Monthly Archives: November 2021

Posted In: The Rosen Report

The Industry Gives Thanks

There’s nothing like an industry get-together to pump you up, ease your worried mind, and remind you how much we have to be thankful for. So this Thanksgiving, I will be counting my blessings for the bounty of good news and good people I have come across in the past two weeks.

At CruiseWorld in Miami and then aboard the gorgeous new Celebrity Apex, where 800 Dream Vacations and CruiseOne franchisees gathered for their annual conference, the travel advisors and suppliers I met were uniformly hopeful and optimistic, excited about the future and, above all, happy to be together again.

If there’s just one story to tell, make it that a cruise ship is the safest place on earth, says Celebrity VP Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering The Rule of 7

I recently got home after speaking at a conference in Orlando, after months of inactivity. It felt good to get up in front of a group of eager professionals and share my personal experiences with a bit of panache. (Flamboyant confidence of style or manner.)

Regardless of how hard I try, I still find myself resorting back on the tried-and-true strategies and tactics that work year-in and year-out. As most people are drawn to the latest flavor of the week, or lured toward the latest magic formula, I know after over 35 years in the business that it is the basics and fundamentals that will make your business work.

One of the formulas I have been touting over the years still hold water today Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving—well, except the Brits amongst us, I know you are all still a little sore on that subject. But on a more serious note, I do hope that you took the initiative to touch base with your prospects and clients. The holidays (and many others) are perfect times to touch base and (as Mike Marchev says) remind them that you are alive.

I have mentioned before to take advantage of the obvious holiday to touch base as well as some offbeat ones.  And I also suggest to never sell. These are designed for building the goodwill of your business—period. Hard stop. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

We sometimes exhibit auto-magical thinking about websites much like Field of Dreams. We believe if we build a travel agency site, then people will just come to it and “Sales” will happen.  I hate to break it to you but that is not the way it works. Your website has to be marketed. Ironic that one of your key marketing tools has to be marketed, but it does and that is what this section of our course is all about.

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Niche Marketing

Developing and marketing a niche area of expertise is one of the best possible ways to differentiate your travel practice from the competition. As an expert in a particular theme or destination, you can quickly establish your travel agency as the only reasonable resource to which consumers should turn when considering travel in your niche venue.

​But the concept of adopting a niche is often misconstrued. Niche marketing is a way of helping you focus on locating new clients, not a set of restrictions on your business offerings. Niche marketing is not necessarily about gearing your entire business to a particular type of travel. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Driver

I recently read a post from Seth Godin which got me thinking. (His words usually do.)

He referenced the early automobile and how roads were built to provide a path for leisurely drives out into the country. Families would take a ride on a Sunday to enjoy the scenery and perhaps stop along the way for a picnic. Hence, the concept known referred to as the Sunday driver.

You can picture pops behind the wheel, with mom and her bonnet secured tightly around her neck bouncing along a dirt road with no particular destination in mind. To me, that conjures up a delightfully civilized picture in Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Thanksgiving

Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” -Dalai Lama

In many ways, Thanksgiving is the greatest of holidays, a reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe to everyone and everything around us.  It is always tempting to magnify our losses and minimize the ordinary, daily miracle.  We long for big, outrageous fortunes and forget the small, mundane but truly astonishing gifts.  One day of the year, however,  is a reminder to contemplate the undeniably interdependent nature of our existence.  How amazingly special is it when a client takes the time and effort to say “Thanks”?  Being on the receiving or giving end of gratitude is a pretty special thing. Especially now.

Everything is connected. We don’t have to look far to find people and institutions deserving of our thanks. Every success we enjoy, every small achievement, is the result of an interplay of grace and circumstance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

Renewing the Heart of Hungary

Budapest, with its wonderfully varied architecture, is getting a revamped look of an important part of its history and culture. Buda Castle has been a staple of the landscape of Budapest for 750 years. But, starting in 2019 and continuing into well into this year, Buda Castle and the surrounding district of Budapest is getting a well-deserved upgrade. Dubbed The National Hauszmann Program, this restoration and improvement project has had a substantial impact on what the traveler will witness in an already vibrant destination. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

With December 2022 departures of Riviera River Cruises’ popular holiday season cruises now available, plan ahead to celebrate Europe’s Rhine and Danube Rivers in all their wintry splendor. Riviera’s holiday season cruises include Yuletide Markets itineraries that depart in the weeks before Christmas, departures over Christmas itself with the ship decked in lush garlands and a grandiose tree, and celebratory sailings to ring in the New Year. In all, six itineraries with 20 departures are available to book.

I’ll be hosting one of those cruises, departing Cologne on December 21, 2022 and cruising along the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

On Monday 8th November, the champagne corks were popping as we celebrated the lifting of the onerous transatlantic flight restrictions. What a long and difficult nineteen months it’s been, but at last the airlines are beginning to increase their London-bound lift. You can now start making some serious UK/Ireland plans for a couple of clients, four-six friends travelling together and, in due course, small groups of ten-twelve or more.

For the next few months, many customers will continue to be cautious about criss-crossing the pond. I believe that you and other enterprising travel advisors will play an influential, confidence-building role by reminding and inspiring them with ideas for UK-bound tours in May and with others in the months of June and July.

