Author Archives: Cindy Bertram

There are 9 articles by Cindy Bertram published on this site.


We all have our dream destinations to experience, whether it’s a magical place providing escapism, or ones that have historical, domestic, or international touches. Cindy shares the inside track to travel and cruising with fun tips and current “insider” information, Cindy’s 15+ years expertise in the industry includes extensive online writing, marketing, and yes, traveling as well as her uncanny ability of building genuine long term relationships with top industry executives and leaders over the years.

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Today businesses focus not on just being found, but also making sure their products and services are purchased and used. And not just the one time, but again and again. In the travel industry, we are more than just a service because we help our clients create memories of a lifetime. As a result of social media, there are numerous, diverse channels that can be used to market what we do. Getting clients to continue to book through us again and again really gets down to building that successful client relationship, and where personalization is the key. Read the rest of this entry »

Building stellar client relationships

Today it’s not just about finding clients, but keeping them. Having done sales over the years myself, I know it can be challenging. It really gets back to what’s at the core of any successful business, especially travel. We need to build a relationship with our potential clients, focusing on them and their needs. After that first sale comes in, the ongoing relationship building has to continue. It doesn’t end after that first sale. Getting these clients to rely on us, view us as the travel experts, and use our expertise is really at the core of building that stellar relationship. We need to keep ourselves in the picture.

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Steering your business

As kids, we were often asked, “So what do you want to be when you grow up?” Back then, a pretty clear picture usually came up – doctor, nurse, teacher, pilot, accountant, or maybe a designer, mechanic, or artist. What you wanted to do back then, versus what you wound up doing in your career undoubtedly changed a bit. Today when we go to professional networking and social events, we’re always asked, “So what do you do?” The 30-second elevator pitch is expected. Although I’ve tweaked it, I silently think, “But I do more than that! I wear multiple hats!” As travel professionals, how do we successfully steer and grow our businesses while having to wear all those different hats? Read the rest of this entry »

The need to be visible

Last fall when I reached out to a savvy cruise line executive for some input and help, he said, “Cindy, you need to be more visible to be found, and not be a hidden gem.”  It was a great tip, and I’ve reworked my own strategy, along with implementing new tactics to hit my key target and goal. 

As the landscape of travel industry continues to change and evolve, the growth of the home-based travel professional has become a viable one. Storefront retail travel agencies still exist, and with that can bring more immediate visibility. In the case of home-based professionals, ways to be visible in order to build ongoing clients and get referrals requires more tactics, but ones that can be implemented using diverse strategies. Read the rest of this entry »

A recipe for success– value with bundling

Thinking back a few decades ago, one of the main products retail travel agencies sold was airline tickets. And the other products sold from tours, hotel packages, and cruises added to the revenue stream that complemented airline sales. But with commission cuts and changes, the retail travel industry has evolved. And today the travel professional role has evolved into one more of specialization. Yes, we’ve become more than just being an “order taker,” and where we really provide value! Filling in the gaps and needs of our clients by joining those services and products together – in effect, bundling. Read the rest of this entry »

How to be found and build clients

Regardless of what you sell, one of the ongoing challenges running any business today is first being found. Getting potential clients “in the door” and then turning them into clients who purchase products using our professional services and expertise is the next critical step. In the case of travel agent professionals, once we get that first sale and get the booking in, the next step is getting those clients to come back and continue booking through us. What’s the best way to be found and build your clientele? Read the rest of this entry »

Sell more by listening more

I used to always cringe when people would say, “Oh, so you’re in sales?”   The first image that came to my mind was the used car salesperson stereotype. I’d tell myself, “I’m not in sales. I build relationships and then the sales will evolve.” But one thing I’ve learned? The best way to create amazing experiences for our clients is to become a better listener. Read the rest of this entry »

Joe Maloney is currently the Vice President of US Sales and Marketing for Scenic Cruises. He comes with a strong background in sales and marketing and served as VP of Customer Engagement at The Travel Corp, championing the very successful development of Data Governance, CRM Development, and CRM Adoption across all of the company’s brands on a global basis. Joe previously was VP of National Accounts and CRM at Insight Vacations (a division of The Travel Corp) and, prior to Insight, was the VP of Sales for its sister company, Trafalgar.

TRO: Scenic Cruises’ parent company, Australian based Scenic Tours, has been around for several years. How did the idea come about to start Scenic Cruises?

J.M.: Scenic Tours is based in Sydney, Australia and has been serving clients on worldwide tours for almost 30 years.  The company is owned by Glen Moroney, who started with a few local tours and then grew it into one of the world’s largest luxury tour operators. Scenic had tested river cruises with clients by chartering some ships and then decided to build their own river cruise ships. A new chapter for Scenic Tours began in 2008 with the launch of Scenic Cruises and our exclusive Scenic “Space-Ships” in Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc., has been a popular and well-respected figure in the cruise industry for more than 40 years and involved in the travel industry for 43 years. After holding key positions at Costa Cruises and Chandris Cruises, Sasso joined the senior management team that launched Celebrity Cruises in 1990. He served as president of that line from 1995 to 2001 and was instrumental in establishing it as a top premium cruise line. Sasso was named president and chief executive officer of MSC Cruises USA in April 2004 and has been charged with establishing a strong position for MSC Cruises in the North American market with a cruise experience that truly reflects the heart and soul of Italy.   Read the rest of this entry »