The seed for today’s article was planted by Royal Caribbean’s Vicki Freed during a recent interview at an Inner Circle Sales Meeting. Vicki reminded us that we were all still being held up waiting for the light to turn green. She was referring to the moment people will begin traveling again.
Naturally, this thought got me thinking of an analogy I could share with you this week. I think I have one you can identify with. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: The Rosen Report
It’s a new year; it’s a new world; it’s a new job altogether for travel advisors in January 2021. And as always, while the world waits for travel to come back, travel advisors are adapting to the new reality.
While a lucky few are proceeding with business as usual, most are on the hunt for alternatives to the tried and true. They are working with new partners. Teaching and mentoring. Taking on new positions. Finding new niches and new destinations to sell. And, even just plain retiring to the ranch.
What can you do, after all, when you have a $16 million business and 33 employees—and then your niche disappears overnight? That’s what happened to Suri Pillai, a Canadian travel advisor who specialized in coach tours and river cruises in Europe. Until Covid hit.
His answer? Go where the business is. Read the rest of this entry »
While travelers continue to prioritize health and safety, they are increasingly looking to plan longer, immersive travel experiences to better appreciate nature, live in the moment and reconnect with friends and family, according to AmaWaterways’ Co-owners Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and Gary Murphy.
Notably, AmaWaterways was the only U.S.-based river cruise line to sail in Europe during 2020, successfully implementing enhanced protocols and procedures as part of a unique charter program.
The company says it recently has seen a surge in bookings. We’re not surprised. In our recent survey, 66 percent of readers responding to our poll said they believe North Americans will be able to river cruise in Europe again by or during the fall of 2021. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: The Incessant Traveler
I was having a conversation with a tour operator the other day who said this: “How many businesses can go a year with no income and still be on their feet?”
It’s a great question, at the moment a great unknown quantity. Then he followed with what seemed like a reasonable conclusion.
“I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting down a deposit with any tour operator right now.”
I had to admit, he had a point. There’s so much uncertainty now. After such a disastrous year, it’s almost like we’re waiting for the shoes upstairs to start falling.
Yeah, it’s a little scary when you try to put your head around the economic duress out there across America, all the businesses that have had to shut down operations, or at the least radically transform their operations. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Point-to-Point
According to the AHLA (American Hotel & Lodging Association), half of U.S. hotel rooms are projected to remain empty in 2021. Business travel is practically nonexistent, they say, and won’t return to 2019 levels until late 2023 or 2024. Leisure travel will return more quickly, but 56% of consumers said they see hotel stays as being linked to vaccine distribution.
One possible “cure” for this situation was included in an Executive Order released on January 21, the new administration’s first full day in office. It requires that quarantines, as well as pre-travel testing, be required of everyone who has traveled abroad, including U.S. citizens. Also, as of last week, 22 states also have imposed domestic quarantines requirements for people arriving from out-of-state, including their own state residents.
Virtually all the state quarantine regulations have proven to be ineffectual, since they don’t include any means of enforcement. No GPS locators, few checkup phone calls, few hotels with quarantine sections—only vague references to an “honor system.”
To make quarantine programs viable Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Taking Control
We’ve gotten through the Inauguration of President Joseph Biden. The new administration is trying to take a national approach on both the distribution of Coronavirus vaccines and increasing travel safety by imposing mask mandates for air travel.
At the same time, experts are predicting new COVID-19 cases could be peaking in the next few weeks—although hospitalizations and deaths will lag for a few weeks after that due to the nature of the disease.
What this means for travel advisors is that the resilient desire by Americans to travel could see a boost by the end of February.
The swimming pool in my condominium complex has reopened again with certain restrictions pertaining to social distancing. I slip into the water by 9 am every morning and, with one exception, have the pool to myself. My swimming buddy is Frankie “Cheech,” who spends the summer months in New Jersey. (Maybe that is why we understand each other so well while sharing a similar sense of humor.)
The other day Frankie called my attention to four words he learned while in the service. (Rest easy. They are acceptable in social settings.) We have come to refer to these words as the “Four D’s.” I have positioned them as my guiding reminders. They keep me on track, and help me stay focused while I train for an upcoming event. (I’m preparing my aging body for an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in May.) Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Editorial Musings
We all saw the memes* last week of Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration of President Biden, right? Off topic, this is my favorite; but they were good and I started to think of how our news cycle and, in fact the election, was largely guided by memes and decided I needed to have one of my own. So here it is. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Publishers Corner
“I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.” ~ Steve Jobs
We have a strange relationship with the word “No.” From childhood, we don’t like hearing the word, and as business people, “No” often signals the premature end to opportunity. Hearing a refusal can be painful.
Unfortunately, our dislike of the word too often means many of us have problems saying “No” ourselves. We have a bias to taking on tasks, of saying “Yes” when at all possible. As a result, we overcommit our time and limited resources. Trying to be positive and agreeable, we find ourselves increasing our own overhead beyond a safe point. Read the rest of this entry »
With Covid-19 vaccinations under way and river cruises scheduled to resume operations in the spring, one question stands above all others for us: When will North Americans be able to ply the rivers of Europe again?
Our best guess: summer of 2021.
Come summer, we believe North Americans will be able to fly to Europe, go on a river cruise and return home with little worry of contracting Covid-19. Of course, summer spans several months, from late June through late September. If things go well with vaccinations, early summer is a reasonable assumption.
