When a client says to you, “Find me a cruise that’s safe and affordable,” it’s easy to do—if you know where to look.
The factors I look for are the following:
- The quality of the ships and the service your clients are likely to receive.
- The vax status of the nations they will visit.
- The lowest nightly price of available balcony staterooms.
Use these data after seeing the answers to a brief Five-Minute Profile submitted by each client. You will suggest cruises that will be better choices than other travel advisors, or ones cruise line reps can provide, and will likely generate deposits within a few days.
Let’s do this for two seniors whose Five-Minute Profile says they have cruised on Carnival, Holland America, and Celebrity before Read the rest of this entry »
The idea for this week’s article came to me while filling out the morning USA Today Crossword Puzzle. In and of itself there is no connection, so I don’t want you to spend any time trying to connect the dots. I suppose my point is that ideas come from anywhere and everywhere.
The truth is that your clients and future clients are out there dancing to the beat of their own drum. The chances are very good they are not doing the fox trot to the same rhythms. They are all focused on their own set of circumstances, and worrying about whatever it is they worry about. For you to enter their world thinking, or believing, that you can soon have them focusing on your agenda is nothing short of delusional. But there is a way. Read the rest of this entry »
Do you find that as the recovery of travel ramps up, that some social marketing tactics seem old and out of touch with the times?
Over the last year, so much has changed in the ways that people consume marketing that savvy travel pros are turning to new ways to stand out in the noisy social marketing space.
Let’s explore 3 creative ways to get noticed, so that fans and clients are excited in this new era. We’ll dive into the 3-A’s to amplify your brand: Ads, Audiences, and Audio.
“Facebook, which has said it wants to make audio a “first-class medium” on its platforms, joins Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and messaging platform Discord which have already launched their own live audio offerings. Spotify debuted its own version, “Greenroom,” last Wednesday. Slack, Microsoft Corp-owned (MSFT.O) LinkedIn and Reddit are also working on similar products.” Source
For years, I gave credit to Voltaire for sharing this sage advice. I later attributed this key reminder to the rightful author, Louis Pasteur. Regardless of who first came up with this “beauty,” it remains one of my favorite quotes.
In our current (soon-to-be post Covid-19) environment, I am hearing many agents say they are experiencing the debilitating phenomenon known as “overwhelm.” My fear is that these very same agents may resort to the age-old strategy known as WHP… which stands for “wishing, hoping and praying.”
Let me be quick to mention that I have nothing against making wishes when blowing out birthday candles, hoping for sunny 4th of July weekends, and praying for guidance from above when confronted with a life-changing decision. All three situations get a “thumbs-up” from me. But, when it comes to building and sustaining a business, I am afraid it takes a little more effort on your part, and not so much enticement from your local soothsayer. Read the rest of this entry »
For customers looking for a unique destination they have not yet visited, AmaWaterways might just have the answer. Last week, it announced a new ship sailing a new river in a new continent to the Ama repertoire.
Colombia’s Magdalena River will host a partnership between Ama and Metropolitan Touring, known and well-respected by many travel advisors for its Galapagos and South America tours, aboard the brand-new AmaMagdalena in time for the holidays in December 2023.
On a press conference via webinar today, the two companies shared their excitement at having found one another, and in bringing the first luxury river cruises to the region. Just “two or three hours” from Florida, the Magdalena River offers beautiful scenery, diverse nature, and the second-largest Carnival in the world. (Also, the world’s best chocolate and best coffee, “and some really good rum,” says Metropolitan Touring’s Francisco Dousdebes.)
“It is the prime river in Latin America,” asserted Ama’s ever-cautious new destination seeker, co-founder and president Rudi Schreiner, who has been scouting “the whole area from Argentina to Read the rest of this entry »
With summer underway and France officially re-opening to North American travelers in early June, CroisiEurope is marking the 2021 summer season with the resumption of the company’s diverse itineraries throughout France. CroisiEurope’s first river itinerary set sail at the end of June, with the canal and river itineraries to follow this month.
