Monthly Archives: May 2023

Posted In: Top Headlines

Airplane travel theme with man using a laptop in a modern gray chair


Are you ready for a Shark Tank-like opportunity to present your business plan to top financial experts, get free professional feedback, and potentially win thousands of dollars in prizes?

The cruise line’s eight-part Your Winning Plan program will bring in experts in small business and entrepreneurship from the Small Business Administration, CLIA and ASTA, plus Carnival’s own business development team, to help you build a winning business plan you can then enter into a nationwide competition. If you make it to the finals, Shark Tank’s own Daymond John may just present you with the grand prize.

The event will take place live in seven cities (San Jose on June 23, Detroit and Las Vegas on July 7, Nashville on July 14, Denver on July 19, and Richmond, VA, on July 28) as well as virtually on August 5. The grand finale event will be held in Houston on Sept. 27.

One semi-finalist will be chosen at each event and receive a $2,500 prize to use toward implementing the winning business plans, plus a trip to the final event in Houston. The grand prize winner there will receive $5,000.

Any travel advisor in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico can register, at

Posted In: Top Headlines

World War 2 helmet on beach with United States flag in background


On dates ranging from March 17th to October 11th of 2024, Collette will be offering a special version of their ‘Memorials of World War II’ tour. The tour will focus on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, June 6th, 1944, during World War II.

The special tour will take the traveler through cities like London, where the traveler will learn about what is like during The Blitz and travel across the English Channel.

Also on the itinerary is France, specifically the first French town liberated from the Nazis, Saint-Mère-Église. While the tour ends in Paris, the city of light, with a dinner cruise along the Seine River.

And of course, a chance to experience the beaches of Normandy and honor the almost 9,000 Allied troop deaths when storming the shore.

“Throughout 2024, our travelers will have the opportunity to take this journey honoring the 80th anniversary of D-Day, traveling along the same paths as the nearly 160,000 Allied troops who battled for European freedom on June 6, 1944. The visit to Normandy is always an emotional one. It is such a moving experience to set foot on the same sand as so many heroes did that day.”, said Jaclyn Liebl-Cote Chief Customer Experience Officer at Collette.

Tour prices start at $3,499, and Collette says there are plenty of spots for travelers available.

Exploring the Upside of Free Publicity

If you are an honest, hard-working business professional who has more than a modicum of interest in helping others get through another challenging day, then I say it is your obligation to let us know you exist—and that you are here to help us. The secret is: You have to do something. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

In the super competitive travel industry, you must be more than average. You must shine like a diamond and blow your competition out of the water. Lucky for you, I’ve got some thoughts to help you do just that. Let’s dive in! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

It’s not a year to be shy about upselling, said virtually every supplier at the Avoya Travel Land Forum earlier this week. Travelers are eager to extend their land and sea vacations, and to try unique and upscale experiences. It’s up to their travel advisors to point them in the right direction—and that direction is up.

“We all want to increase the bottom line,” said Sandals senior regional sales manager Ian Braun. “Every conversation we are having we should be upselling, telling clients the things they should be doing on their next vacation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Capturing Lightning in a Bottle

Like many agents out there, after the pandemic I’m busier than ever with new and repeat business. It has doubled year after year and, 2023 is shaping up to double again. As a solo owner/operator, it took some trial and error to find my groove. I can’t point to one thing that moved the needle—it has been a combined approach from multiple angles. Here are some things that have helped me accelerate my multi-million-dollar business growth. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

As many travel agents view it, providing airline tickets isn’t a real business—it’s a giveaway. Since domestic tickets don’t pay commissions, they serve as loss leaders for compensation paid by cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and escorted tour providers. Selling Business Class and First-Class air tickets is a different matter due to the huge commissions paid, but they probably account for no more than 10-15 percent of the tickets that pay nothing.

The lack of financial incentives isn’t the only problem. Unless your business is large enough to justify a GDS, you spend much of your work life waiting on “hold” for airline service personnel, or listening to Sally explain why she can’t fly on Saturday or needs a window seat. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

Apple ID Goes Live in Four States

Detail from Apple shop in Tokyo, Japan. Apple is American multinational corporation founded at 1976 at Cupertino, California.


Wouldn’t it be nice to just wear your ID on your wrist as you go through the airport? Apple’s been working on it, and it’s live now in four states.

