GIFs. These are one dimensional, heartless, unremarkable expressions that we glance at and delete in a flash.

There is no substitute for when the human being is feeling gracious, expresses thanks, and offers a return of kindness. These are multi-dimensional, heartfelt, significant expressions that we feel and retain forever.

I am entirely unimpressed when I receive bland, uninspired, monotonous emails (and robot calls) attempting to thank me for my business. Read the rest of this entry »