Monthly Archives: January 2022

The Day I Flew Around the Water Tower

If there is any truth to the belief that a good story is both entertaining and memorable, you are about to enjoy the information in my columns for the next few months. I am about to share with you my personal experiences that come equipped with some valuable lessons.

The first of these lessons come to you from 2500 feet above sea level. It was during my check ride, which requires a passing grade while flying alongside an FAA flight inspector. I was in the left seat of a Cessna 152 and I felt I was prepared for the “exam.” I read the books, practiced my landings, and Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

This time last year, I was optimistic about 2021.  We had some ups (vaccines, financial assistance, and a return to travel); but we had a whole lot more downs than I anticipated. Regardless, here we are in 2022 and I hope you all had a fantastic whatever-you-celebrate holiday and a happy New Year.  I am all rested and refreshed and now it’s time to take a deep breath and look ahead to 2022. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

Making Sales from your Website

I often hear travel professionals complain they are making no sales from their websites. To my ear, the complaint, however, sounds a bit strange. If you are making “sales” from your website, I suspect you are using a booking engine or a search engine geared to supplier specials, much like Travelocity or Expedia. I also suspect the resulting sales are sporadic. However, for personal travel consultants, a website is far more of a marketing tool than a sales tool.  The difference in an important one to consider.

Firstly, every website should be designed with the business model of the company behind it in mind. There is no “one site fits all” website. If your business model resembles that of Expedia, then you are gearing for great volumes with little personal client interaction. In this scenario, a booking engine or supplier search engine makes sense and your website is indeed a sales tool.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

What do YOU want?

The question “What do you want” can sometimes be one of the most difficult to answer. It’s an odd psychological quirk we often find it far easier to say what we don’t want. Perhaps you have had one of these conversations:

“Where do you want to eat tonight?”
“I don’t know, it doesn’t matter to me.”
“How about Mexican?”
“No, anything but Mexican.”
“No, we had Greek last week.”
“OK, where do you want to eat?”
“I don’t know, it really doesn’t matter to me.”


What do you want for your travel practice?
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

It took a village to survive in the travel industry in 2021, and I am amazed by the smart and generous travel advisors who shared their stories with me throughout the year. In the final weeks of the year, I came across some amazing stories of teamwork and perseverance during the Dream Vacations/Cruise One conference.

Julie Vowell, Jodi Denney, Lisa Merutka and Barbara Linebarger, for example, have been pooling their resources since they met in 2016. They were brought together in their pj’s as a fire alarm went off in the hotel where they were staying during a training program, and have supported one another ever since. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

The headlines surrounding cruises of late have been anything but cheery. The latest gut punch: This week, the CDC advised that we should all avoid cruises, no matter if we’re vaccinated, boosted or masked up.

We’ll discuss the CDC’s advice in a post next week, including counter comments from one organization presenting a compelling argument that cruising is safer than almost any collective leisure activity you can do on land. We’ll also hear from two of our loyal subscribers who continue to cruise and suggest that we should no longer put our dreams on hold.

One is Dolf Dunn who, along with his wife Lannie, experienced something we had thought was not possible: the Christmas Markets on the Rhine. Read the rest of this entry »

Lilly Ajarova, the CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board, visited New York last week in preparation of Uganda’s rolling out of a rebranding campaign.

The slogan for the country will change from “Uganda, the Pearl of Africa” to “Exploring Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.”

It’s only one word changed, but as Mark Twain said, the difference of one word can be like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

More important than the change of slogan, the tourism department is changing its idea of how to market itself and to whom.

“We’ve been able to define who our audience is,” Lilly Ajarova told me. “We are looking for travelers, not just tourists, people who are more responsible, more mindful, and travel in a responsible way, as opposed to Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Ready for Another Bumpy Ride

Fasten your seatbelts travel professionals. You are about to play a major role in a New Year consisting of successes, failures, challenges, wins, losses, good ideas, bad ideas, and a whole bunch of “head-scratching” scenarios that are sure to upset your stomach. You can also get ready to do a lot of smiling. And I will be back to help you along the way in an attempt to keep you focused, motivated, and refining your own personal “happy dance.”

Similar to past articles I have been sharing, the next twelve months will consist of thought-provoking reminders you can identify with, and use to your benefit.

In the interest of time (your time), each week’s Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Trial and Error

“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.” ~ C.S. Lewis

If you have been in this business for more than a few years, you have your share of battle wounds.  Like the drunken companions on their tiny boat in the movie JAWS, old travel professionals love to compare their scars.  The problem with scars, of course, is they result from injury. We are all a bit ragged from the past two years, but what I’m thinking about now are the self-inflicted wounds we incur in day-to-day business.

We don’t have to insist on making every mistake ourselves.  Sure, those scars are pretty impressive, but mistakes can also be very expensive. There has to be a better way. In fact, there is.  Read the rest of this entry »