This week, the spotlight sharpens on some of the irresistible festivals and events you can use to start a conversation about travelling to Britain next August and September. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Ok, we all mess up once in awhile, right!

  • We miss a deadline.
  • We forget to call a client back.
  • We overlook an important email.

Each of those things can be corrected pretty quickly with an apology and some hard work.

However, messing up in social marketing can quickly go from bad to worseto expensive. During the pandemic, many marketers let their advertising take a back seat to simply staying afloat. That’s reality!

Now that travel is ramping up again, here’s 3 social marketing blunders that can be easily avoided. Read the rest of this entry »

While Covid laid waste restaurants, entertainment and tourism businesses, it didn’t hurt Netflix any. Netflix gained 8 million subscribers in 2020. And you don’t need market research to know that people spent a lot more time watching screens in 2020 than in 2019.

Long before the passenger jet industry made global travel easy and accessible, movies were already established as one of the best ways to travel if you couldn’t leave your hometown. Travel scenes have always been a large part of the appeal of movies. And movies are great vehicles for promotion of places where they are set.

Even if the movie does not feature iconic scenes in Paris, New York, Rio or the African bush, it takes you somewhere besides where your physical body is presently seated. We traveled virtually in movies long before anyone used the word “virtual” the way we do now. During 2020 and the Covid pandemic, most people all over the world were restrained from Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

Beyond Exotic in Morocco

Known as the gateway to Africa, the country of Morocco is situated in the north of the continent and shares close ties to Europe… culturally and location-wise. With just 8 miles of sea to cross before reaching Spain, the mixture of sometimes vastly different places has created an exotic and exciting location. The busy streets of major cities like Marrakech and Tangier are perfect for people watching from cafes. The mix of cultures that has come together has a way of diversity seldom known around the around. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

There are many good reasons not to make price the centerpiece of your presentations, but here’s the best one.  Your client only thinks price is important.  The reality, of course, is that every day the client chooses considerations of value over price, even when they begin the conversation by telling you they want to travel “as cheaply as possible.”

What the client says and what the client actually means can be two different things entirely.  The client doesn’t really mean they want to walk to their destination and sleep under the stars.  The client is expressing their concern about paying too much, about not achieving a good value. Read the rest of this entry »

I remember thinking that things would be different once I reached my age. I believed things would be easier. I thought the hard part would be yesterday’s news. Wrong again Mike-O.

This has been proven not to be the case. But, if you stop to think about it, life would be pretty boring if we all had it together before the boys headed for the showers and the “fat lady” sang.

Marketing is simply why some things work, and why things don’t work Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Happy New Year!  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know we barely got out of Halloween and aren’t even into Thanksgiving yet; but we will be saying that before you know it as we move from 2021 into 2022.  I am going out on a limb here and will suggest that right about now, business is slow—COVID or not. Kids are back in school, and people are beginning to stress about the holidays. Who has time to think about planning a vacation?  It’s the nature of this beast we call the travel industry. But after a horrible 2020, and a mediocre 2021, 2022 is beginning to look up. Don’t waste this time! Clean up! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

A Little This, A Little That

 

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for travel advisors. Everyone seems to be on the move again, checking out destinations and attending conferences, seeing friends after a long, long time. I’ve heard so many interesting comments about what’s going on the industry; here are some thoughts.

Last month’s Global Travel Collection conference featured a panel of Teen Family Influencers talking about what they found most memorable in their families’ jaunts around the world. The biggest takeaway: no two kids are the same, something travel advisors need to keep in mind when planning inter-generational trips. On the panel, Lucas likes “nature-oriented exploring,” such as the “scientific stuff” he heard during a tour of Pompeii; Benjamin likes to go Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Seems that every time I host a cruise, I end up committing to hosting more. In 2022, I am now hosting a total of five trips. Three of those are sold-out barge trips that got pushed forward from 2019. Two, however, are brand new, and I am excited about both of these trips because they sail a couple of my favorite itineraries. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

The Maldives in Luxury

Welcome to…

The Royal Residence at The Raffles Maldives Merhadoo. A bespoke experience awaits the guest at Gaafu Alifu, one of the world’s most remote atolls, found in the southernmost parts of The Maldives. This incredible unit is a three bedroom that can be expanded into a six bedroom. The amount of space available makes it an ultra luxury experience. The unit comes with a resident butler who ensures all the Read the rest of this entry »

There are a few phrases I hear myself saying more often these days. One of which brings me back to my early years, when I spent summers on my grandmother’s farm. “Make hay while the sun shines,” reminded us that when you made a living which depended heavily on the uncertainty of the weather, it was in your best interest to take advantage of favorable conditions while they presented themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Last week, I was reminiscing about my time tending bar more years ago than I care to remember, but a friend of mine was the most amazing bartender, a great mentor, and just the type of person you want to be around. It did not matter if you were a co-worker, customer, or a stranger, you wanted to be near Pat. He made a great first impression and continues to do it today as a co-owner of a major sports franchise and prolific speaker. So, how does this relate to travel? Read the rest of this entry »