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Posted In: Publishers Corner

Find Your Niche

One way top travel agents stand out from the crowd is to develop a niche area of practice. Though we hear the advice to specialize,  the concept of niche marketing is often misunderstood. 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, but rather about segmenting your marketing efforts to focus on particular groups of people.  Many travel consultants avoid it as a concept out of fear of having to turn away business outside the chosen niche or being too closely identified with the niche. Properly executed, however, niche marketing is a terrific way of locating and marketing to a group of potential clients in a highly effective and cost-efficient manner. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Crossings

Seven Sea Mariner

(Photo credit: Regent Seven Seas Cruises)

For the fourth year running, Regent Seven Seas Cruises® has sold out its world cruise in record time, with the sailing being completely reserved prior to officially opening for bookings on June 15, 2022. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

A350-900_RR_FBU_V03

If you’re looking to fly to Paris on a brand-new airplane at a fair price, French bee might just have a seat for you. The little sister of Air Caraïbes has been flying a fleet of Airbus A350s since 2018; last month it added LA and this week it begin selling tickets to Miami, for flights beginning in December. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

AmaDahlia_Exterior_New_Rendering

AmaWaterways announced it will launch a second Nile cruise ship in Egypt. The new ship, a sister to AmaWaterways’ AmaDalia, is scheduled to set sail in 2024. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Postcards From The Rhone

Britton and her grandmother are cruising the Rhone on Emerald Liberte. They are guests of Emerald Cruisers for the purposes of this review. Britton has been sending updates of her trip as they cruise along. She’ll have a more detailed report when she returns home.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

WELCOME ABOARD

Day one of the journey. How exciting! I have to admit, the airport was not easy. This is a busy time of year, and it is normal to expect delays and cancelations. In fact, some of our fellow passengers didn’t make it to the boat until late in the evening, and some even arrived the following day. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

Part 1 of a 2-part series on staffing. If you have a tale to share for Part 2 about where and how you have found new staffers, email Cheryl at crosentravel@gmail.com.

From Cheesecake Factory to Starbucks, across cruise lines and hotel chains, every US business suddenly seems to be overbooked and looking everywhere for potential new hires. And travel agencies are no exception.

The phones are ringing and the long wait times on hold with suppliers eat up precious hours of travel advisors’ days. On top of that, many are calling in sick as Covid takes one more swipe at the travel industry, and many more are out of the office on their own long-postponed vacations, at training sessions they have put off for months or years, or on one of the abundant number of fam trips offered up when things were slow.

“Staffing is the number-one issue everywhere,” says Alex Sharpe, and the biggest concern of the attendees at Signature Travel Network’s quarterly Owners Meeting in New Jersey last month. “And hiring is the #1 opportunity Read the rest of this entry »

Cuba Policy Changes: It’s All About Perception

Some good news for travel to Cuba came last Wednesday, June 8. About three weeks after the Biden announced that it was pulling back some of the Trump-era restrictions on travel to Cuba, the government has clarified what those policy changes will consist of. The good news is that People to People travel is back.

The details of the regulatory structure were released by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the part of the United States Treasury Department that regulates what money can be spent by Americans in Cuba under the terms of the United States embargo.

The May 16 press release from the Biden administration established that the United States would again allow some fights to airports other than Havana, and would reinstate educational travel, but did not yet reinstate the “People to People” program. Tour operators would have to watch for OFAC to release the memo to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Just a few days after the United States dropped its testing requirement for inbound travelers, Mandee Migliaccio at Stepping Out Travel Services in New Jersey already has booked a client who called to say, “finally I feel like I can travel freely”—and is off to Italy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

If the pandemic had done nothing else in the past few years, it has convinced travel advisors and guests to buy travel insurance. The thought of being stranded in a foreign hospital, or quarantine facility, and possibly being prohibited from flying home on a scheduled airline has made nearly everyone a believer. It has convinced nearly everyone they need a travel insurance policy that treats COVID-19 as “any other illness or accident.”

