Monthly Archives: April 2021

Posted In: Deck Plans

What Makes A Lindblad Expedition Different?

Last week, we sat down to interview Lesa Bain, Lindblad’s vice president of sales for North America. The company recently announced its resumption of operations in Alaska and the Galapagos this summer.

You can listen to part one and part two of the whole interview but, before you do that, here are five things I learned during my conversation with Lesa Bain. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

In the last few months, in anticipation of transatlantic flights offering scheduled services in the summer, I’ve been highlighting some of the festivals and events which all your anglophile clients will warmly welcome. In August they include The International Beatles Week, Liverpool; Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton and Harrogate; Edinburgh Tattoo and Fringe; Edinburgh Book Festival; various Highland Games in Scotland; plus your client’s favourite malt whiskey distilleries! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

If ever there was a perfect time for a guided vacation, this is it.

As bored, but wary, travelers consider heading out their front doors, many still are concerned about how to navigate the ever-changing regulations, capacity restrictions, and chance of coming down with Covid far from home. If you can’t take your favorite travel advisor along with you, a guided vacation seems like the next-best thing.

Companies like Adventures by Disney, Collette, Globus, Insight Vacations/Luxury Gold, Tauck and Trafalgar, and the travel advisors who sell them, are reporting growing interest and sold-out tour groups to top US destinations—even in April and May of 2021. Collette’s website shows its Painted Canyons of the West, which includes five national parks, is sold out for all three May departures; National Parks is sold out for May Read the rest of this entry »

Vegas’s Low-Grade Burn Is About to Pop

Las Vegas is hiring. The seismic rumble of a big comeback is roiling underfoot on The Strip.

Las Vegas’s KSNV TV recently reported that job fairs by the big casino operators are picking up steam in Las Vegas, signaling that the casinos are preparing for an abrupt turnaround as the vaccination rate reaches critical mass.

Casino owner Derek Stevens recently held a drive-through job fair, making offers to applicants in their cars. Caesar’s Entertainment recently held a job fair virtually. Now people are starting to worry about a possible labor shortage. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Apple’s reputation and wealth resulted from its track record of improving revolutionary products. It doesn’t try to be the first in the marketplace. It prefers to wait until new products have proven appeal and then to build superior devices.

The iPhone is a perfect example. Apple waited for pioneers such as Motorola and Blackberry to release their mobile telephones and then crushed them with iPhone. Then, by improving the iPhones’ cameras, they nearly destroyed Kodak, Pentax, and Nikon.

Apple did the same thing with portable computers. It built upon the PC market that Kaypro, IBM, and Compaq created; and drove them out of the marketplace with the Mac and MacBook. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Times Square and Beyond

As the vaccine rollouts increase, destinations are beginning to plan the grand opening of travel once again. The excitement is palpable, an electrical current moving along that has started the idea of planning getaways and seeing the world. It is guaranteed New York City, one of the most popular cities in the world, will be on the traveler’s list. And this is where Beyond Times Square comes to the rescue. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

AmericanTours International’s (ATI) Drive America customizable road trip packages make it easy for travel agents to set up, save clients money (compared to booking it on their own online), and generate commissions on a $3,000 couple booking and up to $10,000 or more for a small or multi-generation family. ATI support team knows about the ins and outs of traveling within your destinations and is always available to help you. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Egypt has always been a draw for travelers. The monuments of ancient civilizations stand as rugged reminders of empires and cultures passed. These grand palaces, temples, and tombs are tremendous feats of engineering – milestones in the history of the world. Which brings us to Luxor. The Luxor Temple and Karnak are sites to behold, to wander about in awe of its hieroglyph-covered walls and columns… a magnificent museum open to the elements.

Read the rest of this entry »

This week’s message is important, and I hope those reading it will pause long enough to internalize the unparalleled benefits from doing this right.

I am currently experiencing bi-weekly physical therapy for a calf muscle that refuses to cooperate as it should, when preparing for a 13.1 mile run. This is the third element of the 70.3 mile Ironman competition I have been preparing for what seems like ages. Race day is a mere 17 days away, and I am beginning to question my sanity. But I digress.

Yesterday, while the PT woman was working on my calf, I found myself listening to the other patients in the room as they twisted and turned through their regimens. Although I am no spring chicken myself, most of these people had a few years on me. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

In many columns over the past year, it seems everyone has been trying to figure out how to do business in a post-COVID world. I have offered some of my thoughts; but in the end, we are all crystal-balling and hoping for the best. But today, I think I have a suggestion that will serve us all well as travel begins to open up once again—well, at least domestic travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Integrity and Your Brand: Promises Made

Your brand is shorthand for a set of promises. Ideally, when clients think of you, they think of how well you meet their needs when you act as their travel advisor.  Periodically, we need to consider the promises inherent in our brand to ensure we are living up to our commitments.