By June, if all goes as planned, Europeans will have already been safely river cruising during the spring and into the summer. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Agent Perspectives
Your guess is as good as mine as to when scheduled transatlantic flights will lift off once again but, in the hope that normal service resumes in the spring/early summer, here are six bright ideas that will resonate well with dozens of your anglophile customers. They are, in addition to Goodwood’s Festival of Speed, Alice’s Day in Oxford and the Open Golf Championships at Royal St George’s in Kent.
Posted In: The Incessant Traveler
Every president has an era named after him. So powerful is the influence of the office, and so greatly does a president dominate the news and set the character of the period, that it’s always hard to imagine how the world will change when the next president takes office.
Perhaps that’s why we have the three-month period of transition when we can start to get used to the idea of America under the next president. But now we’re at the week of the actual transition when we will cross that cusp from one era to the next. It’s hard to predict the many ways the world will change, or particularly the ways the change will affect travel. However, there are a few things we can reasonably expect. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: TRO SMITH
Back when I first started shooting video, I used to stare at the keyboard (procrastinating). I’d then search online for what other people were doing (time-suck). And then, I left my desk to get glammed up thinking inspiration would come to me from my make-up bag! (NOT!)
After 40 minutes, I still had nothing anywhere close to video content. Nada! Zilch!
Does that sound familiar?
The other day a travel pro asked me, “Why even bother shooting video… it takes so much time! Who’s watching travel & tourism videos now anyway?”
Posted In: Motivationally Speaking...
Failure to follow-up will lessen loyalty.
Lower loyalty will sink sales.
Fanatical follow-up will radically grow sales.
So, how can we make follow-up priority #1? We elevate fervent follow-up by acting fearlessly.
In my experience, here are the most common reasons why we fail to follow-up: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Point-to-Point
Twenty years ago, I managed investment brokerages in Marina Del Rey, California. I relied mostly on technical analysis to guide my investment choices. This meant I’d examine the charts to see which stocks would make the best purchases. The stock market tries to predict a company’s earning, 6-18 months in the future. A good indicator is a stock’s performance during the past year. Since the event which has dominated thinking this year has been the pandemic, this might be a good way for travel advisors to recommend airlines to clients.
It’s lucky that The Motley Fool, my favorite stock pickers, also thought this topic was worth pursuing. They published an article last week, Investing in Airline Stocks. They included opinions and charts for Delta, American, United, and Southwest. They tried to tie the results to how the airlines are behaving during the pandemic. I added Qantas Airways to this piece, since their approach to the pandemic is entirely different from the U.S. carriers. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Taking Control
I think the main reason why I became a journalist is that I’m fascinated by human nature. I love interviewing people and listening for indications about what makes them tick. That talent naturally translated over to being a business coach. Getting someone focused on who they are, and why they do what they do, removes a lot of the friction entrepreneurs create in the pursuit of their goals.
What I have come to realize, in the more than 35 years that I’ve been studying human nature, is that the most consistently successful people are driven by an openness to constant improvement. What they are doing today is not necessarily going to be good enough for them tomorrow, or next week, or next year.
When we get complacent, we can think there’s little work we have to do on ourselves and our business, until something like a pandemic comes crashing in. Read the rest of this entry »
I’d like to share a “moment” I had last week while talking to a professor from Montclair State University. His name is Dr. Rob Gilbert, and he specializes in Sports Psychology. Our common thread is that we both graduated from the University of Massachusetts.
While holding my rapt attention, Dr. Rob asked me a question that immediately stopped me in my tracks. He asked me what was the worse thing any one of my athletic coaches could have said to me as I exited the field of play. I uttered some knee-jerk lame responses and asked him what he thought.
“Marchev. You look very tentative out there.”
Posted In: Editorial Musings
Posted In: The Rosen Report
To check out Part 1 of this two-part article, please click here.
Tripadvisor is offering its 463 million monthly customers easy access to a professional travel advisor—and you have to give them credit for going ahead with the rollout of the Reco program this month, in the midst of a global pandemic. The travel advisors who have signed up are being patient, though. After all, the program costs them nothing but time (which many have plenty of)—and holds the promise that the world’s largest online booking site will be sending them a stream of new fee-paying customers when travel comes back.
“This is our chance to have a crack at the luxury market that is not using travel advisors, our chance to convert DIYers Read the rest of this entry »
With 2020 finally behind us (thank goodness), we, like many of you, feel a dire need to plan for 2021 and beyond. After all, who among us can say they’ve not missed cruising? Though the first week of 2021 has not proved to be much better than last year was, we are still holding out a lot of hope to board cruise ships in 2021. Below, you’ll read more about some of the trips that we’ll be hosting in 2021 and 2022. Today, however, we want to talk to you all about our plans for the new year here at Avid Cruiser & River Cruise Advisor. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Departures
In a continued look at the beauties of Hungary, I’ve covered some of the more well-known cities such as The Best of Budapest – as well as The Interests Around Budapest. Today’s article on Hungary will dive a little deeper into the premier holiday destination of Central Europe, Lake Batalon and its surrounding areas. As central Europe’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Balaton is a prime in Hungary destination to enjoy it’s Mediterranean-like climate.
Once exclusively the home of resort centres for the aristocracy of Hungary, Lake Batalon’s tourism expanded to the middle class in the late 19th century. And, while resort towns line the lake these days, the more historic towns gain quite the attention of visitors. Read the rest of this entry »