Some guests are signing up for CFAR (Cancel for Any Reason) travel insurance that entitles guests to a refund for almost any reason. CFAR policies are often 30-40 percent more expensive than other policies offering the same benefits, and some only pay off in credits for a future trip. Also, some apply a percentage deduction against the refunds the guests claim. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Press Releases

Goway Launches GowayPro Travel Academy

GowayPro Travel Academy Logo

Goway has launched the GowayPro Travel Academy in order to help travel professionals expand their destination knowledge and level up their business.

The GowayPro Travel Academy features fun and inspirational training modules on over 22 destinations (at launch) across all seven continents. Subscribers can take individual country courses and learn key information on its nature, culture, and history, as well as its main tourist attractions and selling points. Travel professionals will also acquire expert insights into various travel styles and strategies for securing repeat bookings. It offers practical travel knowledge in a fun and easy-to-understand package.

After completing an individual country course, subscribers earn a Bronze specialist status for that country, which includes email badges and electronic certificates. Subscribers can upgrade their status to Silver, Gold, and Platinum by expanding their knowledge of travel regions and entire continents. In addition to earning Goway-certified specialist status, subscribers also gain access to bonus rewards on their GowayPro Rewards Card, as well as exclusive benefits, including VIP invitations to FAMs and discounted personal travel. The GowayPro Travel Academy is run by “Professor Goway” Don Forster, and is supported by Goway’s extensive network of Account Managers and Destination Specialists.

“Goway has spent the past few years creating an innovative and comprehensive travel educational platform,” says Renee Stanton, Director of Sales at Goway. “By taking advantage of our over 50 years of experience in designing customized FIT itineraries on all seven continents, and channelling all that knowledge into informative and interactive video modules, we think we have found a fun and inspirational way to pass on pertinent and valuable expert information and tips. We believe knowledge is power and are committed to making travel professionals’ lives easier through industry-leading training and sales assistance. The GowayPro Travel Academy is another tangible way that Goway is helping travel professionals grow their business and secure repeat customers.”

It’s time for travel professionals to level up their travel knowledge. With the GowayPro Travel Academy, the more they learn, the more they earn. An individual membership to the GowayPro Travel Academy is valued at $49.99 per month or $499 per year. However, Goway’s preferred partners can enjoy complimentary subscriptions as an introductory special.

Travel professionals can visit our enrollment page to subscribe to the GowayPro Travel Academy. They can also register for an informational webinar on July 7th. Attendees will be entered into a draw to win a 2-night stay at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali in Hawaii.

To learn more about the GowayPro Travel Academy, email academy@goway.com.

I spotted the following in a popular e-zine I like to read.

Word count for this issue: 888

Approximate time to read: Just over 3 minutes

Why bother spelling out the length of an article you ask? There is a very good reason for doing this. It is a small courtesy that supports one of my sales lessons which implies that it is smart to let people know what they are in for.

In this case, 888 words tells me how much effort I need to invest if I decide to read this information Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

It happens to us all. Writer’s block. It hit me hard this week. But that changed last night after a conversation (read argument) with my girlfriend. We were at dinner talking about something and needed to Google it. Out came her phone and some frustrations about not being able to find something. I suggested putting a minus sign and an excluded word would help. She had no idea. And then it hit me. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Stranger in a strange(r) land

I love airports, and I missed them for the last two years. I’m serious.   I still have a kid-like fascination with the very concept of an airport.  The moving walkways, the arrival and departure boards, airplanes taking off outside of the windows. You walk through a door in Seattle, and you walk out a door in Bangkok.