How easy is it to make a promise? Far too easy.  We make promises continually.  Sometimes they take the form of solemn oaths (“I do”) and other times they take the form of appointments and deliverables. We easily assure our business partners we will “be right back with you” and then let far too much time slip away.  Suddenly, our promise has gone stale and we are working not to hit our deadline, but to not be terribly late in our performance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Silver Moon Will Sail Greece In June

Silversea Cruises opened sales on brand new voyages aboard Silver Moon to the Eastern Mediterranean, departing from Greece from June 18, 2021. The cruise line unveiled a collection of nine voyages – each 10 days in length – which will sail round-trip from Piraeus (Athens), taking in much of Greece, including Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, and Crete, among others, as well as Haifa (Israel) and Cyprus. Read the rest of this entry »

COVID-19 has clearly pushed the curve of technological evolution, changed society irreversibly and sent it off on a new course. Where it goes, nobody knows. But we can be sure that we will see a wave of innovation.

COVID has been the harshest Mother of Invention in a lifetime. And now, as the dust clears and we begin to pull our way out of this colossal pileup, we can begin to assess not only the damage, but also the benefits from the innovation that was forced by the global emergency.

We’re seeing some of the resulting innovations unfolding now, and I suspect we’ll be seeing a steady stream of them for a long time. It’s going to be an interesting ride, because I don’t think anyone expects our world to return to what it was pre-COVID. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Uber and Lyft Need to Serve the Already Vaxed

Like many 70+ peers, a few years before the pandemic I chose to give up driving. I still have my driver’s license, but I would hesitate to get behind the wheel today for anything other than outright emergencies.

Cutting back on my driving was easy. I simply took Lyft or Uber about five times a week. In the evening, my wife, who is ten years younger than me, usually drove. If we planned to consume a bottle of wine in the evening, we racked up more Lyft or Uber trips.

Since I live close to LAX and most of my destinations are in West Los Angeles, a car was seldom more than 10 minutes away or cost more than $15.00. We got rid of our second car, which more than offset the costs of our Ubers and Lyfts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Wine and Dine the Mendoza Way

Known around the world for its wine, Mendoza is a jewel of Argentina. Technically considered a desert region, the extensive irrigation system around the city keeps the grapes growing and the wine flowing. Located just east of the Andes, and the highest mountain outside the Himalayas, there are also chances for adventure. From wandering around magnificent fountains in plazas to tastes that will excite the senses—this is Mendoza. Read the rest of this entry »

Talk Is Cheap!

I recently asked my friend Stuart Cohen to write the Foreword to my new book titled 100 bedtime stories for travel professionals. In addition to a few kind remarks, Stuart called the reader’s attention to the fact that there is not a shortage of self-proclaimed specialists spewing information whether valid or not. This thought got me to thinking of just how valuable my personal opinion is.

For some reason that remains unclear to me, the letters LEA flashed across my mind. These letters stand for listen, evaluate, and act. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

We all have been crystal-balling what the future of the travel industry may look like when the COVID-19 pandemic is finally in our rear view mirror. But the truth is that none of us know. The best we can do is keep looking at studies and prepare ourselves to (and I really hate this word now) pivot as needed when the time comes. With that said, I have seen some interesting studies that might help us all crystal ball a bit.

I think that leisure travelers will be opting for the familiar and trusted. Exotic destinations, especially ones with sub-standard medical care, will be a tough sell. Familiarity and comfort will be their guide. From plethora of studies I have seen, let me cherry pick some of the statistics that make me perk up a bit. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

The importance of being empathetic

This week I ran across a quote that will forever be a favorite: “Courage is the foundation of integrity.” I love this quote not only for its plain simplicity, but also because it surpasses all of the political entangling  any significant or momentous thought currently. Nearly all of us can agree.  I searched for its origin, but the quote is ascribed to a number of people.  If you have a definitive source, please let me know. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Riviera River Cruises has announced that all guests boarding its ships when European river cruising restarts will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test prior to travel. Guests who aren’t fully vaccinated will be offered a complimentary COVID-19 test to allow them to depart on their cruise. The requirements will also apply to crew members, who will have additional daily temperature checks and ongoing health screenings. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Today, we come towards the end of a week of profound sorrow as we mourn the death of His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, and a week of great joy as we celebrate the continuing success of our vaccine roll out programme with pubs and restaurants now open for outdoor service—for the first time in months. This positive step also keeps us on track as we count down to Monday 17th May, when all pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs will be allowed to re-open! That will be a real red-letter day. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

When Travel Is Just Not Fun

I sure am looking forward to the return of cruising. I love the sea, a good meal, and a great mojito—topped off by some interesting entertainment and conversation. But, four weeks after being fully vaccinated and starting to travel again, I’m really just pining for some good old-fashioned customer service.

I’ve been following the typical post-vaccine travel pattern: Two brief land excursions with family, then one domestic airline flight, on Delta, my favorite airline, with the empty middle seats. True, I haven’t yet gone to a luxury hotel or one of the all-inclusives in Mexico and the Caribbean, where I hear staff has been jumping through hoops to make guests feel welcome. But here in the US, I’m feeling concerned that our customers, eager as they are to see a piece of land that’s not in their hometown, will come home disappointed by the experience. Travel is just not fun right now. And I’m really hoping the cruise lines deliver on their promise to turn that around. Read the rest of this entry »