Author Archives: David Cogswell
There are 95 articles by David Cogswell published on this site.
Avanti Destinations named Tenerife as a new destination on its roster of places where it provides components for independent vacation packages. It’s the first new destination Avanti has added for a while. Adding destinations was not a big trend during the Covid lockdown, or even now while the industry is re-tooling and getting back on its feet. Avanti’s last introduction of a major destination was Abu Dhabi in June 2022.Read the rest of this entry »
Life At Sea Cruises, a spin-off of the 30-year old Miray Cruises, introduced a three-year cruise around the world for $30,000 a year. The ship for the voyage will be the MV Gemini, with 400 cabins and a capacity of 1,074 passengers. It will depart Nov. 1 from Istanbul and travel 130,000 miles, visiting 375 ports in 135 countries on seven continents. The stops include 103 tropical islands. More than 200 of the port stops will be overnight stays. The company is now taking bookings.Read the rest of this entry »
I spoke last week to Jennifer Tombaugh, president of Tauck, the global tour and cruise operator. She’d just returned from Morocco, where she was attending the company’s annual tour directors meeting. That’s where Tauck pulls together its directors of tours, river cruises, and small-ship ocean voyages around the world. If you’ve ever experienced the gentle dynamism of a tour director in action, you can well imagine the sparks that were flying through the atmosphere in that exotic setting where Tauck had brought together hundreds of them for a conference.Read the rest of this entry »
TourRadar, a company that aggregates 2,500 international adventure operators offering 50,000 tour products on a single booking platform, has made its network of operators commissionable to the retail travel community. The company is offering 12 percent commission till June 30 as part of its efforts to invite potential travel advisor partners to its network.Read the rest of this entry »
For me, it took some longevity to learn to really appreciate geology. When I was in school, geology textbooks were pretty dull-looking. Someone gave me a rock collection with rocks glued to a posterboard, each one identified with the name of the type of rock: granite, pyrite, or sandstone. One of them was an amethyst, a purple gemstone, rough and uncut, as it looked when it was dug from the earth, shaped like a tiny crystalline rocket. I found them fascinating but that was about the extent of my appreciation of geology at that time.Read the rest of this entry »
When I am asked “What’s your favorite trip of all you’ve ever taken?” I am dumbfounded. But one that floats quickly to the surface of my mind, as one of the best trips ever, was a cruise on the Amazon River.
I had always wanted to see the jungle. From watching movies as a kid, I had thought of the jungle as being in Africa. When I went on safari to see the Great Migration in East Africa, the environment I found myself in was not a jungle at all. It was the high plains, the African savanna, which means “treeless plains.”Read the rest of this entry »
Last week I spoke to Carol Dimopoulos, the founder and CEO of Learning Journeys, about the term “regenerative travel.” There’s another term she prefers when speaking about the Learning Journeys style of delivering service. She calls it “restorative travel.”
Learning Journeys offers “Journeys of Transformation,” educational experiences that take place while traveling to special destinations. The programs are based on specific interests, such as photography, wildlife, arts and crafts, dance, music or gastronomy, and include encounters with various kinds of experts and teachers.Read the rest of this entry »
Attention travel advisors! The latest threat of extinction is from artificial intelligence: AI chatbots are now predicted to take the place of travel advisors. This buzz was raised to a roar last Nov. 30, when OpenAI released to the public its ChatGPT, a technology that can carry on chats that seem uncannily human, and can answer questions on a wide range of subjects. OpenAI released ChatGPT to the public as part of its research and data collection, sort of crowd-sourcing its research and development.Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a new catchphrase going around now: Regenerative Travel. The New York Times baptized the new phrase last August, in a story called: Move Over, Sustainable Travel. Regenerative Travel Has Arrived.
The subhead asks the question: “Can a post-vaccine return to travel be smarter and greener than it was before March 2020?”Read the rest of this entry »
Croatia has been approved to join the Schengen area, becoming the 27th country to become part of the world’s largest free-travel area. The decision was finalized at a Dec. 8 meeting of the Ministers of Internal Affairs and Justice of the EU member states. The change will take place officially on Jan. 1, 2023.
The tour operators I’ve spoken to about this tell me the change is not expected to have much impact immediately, or directly, on American travelers. The US and Canada are already visa-free nations for entry into Croatia. But there are some good possibilities for positive long-term effects.Read the rest of this entry »
At the USTOA Annual Conference and Marketplace in Austin in late November, I had the good fortune of running into Scott Nisbet, the CEO of the Globus Family of Brands.