And still, there are people who don’t believe in magic. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Crossings

CDC Logo

After unrelenting pressure from travel industry organizations and trade groups, the Biden administration on Friday decided to lift the inbound testing mandate that has been in place since January 2021. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Press Releases

AbuDhabi Camel-Trekking

Wholesale tour operator Avanti Destinations has teamed with Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism [DCT] to educate and inspire advisors and their clients on customized independent and group travel to Abu Dhabi City, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

It has been a dream of mine to take my grandmother, GG, on a river cruise for quite some time. My dreams were put on hold as an array of scheduling issues and a little thing called COVID plagued the travel industry. After months of planning, I was able to deliver the most exciting news to my grandmother in March: “GG! We’re going to Germany.”

The plan was simple. GG and I would fly to Frankfurt to experience one of Emerald Cruises’ Moselle river cruises. I was excited to cruise the Moselle, as it has been dubbed Europe’s most beautiful river by my father. Unfortunately, the trip wasn’t as easy to execute as I had initially thought…

Not minutes after I hung up the phone inviting GG to join me in Germany, she started packing her bags. My grandmother is a very prepared woman. Some joke that I was born with a clipboard in my hand. If that’s the case, then GG was born with a daily planner, calendar, checklists (yes, more than one), a rolodex, an Excel Spreadsheet, and a filing cabinet in hers Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

On Zoom with Christine Duffy—In advance of Carnival Celebration’s November debut in Miami, Carnival president Christine Duffy on Wednesday hosted her first-ever virtual press conference to introduce the newest element of this newest ship: The Gateway.

The two-story promenade will offer food, fun, and a dozen 10-foot-high virtual windows that can show anything from the ocean waves outside to Santa’s reindeer passing by in the midnight sky.

Located on Celebration’s decks six and seven, in the space occupied by the French Quarter on sister ship Mardi Gras, The Gateway will also feature a new Latitudes bar and a new Emeril Lagasse restaurant.

Emeril’s Bistro 1397, named for the Celebration’s hull number in the shipyard in Finland where it was built, will be home to a new vision Read the rest of this entry »

High on the Planet with Lindblad Expeditions

I had the good fortune of traveling to the Arctic Circle with Lindblad Expeditions in April aboard the operator’s newest ship, the National Geographic Resolution. The trip was entitled “Spring in Svalbard,” and it was mind-blowing on many levels. Sven Lindblad, founder and chairman of the company, was on board as a special guest.

The National Geographic Resolution is Lindblad’s 10th ship. Because the company had the opportunity to build it from scratch, the company could bring its decades of experience operating expedition cruises to the design. The process actually took place with Lindblad’s ninth ship, the National Geographic Endurance. The Resolution is its identical sister.

The Resolution was christened last October and sailed the Antarctic during the austral summer of ’20-21. At the end of the Antarctic season, it was moved to the Arctic. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

Holland America Cruise Ship Leaving Fort Lauderdale

Concerned about Covid quarantines on cruise ships, Jeff Farschman has fallen behind his usual schedule on Holland America, which so far includes 12 World Cruises and 6 Grand Asians. But he is sailing once again, with 246 days booked in the near term, then a Grand Africa and a World Cruise in 2024. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Elvis has left the chapel

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the company that controls the image of Elvis Presley and which licenses all use of his image, Authentic Brands Group, has issued a cease-and-desist letter to chapels in Las Vegas performing wedding ceremonies with chaplains dressed as the King. Read the rest of this entry »

A Monday Morning Memo to Me

I recently arrived at (and passed) another milestone in my life. To put it in a way I still have trouble comprehending, I have taken another full lap around the sun. I won’t go into specifics, but I will say I do remember when a five-dollar bill was enough to take a date to the movies and share a coke afterwards. I also remember when a gallon of gas cost around 31 cents.

Recently I find myself reflecting over my accumulated years like two clenched fists… where my entangled fingers represent both successes and failures intermingled and synced exactly like they are supposed to be. But that is not the point of today’s reminder.

I woke today like I usually do. But today was noticeably different. Like always, before swinging my legs off the bed searching for the floor, I ask myself how my back felt Read the rest of this entry »