Apple users in Arizona have been carrying their driver’s licenses and state IDs in their Apple Wallets for a year now, passing through TSA checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with just a flick of their wrists. Since then, Maryland, Colorado and Georgia have come aboard—and the tech giant is working to add the other 46 to the list.

Each state has its own verification process, but the goal is to have a digital ID stored on your iPhone. Users just click on the ‘+’ sign in the Apple Wallet’s top right corner and follow the instructions. The system works on an iPhone 8 or newer.

TSA also is testing Delta Air Lines Biometric Facial Identification and GET Mobile Drivers Licenses, its website says ( The technology is available at 25 airports including Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

While users do not have to produce their physical driver’s licenses, the TSA still requires that travelers carry them.

Posted In: Top Headlines


A federal judge has ruled that American Airlines and JetBlue must end their Northeast Alliance because it is anti-competitive.

Formed in 2021, the partnership allows the two carriers to coordinate schedules, swap slots and share revenues at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports in the New York metropolitan area, and Logan Airport in Boston.

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin ruled in favor of the Justice Department, which had brought the suit in partnership with six states. Combining two of the four largest US airlines, the Northeast Alliance has decreased the number of flights at the four airports, and violates the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The Alliance “makes the two airlines partners, each having a substantial interest in the success of their joint and individual efforts, instead of vigorous, arms-length rivals regularly challenging each other in the marketplace of competition. Though the defendants claim their bigger-is-better collaboration will benefit the flying public, they produced minimal objectively credible proof to support that claim. Whatever the benefits to American and JetBlue of becoming more powerful—in the northeast generally, or in their shared rivalry with Delta—such benefits arise from a naked agreement not to compete with one another,” Judge Sorokin wrote in his decision.

The Boston Globe called the ruling “a major victory for the Biden administration, which has used aggressive enforcement of antitrust laws to fight against mergers and other arrangements between large corporations,” noting that an economist predicted it would cost consumers more than $700 million a year extra if American and JetBlue stopped competing in the Northeast.

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Finding Your Niche

Many travel professionals have told me recently they have decided to work on creating a specialized, niche segment for their travel practice. Developing and marketing a niche area of expertise is one of the best 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.

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. It is about segmenting your marketing efforts to focus on particular groups of people, however. Read the rest of this entry »

After reading the book by the title above, I find myself noticing a number of items that, yesterday, would have gone unnoticed and perhaps untouched. I figured if I was not going to complete the task at hand in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to do so. This has proven over time to be a wasteful decision.

The Kaizen philosophy goes against the popular teaching that you must finish what you start… at one sitting. Kaizen implies that you will eventually complete the task, but not as quickly as you first imagined. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

We sell travel. But so do dozens of websites and brick-and-mortar competitors. Get out of the mindset that you sell travel and begin to think like a marketer. You market travel. The sale is a byproduct. And with effective marketing, sales will follow. Look to Apple for proof. Somehow, they create enough marketing buzz to convince people to shell out $1000 every two years for a cell phone!  But travel is a bit different. Let’s explore the ten essential qualities that I think will allow you to stand heads and shoulders above the rest. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Courtest of Disney.


Just a year after its launch, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Walt Disney World in Orlando will make its final voyage.

The pricey attraction, where the minimum two-night stay costs nearly $5,000 per couple, will close on Sept. 28, Disney said.
Guests with reservations after that date will get priority switching to an earlier time, and new bookings for the remaining voyages will be paused until May 26.

“Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is one of our most creative projects ever and has been praised by our guests and recognized for setting a new bar for innovation and immersive entertainment,” Disney said in a statement. “This premium, boutique experience gave us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, we will take what we’ve learned to create future experiences that can reach more of our guests and fans.”

Opened in March 2022, the attraction offered an immersive Star Wars experience that included lightsaber training and blue shrimp, and thousands of loyal guests met up before and after their trips on Facebook pages.

But the high price tag kept the number of visitors below Disney’s expectations, and apparently put the hotel on the chopping block under new Disney CEO Bob Iger’s plan to reduce the company’s costs by $5.5 billion.

Posted In: The Rosen Report

I’ve been there on a Norwegian cruise; I’ve been there on a Globus coach tour. But when Lindblad Expeditions invited me on their 40th Anniversary sailing to Alaska, I knew I was in for a different kind of experience.