As head of one of the most global of all tour operators, Scott Nisbet is a good person to talk to for reading what is happening in the global travel industry. The Globus Family of brands includes Globus escorted tours, Cosmos budget priced tours, Monograms independent tour packages, and Avalon Waterways river cruises. It’s about as broad a selection of travel products as is offered by any company anywhere. Based in Lugano, Switzerland, the company’s reach spreads around the world and touches every aspect of the travel business that is part of a tour, and that’s practically everything. The company offers programs on six continents and sixty-five countries.Read the rest of this entry »
One of the reasons many attendees consider the USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace the best travel conference of the year is because the tour operator members send their top people to the conference. It creates opportunities for unparalleled access to the heaviest movers and shakers of the tour industry. Because the tour segment connects and aggregates the products of all the other segments of the travel industry, the USTOA conference is a central connecting point for the entire global travel industry.Read the rest of this entry »
Perillo Tours, the company that has been known as “synonymous with Italy” for three generations of family ownership, is debuting a new tour program for Greece for 2023, and Steve Perillo, the company president, says the tour is flying off the shelf.
“This was not the big year,” he told me. “Next year is the big year. We’re seeing a gigantic wave. We’re about half sold out. Usually, you start selling in January. Prices are up, and nobody cares.”Read the rest of this entry »
The Election is over. Hallelujah!
Election years are well known to be bad for markets, because they introduce an element of uncertainty, and markets don’t like uncertainty.
The midterm of a president’s first term is particularly troublesome. According to Jeff Sommer, in the New York Times, “Numbers going back more than a century show that the second year has generally been the weakest for the stock market in a president’s term.”Read the rest of this entry »
Though the world has taken on appearances that closely resemble the pre-Covid world, I am often reminded by events that the world has changed a lot more during the Covid period than we yet realize. It will take some time to sort out the changes, and the effects both good and bad. On the good side, travel is back. But like everything else, it’s changed.
The constraints imposed by Covid accelerated many trends: the trend toward remote working and meetings, toward more concern by consumers about sustainability, and toward making airports safer from disease. Many other trends were also accelerated.Read the rest of this entry »
Anything that happened before 2020, when COVID-19 knocked the world out of its orbit and made us all start over, is now ancient history.
For Collette, the Pawtucket, R.I.-based operator of guided tours worldwide, 2018 was its centennial year and marked a century since it was founded. Collette holds the title of America’s oldest existing tour operator.Read the rest of this entry »
After Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, announced her plan for tax cuts, the value of the country’s currency plunged. Now the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the British pound is outrageously good for American travelers. The dollar is now worth about £.90. That’s almost one for one. Considering that the pound was worth around two dollars as recently as the 2006-2008 period, that means the dollar has more buying power now in Britain than at almost any time in memory.Read the rest of this entry »
On Sept. 17, Dwight James, CEO of Delta Vacations, the airline’s vacation packaging operation, addressed the gathering of travel advisors at the Delta Vacations University in Atlanta about durable growth.
The agents had come to the event Sept. 17-18 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, at their own expense, to attend a learning conference built around a program of seminars and a trade show. The seminars were packed with specific information designed to enable them to operate their retail travel businesses more effectively and profitably.Read the rest of this entry »
Bruce Hodge, an Australian who met his South African wife in Europe, settled in Canada, and started a global tour operation in 1970, was not about to sit around twiddling his thumbs when the COVID lockdown paralyzed the travel industry. For Bruce, it was a chance to launch Goway 2.0.
“Goway 2.0 was Bruce’s vision of re-engineering the business from top to bottom,” said Craig Canvin, Goway’s senior vice president, in a conversation last week.
“Bruce’s plans for growth of the company are exceptional,” said Canvin. “It’s hard to keep up with them.”
The summer of 2021 tied with 1936 as the hottest summer in the 148 years records have been kept. This summer of 2022 hasn’t been quite as hot overall. It’s only the third hottest in history, but it’s had the hottest nights in US history, and multiple heat records set across the country. Climate is only one of ways the world is changing at a head-spinning rate. And it’s only one of the reasons to re-examine the conventional ways of looking at seasonality in travel.
Right now, as people are finally breaking free of the restraints of COVID, overcrowding at tourism sites has re-emerged as an issue to consider when making travel plans. This is a good time to consider traveling outside the historic summer vacation period.Read the rest of this entry »
“The Great Resignation” seems to have given way to “Quiet Quitting” at the worldwide virtual water cooler. It’s creating quite a stir, and a backlash too; but it doesn’t seem to me to boil down to anything too alarming. It’s got to be one of the worst slogans since “Defund the Police” or “Defund the FBI” in that it’s provocative, but doesn’t clearly communicate an idea. Such are the times.
The Wall Street Journal recently wrote that “What started as a quiet movement among office workers looking to draw firmer work-life boundaries after two years of pandemic overtime has grown into a rallying cry.” Getting out of hand, is it?
It was a post on LinkedIn that first drew my attention to Quiet Quitting. It was an article on the Moneywatch segment on CBS News, and it did not take a neutral stance. It sounded like someone was a little rattled by this new thing.Read the rest of this entry »