Richard Branson, still cutting a charismatic figure at 70, flew to space and made it safely back again with his space tourism company Virgin Galactic. It was another milestone for Branson, who first made his fortune in the record business with Virgin Records in the early 1970s.
It’s been a long time since Branson embarked on his space enterprise, founding Virgin Galactic in 2004. In February 2007 I attended a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., at which 45 Virtuoso travel agents were certified as Accredited Space Agents, after completing Virgin Galactic’s training regimen.
Anything to do with Branson is going to be done with top notch PR, and holding the event at Cape Canaveral was a brilliant stroke. Having dinner under a giant Saturn 5 Rocket created a heady atmosphere for travel agents tasked with introducing space flight to the public.
It gave the event a great boost to connect with the US space program Read the rest of this entry »
For at least the last decade, most cruise lines have devoted themselves to nurturing a younger clientele. The dream has been to capture cruisers in midlife and hold on to them for the next 30-40 years. Now, COVID-19 is turning this strategy on its head.
Most international ports are on the verge of welcoming Americans warmly, if everyone on the ships (crew members and guests alike) are vaccinated and eager to spend money on meals, excursions and hotels. As an essential plus, most seniors are already vaxed and—according to several recent surveys—want to sail on ships on which everyone is vaxed. The following statistics were based on data reported last week by The New York Times. Read the rest of this entry »
From movies to shows, novels to photos, New York City is an iconic setting known around the world. Being the most populous city in the US, and considered to be the cultural capital of the world, it can seem chaotic to those unfamiliar with the rhythm of such a diverse city. For the luxury traveler, though, NYC is a playground ready to be explored—one that offers up the best of the best in luxury enjoyment. And now, with this metropolis fully opening up (as of July 1), the opportunities are endless. Read the rest of this entry »
Over the past few weeks, we have seen some exciting announcements from Europe about travel regulations for international travelers. Greece was the first European nation to announce that it would allow international travelers to visit, if they can show proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. Then, Italy announced that it would be opening immediately to international travelers, who also can show evidence of immunization. The announcement by Italy and Greece marks a huge milestone for international travelers who want to frequent Europe.
On the domestic side, New York has announced that it hit its COVID-19 vaccination milestone, which allows it to end all restrictions put in place during the pandemic. You can now travel to New York City and enjoy all of the activities the great city has to offer, without any restriction Read the rest of this entry »
Anita has been in the travel industry for over 28 years. She founded the host agency Ticket to Travel in 1993, which was merged into KHM Travel Group in 2020. Her voice has been one of inspiring the at-home advisor with books such as “How I Made a Small Fortune as a Home-Based Travel Agent”, and “From Home-Based to POWERHOUSE! – Marketing Strategies to take your Travel Passion to Profit”. Anita is currently the Vice President of CCTO (California Coalition of Travel Organizations), and the Vice President of Industry Relations at KHM Travel Group. Read the rest of this entry »
Here we are, a world opening back up after a global pandemic that has ground travel to a halt for more than a year. Travelers, advisors, suppliers, economies… all have been hampered by precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The countries within the European Union were no exception. But, as good news surfaces from around the world, many countries are opening their borders once again. The Republic of Poland, a popular member of the EU, and a land of diverse terrain and historic sites, is now accepting US citizens.
Even during the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, Poland was preparing for the return of tourism. Its #CityWillWait campaign highlighted the cities around the country, and that they will await the traveler. From the capital of Warsaw to the old town of Gdansk, the wait has been worth it. Read the rest of this entry »
The past year’s events have shown travel advisors that they will not survive unless they can charge advisory fees, in addition to their usual commissions. If you’re a travel advisor, the advisory fees are yours to keep even if your booking is canceled or deferred to a later date.
