Monthly Archives: December 2021

Change Your Angle, Change Your View

This is the time of year when just about every writer, author, coach and/or consultant gives a send-off to the previous year while forecasting better things to come in the new year. Not this time. Not today. Not me.


I decided to end the year with a final reminder worthy of some pensive thought. This lesson features a walk in my backyard, where I hit a few golf balls now and then with a short iron or pitching wedge. More times than I like to admit, I push the shot a tad to the right Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

The travel industry is rolling with the punches again, as 2021 rolls to a close and every day brings a new news cycle. Again.

Just two weeks ago at the US Tour Operators Association, the speakers were bullish about what 2022 would bring and travel advisors were looking forward to a great year. But this week, there’s a slight hesitation in everyone’s step, as omicron spreads on land, air and sea.

This is going to be a tough week,” says Zena Beaver in Selinsgrove PA. “Three days ago all was good—but after the six o’ clock news last night, I received three emails and two texts about postponing trips from January to later in the year.”

“Those take-home Covid test kits are the new toilet paper,” joked Jennifer Trinin at ProTravel in Westbury, NY. “Maybe we can get ones with logos on them to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Marketing has two goals: the retention of existing clients and the acquisition of new clients. From existing clients you achieve stability, and it is from new clients you achieve growth. When you design your marketing properly, both your new clients and existing clients first notice or are reminded of your presence, investigate your offerings, and finally enter into conversation with you about the services or products you offer.  At this stage you have an actionable lead and enter into the sales cycle. The process of drawing the potential client closer and closer to you, finally resulting in an actionable lead, is sometimes referred to as the “Marketing Funnel.”

Meet the Marketing Funnel

Indeed, all good marketing strategies are funnel-like in their conception, design and implementation: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

The fallacy of cheap

We have an obsession in this country with cheap. Every travel professional knows that client who will spend relentless hours on the internet trying to beat the great cruise or tour package rate.  Chances are pretty good with enough time on their hands your client can beat your “price.”  After all, they now know exactly what to look for, and there is always someone willing to sell cheaper. It’s easy for the client, armed with your information, to beat your price and then to invite you to participate, actually demand that you participate, in the race to the bottom.  Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Worry—Be Happy

These four words popped into my head recently and, in addition to recalling a little tune sung by Bobby McFerrin, I found myself thinking of retirement. Yes, I have not been confused for a spring chicken for many years now; and I often have to stop and think how I managed to get out of bed yesterday. Some call it age, while I prefer to consider it as experience. But I digress.

Due to age, experience or whatever you want to call it, my days of actively pursuing new business have slowly gone the way of Seinfeld reruns. But here comes today’s million dollar thought of the day: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Bustling and colourful Christmas markets in historic settings, spectacular re-imaginings and illuminated trails around treasure-filled castles and stately homes, pretty villages and market towns in full festive mode, carol singers, sparkling and highly decorated Christmas trees all over the place, Glühwein, mince pies and ice skating outdoors at famous London attractions.

Welcome to what’s happening across England THIS MONTH and, bearing in mind that they are all annual events, let me sow some seeds for some bright ideas that can be gift-wrapped to generate valuable extra commission in the run up to Christmas 2022. Remember, everything here takes place each year. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

A Short Course in SEO, Part 2

Backlinks are simply links from a third party site to your own. The more authoritative the site linking to you, the higher ranking the search engines give your article. In fact, my Ireland article mentioned in Part 1 was linked to by USA Today, which helped its search results enormously.  

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s a time when senators, mayors and congresspeople are dropping out of public service, CEOs are stepping down at an unprecedented rate and leaders are abdicating their positions in droves—overwhelmed by the extraordinary demands of the times. The person who stepped into the leadership position at Delta Vacations, however, is eager and plucky.

“I can’t think of a better time to be joining than the last couple of months,” she told me. “There’s so much opportunity on the horizon to really create a strong connection with our customers and our travel advisors. Now this is going to be the fun part.”

Kama Winters became president of the wholesale vacation packager on June 21, after Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

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 »

Just Do It!

Nothing Ventured … Nothing Gained.

In today’s message, I am going to try to drive home an important point by using a number of well-worn phrases. Some may be more familiar than others. Here goes:

First the message.

