Monthly Archives: August 2022

Posted In: Top Headlines

Japan More Than Doubles Daily Visitor Limit

Mount Fuji and Chureito Pagoda at sunrise in autumn, Japan.

Beginning Sept. 7th, Japan will double its maximum number of daily visitors to 50,000. This announcement also comes with the allowance of non-guided package tours, both a huge reversal in COVID-19 restrictions.

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Posted In: Top Headlines

With the Philippines opening its borders to international tourists since February of 2022, the tropical paradise is looking to spread the word. Now, the wholesale tour operator Avanti Destinations and the Philippine Department of Tourism have collaborated in the creation of an e-brochure for travel advisors.

The new brochure includes eight destinations within the Philippines, along with two customizable Avanti vacations, six private sightseeing tours, and 15 four-star hotels and resorts.

The e-brochure, The Philippines: Pearl of the Orient Sea, is available here.

Paul Barry, CEO of Avanti Destinations, had this say, “If your clients are looking for a tropical paradise with friendly local people, it’s hard to top the Philippines.”

He continued, “There are so many eco-adventures to be had: snorkeling, scuba diving, world-class surfing, volcano-trekking, parasailing, wildlife-spotting, swimming with the world’s largest fish – the list goes on and on. We have several unique private tours and experiences, like a visit to the indigenous Aetas people or a foodie tour of Manila’s Chinatown, that can be added to any custom itinerary. We are pleased to be partnering with the Department of Tourism on this campaign to show travel advisors the many possibilities.”

The webinar for more details on the collaboration will be held on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 1 pm EST—click here to register for the webinar.

Posted In: Soundings

NCL Prima Inaugural

“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am,” the song goes. “It’s so hard to keep the smile from my face.” Ok it’s not a Katy Perry song, but that’s how we all were feeling, I think, aboard the elegant new Norwegian Prima in Reykjavik Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Most of us have had the experience of purchasing an automobile from a car dealership. There are certainly many, many aspects of the experience that are good examples of bad examples for anyone seeking to learn something about sales. Too often, the “come-on” is too strong and the salesperson inauthentic. What is most obvious, typically, is that the salesperson on a car lot is all about the transaction, and your needs are secondary.


Car dealers know how to get you to relate to their product and to find your emotional connection to the vehicle. Let’s go for a test drive. Read the rest of this entry »

There are a couple of numbers I would like you to get comfortable with. More than just “comfortable,” I want you to embed these numbers in your brain and consistently endorse their implications.


Once you internalize the significance of these three numbers, you will launch yourself to the head of the selling profession. The good news is that your competition does not have a clue as to the significance or meaning of these three numbers. This, in and of itself, will differentiate you favorably from the pack.

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Posted In: Editorial Musings

Is your number one hobby travel?  Or is running a travel agency your number one hobby?  There is a difference, and if the latter, listen up. Stop it! The days of a hobby agency are long gone, along with the lengthy IATAN lists that looked more like a neighborhood directory. As we move through 2022 and beyond, it is imperative that we run our businesses professionally. And yes, that sometimes means that we need to spend a buck or two.

Stop being so cheap! Remember, to make money, you need to spend some! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

MSC Seascape Prepares for December Debut


MSC Seascape

Just four months away from its scheduled inaugural cruise, MSC Seaside has successfully completed a four-day sea trial and is on schedule for its Manhattan debut in December. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Viking Osiris

Photo: Viking

With one ship already sailing the Nile and two more under construction, Viking this week celebrated the naming of its newest river ship, the Viking Osiris, in Luxor, Egypt. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

front neon signs of radio city music hall

The New York City-based destination management company Beyond Times Square has added a new experience to their 2022 luxury catalog, VIP Radio City Roxy Suite Reception & Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes.

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Posted In: Deck Plans tells us it’s raining right now in Kaub, Germany. That’s good news for the German town in the picturesque Rhine Gorge. The Rhine is set to rise too, approaching 50 centimeters at the Kaub marker, after having dropped to 30 centimeters earlier this week. The low water levels disrupted most, but not all, river cruises.

Both Riviera and CroisiEurope have continued to sail through the Rhine Gorge without interruption. “On the Rhine, we’ve continued to operate our two main programs:  Amsterdam-Basel and Strasbourg-Remich,” says Michael DaCosta, general manager, North America for Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope. “There has been some rain this week, which helps a lot.  We’re lucky that we have relatively small ships, designed with low water levels in mind.”