There is a rich tradition of travelers paying fees for advisory services. Since 1902, the American Automobile Club (AAA) has served American motorists. While their primary service has always been to get tow trucks and charging vehicles to members in need, a close second has been to identify gas stations, tourist attractions, and noteworthy eating establishments along the route. My parents would never start a motor trip without a custom-made AAA Trip Tik® Travel Planner on the front seat. Read the rest of this entry »
“Every man dies — Not every man really lives.” – William Ross Wallace
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman a few years ago gave new currency to the term “bucket list”, that collection of destinations, goals and dreams you want to experience prior to “kicking the bucket”. I personally have always preferred the term “life-list” – the places I want to go and the things I want to do in this lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »
When I mention this in my live programs, I usually get more than a few giggles in disbelief. I then tell the audience: “I mean it. I don’t like a lot of people. Who said that I have to ‘like’ everybody? The word ‘people’ is too general for me to rubber-stamp my affection toward anybody and everybody who can fog a mirror.”
Like in my live programs, I think it is time to hear my rationale.
The secret is not to like everybody, but to like the people you like. And then, be willing and eager to do everything within your power to service these people. No rules. No exceptions. No excuses. Not when you just feel like it. All the time. Read the rest of this entry »
I would hazard a guess that, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, your anglophile customers have been watching endless episodes of Downton Abbey, Inspector Morse, Doc Martin, Keeping Up Appearances, Poldark, Midsomer Murders, Grantchester, and The Vicar of Dibley to name just a few of the British TV series appearing on PBS. Bridgerton is the new kid on the block, and you can read and see more in the story below after Downton Abbey.
You will know who these people are and instead of leaving them to imagine what the great castles, stately homes, gardens, market towns, villages and countryside really look like; talk to them about their favourites and let me help you put together a UK tour that matches their interests, time frame and budget.
Catch the vision and talk to them about converting TV fiction into touchable reality in the English countryside. Read the rest of this entry »
After a year of being pent up, the Great Release is upon us, and now it seems sudden. Things are opening faster than predicted just a few months ago.
In March 2020, the COVID pandemic submerged us in the exponential growth of new infections and, before we could comprehend what was happening, we were virtually imprisoned, taking shelter to save our lives. We settled in and got used to being confined. Now the release is happening all around us. And it seems to be happening faster than almost anyone expected.
The demand for travel is, unsurprisingly, going through the roof. But to say “it’s complicated” is to vastly understate the circumstances. World travel now is an extremely tangled web. Read the rest of this entry »
If some of your clients love cruises, they may have promised themselves that – if they got through the COVID crisis unscathed – they’ll find some new places to visit. Here’s how you can help them fulfill these promises. Suggest some new places to explore and provide them with enough information to turn their dreams into reality. Read the rest of this entry »
Its motto is ‘Jeddah Ghair,’ meaning ‘Jeddah is different.’ It is a historic port city with a different way of life than the rest of the kingdom. Serving as the gateway to Mecca, and with almost 68 miles of waterfront along the Red Sea, the second largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia awaits the traveler. Jeddah is a leisurely getaway to enjoy the finer points of the Saudi Arabian coasts. Read the rest of this entry »
This year’s PGA golf tournament was both entertaining and historic. The winner, by the way, was a 200-1 longshot. Nobody in the history of the game has ever won a “major” golf tournament at his age.
The final day was an up and down seesaw of great shots, followed by less than great shots. As a matter of fact, I personally have hit a few more attractive shots than some viewed on television on that particular Sunday. What appeared to be a runaway at first glance came down to the final hole. In the end, it was Phil Mickelson who took the final bow at age 50 plus eleven months. Read the rest of this entry »
Lindblad Expeditions has announced it will be reactivating National Geographic Explorer for a series of voyages in Iceland this summer. Plans call for the 148-guest polar vessel to explore the mythical land of the midnight sun on two alternating itineraries, Wild Island Escape and The Circumnavigation of Iceland. On both expeditions, guests will discover why Iceland is known as the “land of fire and ice” as they journey through the country’s fjords, tundra, waterfalls, and geothermal hot springs. Read the rest of this entry »