The painful truth, according to me, is that one of your biggest problems is that you don’t fail enough. Your number one problem in most cases involves your visibility factor, but let’s focus on your number two problem today… not enough effort resulting in Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Another year!  Wow, that was fun—not! Every year, I take a bit of a break for the final weeks of the year to push a virtual “reset” button.  In December 2020, I figured in 2021, things would get drastically better for the travel industry. Well, they are better, but the whole “drastically” part fell a bit short. But rather than sit here and be a Donnie Downer, I am going to press on and look at the bright side! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Client Retention

Marketing has a two-fold function – to acquire new clients and to retain your existing clients. For that reason, smart travel professionals put into place a comprehensive client retention plan designed to keep an ongoing conversation with their existing clientele. When economic times get tough, it is your existing clients to which you can most easily and cost effectively turn for support. It is commonly known and accepted that it is much more expensive to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one. Existing clients represent the stability of your travel planning business. If your clients are not traveling with you on a repeat basis, chances are you are doing something very wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

“We are a little broken. Life is scary. The waters aren’t always calm and you may not know what to do,” says Drew Daly. “But just keep swimming.”

It’s all about having a plan, the World Travel Holdings (WTH) senior vice president told attendees at the Dream Vacations/Cruise One annual conference onboard Celebrity Apex in November. And clearly, the WTH team that manages the franchising brands has been working on theirs.

In their first live conference in two years, they gathered 800 franchisees and travel advisors aboard one of the first US sailings of the beautiful Celebrity Apex for a week of ship inspections, education and Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Not long after pressing the “publish” button for Is This The End Of River Cruising As We Know It? – River Cruise Advisor, I received several comments from our readers. Some offered words of encouragement; others offered words of caution.

Let’s start with the words of caution from T.J. and Sherry. Their comments have been edited for brevity. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

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 »

Yes, You Can Be Creative

If by chance you are not creative, or you feel you do not have a creative bone in your body, I am here to tell you that you CAN become creative—if you remove yourself from your current comfort zone.

Yes, I am giving you permission to get up, get out, and make more of the right people glad they know you. For some of you, this will prove to be a real stretch. For others, it will take a certain degree of discipline. For a few, it will be “a piece of cake.”

The first thing you must do is to rid your vocabulary of much of the negative self-talk you are Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Omicron—Here We Go Again?

Just when we think we’re coming out of the woods, along comes Omicron. The bad news is that it is yet another concern for our clients and our own viability.  Granted, if we’ve been paying attention for the past two years, we likely knew this day was coming. So, is it all doom and gloom? Not at all. Read on! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Four Steps to Greatness

Steve Jobs of Apple Computers once used the phrase “insanely great” as a way of describing his products and it became an anthem for his vision of Apple’s brand. Go to any Apple store and look at the people crowding around, staring at the products, touching them, playing with computers, phones and iPods and listening to music. You won’t find that kind of zealous activity in the computer section at Best Buy…unless they are looking at the Apple computers. iPhone. iPad. iPod. iTunes. Their products are benchmarks, what all competing products compare themselves against and want to be.

Do you want to be an insanely great travel professional? Did you ever? What an amazingly simple, yet powerful, goal to set. Too often our eyes are so focused on the day-to-day detail of the work in front of our face we forget the lofty goals and aspirations that first brought us to travel. None of us begins our career Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

I LOVE Backroads. What’s to love? The company layers its active adventures, primarily cycling, on top of cruises, both ocean and river. That layering provides the perfect adventure: You spend your days being active, exploring Europe the way many Europeans do, straddling a saddle. Your floating hotel is your oasis for rest and replenishment.

In 2016, I had what turned out to be one of the best trips I’ve had on the rivers, cycling with my son while cruising on AmaWaterways. Check out Backroads Bike Trips & River Boating: A Winning Combination For Active Travelers. Rinse and repeat. In 2019, we cruised Ponant and pedaled Croatia, a wonderful trip that I summed up Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

If you are a frequent reader of my Agent’s Perspectives, over the past 19 months or more, you will have seen dozens of bright ideas that will appeal to clients interested in castles, gardens and stately homes, on location and bookshelf tours, and the visual and performing arts. This week, the focus sharpens on a short stack of imaginative ideas for Women Only travel, which hopefully might strike a chord with you. There are more themed tour suggestions in the works!

Read on and let’s release the potential for some Girls Getaways to Britain. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Behind The Great Resignation?

Ray Snisky, group president of Apple Leisure Group’s vacations division, told travel advisors last week that the airlines were having trouble hiring staff, including pilots and mechanics. Speaking at the Travel Impressions Best of the Best event in Puerto Vallarta, Snisky said the airline staff shortages have been causing cancellations, which throw ALG into frantic efforts to rebook and re-accommodate thousands of clients at the last minute. Read the rest of this entry »