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Posted In: The Rosen Report

Susan Shure is tired of suppliers who keep clients’ payments but refuse to pay her commission. So she’s paying no attention to the many notices she has received from Carnival Cruise Lines asking her to return $200 commission paid her on a cruise that was subsequently canceled.

“It’s not very much,” concedes the owner of Susan Shure Travel, “but it’s the principle of the thing. I’m ignoring them.”

It’s not just Carnival, of course. “This has affected me personally more times than I care to count—and what makes it even more frustrating is that it has happened repeatedly during Covid, when we already aren’t making as much. It has to stop. If the suppliers are keeping money, then we should be getting some of that.”

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Posted In: Soundings

Home Tests OK, Say RCCL and Celebrity

Covid Test

It’s an honor system now onboard the mainstream cruise lines, as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity move to allow guests to board based on unmonitored home tests. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Once the capital of a sprawling empire, Rome has persisted through the ages as a spectacle of awe. From the Colosseum, once a place that embodied this very spectacle, to the intricate stonework of the Trevi Fountain, to the immaculately maintained Pantheon—Rome is full of sights to behold. This classically romantic city has much to offer, even in the winter when the crowds have thinned out and the heat of a humid summer has subsided.

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Posted In: Spotlight

Windstar ship sailing on sea
Windstar’s Star Breeze

Windstar Cruises, recognized for luxury ships that can reach where larger ships cannot, announced Arabia an addition to their upcoming 2023/2024 schedule. This is the first time Windstar has offered cruise itineraries to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

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Posted In: Outposts

Vail Readies for Ski Season

Vail, Colorado, USA Drone Village Skyline Aerial

There’s already snow in Colorado—and for Vail Resorts, that means plans for the 2022 ski season are already underway. On Monday, the company announced opening dates, as well as a new cap that will limit the number of walk-up daily lift tickets every day at every one of its 37 North America ski resorts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

According to a recent article in Forbes, “travel protection” was originally offered by cruise lines and other travel organizations as self-funded trip cancellation protection that paid the cancellation penalties if a client canceled a trip. It was sold through travel advisors and the travel organization’s own telephone reps for a modest price.

The idea was simple: If a cruise line booked a stateroom for a client who later wanted to cancel, they could cancel and receive a full cash refund or credit—if they had purchased the Trip Protection Option. This was a low risk to the cruise line, since the stateroom could be resold to another passenger. It was an easy sell for travel advisors and paid a low commission.

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Posted In: Departures

How Inflation Influences Tourism and Travel

Graphic depicting staycations

The last three years have been a difficult time for the tourism sector. Strong and unexpected hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest due to the Russian aggression toward Ukraine, and the outbreak of inflation in almost all Western countries have the strongest impact on travel and tourism businesses. Most experts from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) claim that the sector won’t fully recover until 2024. Read the rest of this entry »

This sales strategy may be as old as the hills themselves; but like the hills, they are always there and you can always count on them being there.

The Two-Step may be seasoned, but it will still work and makes complete sense. Here is how it works:

It is easier to answer the phone, answer the door or answer a question than it is being the caller, ringer, or the one asking the questions. Why? Because once you manage to get people to “come to you,” you can make them glad that they took the time to do so.

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Posted In: Editorial Musings

The old axiom is true…time is money. And it is SO true in the travel industry. If you have not analyzed your cost per transaction, shame on you; and go do it soon. You will be surprised at how many sales you handle that earn a pittance, or worse, a loss. Clients have a way of wasting your time and costing you money if you let them. Here are four of the worst offenders! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

What Travel Advisors Can Learn from Yoga Studios

I am a yoga convert. Let me first tell you that my 65-year-old  body so strenuously objects to yoga that at times I resemble a trauma victim more than a practitioner. I know I am making progress by the simple fact that fewer people at each session ask me the question “Are you OK?” But your local yoga studio has something to teach travel professionals that perhaps we should examine.

Yoga stresses the value of practice to both body and soul. Yes, stretching is great exercise. By performing yoga on a regular basis, the dedicated student becomes more limber, less susceptible to muscle strains, and to the perils of everyday movements. By diligently practicing yoga, a student can gain strength and flexibility and can even lose weight.

But there is more. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

Princess Sky cruise ship on sunny day with blue sky

What’s a cruise line to do when it has a few empty suites lying around? Like many others, Princess is trying out a new program that offers them to the highest bidder—and pays commission to travel advisors too. Read the rest of this entry »