We sailed into the sunset on the National Geographic Venture, Lindblad’s partner since 2004, with about 80 intrepid explorers, most of them enthusiastic return guests. One lady was on her 30th cruise (and only tight finances had prevented more, she said), but most had sailed with Lindblad six or eight times before, to far-flung destinations around the globe. They promised we would experience good service, make friends with the crew, and be educated by the National Geographic scientists who trade their knowledge for free passage to remote locations. It’s a cooperative venture that works for everyone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

MSC Euribia, Carousel Lounge. Courtesy of MSC Cruises.


Underscoring its reach into the US market, MSC Group this week offered up details about the naming ceremony of MSC Euribia in Copenhagen, as well as the Owners Suite on Explora I, the first ship in its new Explora Journeys luxury division.

Sporting “the most energy-efficient cruise ship design ever,” MSC Euribia, is powered by LNG and features state-of-the-art environmental technologies including advanced onboard wastewater treatment systems, waste management handling, energy efficiency measures, and innovative underwater radiated noise management systems to reduce the potential impact on the marine environment.

As always at MSC namings, Sophia Loren will serve as godmother. Euribia then will sail 7-night itineraries in Northern Europe, from Kiel, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark to the Norwegian Fjords.

New elements on the ship include the new Le Grill “French bistro meets steakhouse” restaurant; a reinvented Carousel Lounge designed to offer more panoramic ocean views; and a brand-new kids area and program of activities dedicated to educating children and teenagers on environmental subjects in the MSC Foundation Lab.

For guests looking for a more luxurious experience, MSC Group’s new Explora Journeys brand unveiled details of the 3,000-square-foot Owner’s Residence on its first ship, Explora I.

Guests there can lounge on a private outdoor terrace that extends over the full width of the ship, sip champagne in their own infinity whirlpool, or dine in private at a table for eight. They will also have unlimited priority reservations for all culinary venues and a complimentary treatment at Ocean Wellness – The Spa.

The suite includes private butler service, a Technogym Bench and Case Kit, a private bar replenished according to their preferences, unlimited priority reservations for all culinary venues, a double vanity bathroom made of Calacatta marble and other “incredible details that create an elegant, yet effortlessly relaxed European sense of luxury,” said Explora Journeys Head of Product Jason Gelineau.

The Residence is available for parties of three adults or two adults and one child under 18 years old.

While in Cape Town, I had the good fortune of attending the currently featured exhibit at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Africa Art, and was blown away. It was something the Cape Town wind had almost accomplished on its own, but the museum finished the job.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

Porto: More Than Wine

Porto is a vibrant city located in northern Portugal on the banks of the Douro River. Known for its delicious wine, stunning architecture and rich history, Porto is a fascinating destination that offers something for everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the top things to do in Porto, Portugal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Gatherings

Path Logo

San Juan, Puerto Rico – In the ever-evolving landscape of the travel industry, the notion of a Host Agency has undergone significant growth, leading to the emergence of various business models that have caused confusion regarding its true definition. Recognizing the need for clarity and standardization, the Professionals Association of Travel Hosts (PATH) was established to set operating standards and ensure strict adherence among its members. For travel agent professionals seeking excellence in host agencies, the gold standard can be easily found within the list of PATH members. Read the rest of this entry »

Become More Likeable

When I was offered the opportunity to share some of my sales and marketing information with the readers of TRO, I jumped at the chance. According to me, I have a lot I want to share. You probably already know I look at marketing and sales through my own personal lens. The older I get, which means the more experienced I get, the easier this “selling thing” gets. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

I hate when that happens!  Last week, I listened to a podcast and they were trying to figure out if business travel would ever return to its heyday. I went to look for a link and came up blank. But I am forging ahead with some thoughts on replacing some lost corporate travel with meetings and incentives.

Today, we delve into just some benefits that can be reaped in this potentially very lucrative niche! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Sitting Still?

Like a shark, you know you have to keep moving forward. In business, there is no such thing as sitting still. Clients come and go. Destinations rise and fall in popularity and demand. There is always something new on the horizon. In fact, if your business is not growing, chances are pretty good you are losing ground. No time for sitting still.

Is it too early to talk about 2024? I don’t think so if you are headed in that direction. Here are five ways to keep both you and your travel practice growing and even thriving. Read the rest of this entry »