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Travel Agent Professional December 2017 Issue 55

How to Successfully Navigate By Cindy Bertram


Auto Europe Renews Maine Seafood Rewards Program for 17th Year Earn Live Maine Lobsters for Business Class Package or Prestige Car Rental Auto Europe, the industry’s first global car rental aggregator, has renewed the Maine Seafood Rewards program for Travel Agents for the 17th year. Qualified bookings include a 7-day luxury or prestige car rental or a business class airfare travel package to Europe that includes hotel and/or car. For each booking, travel agents may choose to enjoy three Maine lobsters or two pounds of salmon shipped fresh to their door. “We’ve renewed this unique incentive for the 17th year at the request of our Agent partners. We’re proud to continue this one-of-a-kind program that not only supports our Agents but our local Maine businesses as well,” said Robert Ardino, Auto Europe’s Vice President of Sales. Maine Seafood Rewards can be redeemed by the booking agent or by their client at the agent’s choice. In accordance with ASTA, Agency owners/managers may choose to exclude their agency or individual agents. The program is valid until December 31, 2017, for travel anytime in 2017 and is open to US residents only due to shipping requirements. For more information or to claim your rewards call 800-223-5555 or email tasales@autoeurope.com.

About Auto Europe With over 60 years of experience in the rental car industry, Auto Europe specializes in helping travelers find the best car rental rates in Europe and other popular destinations around the world. Auto Europe’s deep understanding of the complexities of renting cars abroad paired with their knowledgeable team of rental specialists (available 24/7) allows Auto Europe to provide travelers with the highest quality service in the industry before, during and after their rental. To find the best rate on a car rental for your next trip abroad or to learn more about renting a car in Europe visit www.autoeurope.com.

December 2017


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ecember

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Another One Bites the Dust —

http://issuu.com/action/page?page=5 Sweep it Away

10

MJS Consultants

Relationships & http://issuu.com/action/page?page=13

Loyalty; Keys To Success

By Mitchell J. Schlesinger

How to Successfully Navigate Through The Storms http://issuu.com/action/page?page=17 By Cindy Bertram

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Cindy's Inside Cruise & Travel Track, LLC

A Whodunnit of Detectives By Paull Tickner Paull Tickner & Associates Ltd.

Showcase CruiseOne and Dream Vacations ...................22-23

Ad Index

Cover Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line

amadeus ..................................................19 Auto Europe .......................................IFC, 9 Host Travel Agency.com..........................15

Travel Agent Professional

Britain Greatdays .......................................3 RCI..........................................................BC

2017

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Owner of The Package Deal

TAP

By Les-Lee Roland


Travel Agent Professional December 2017 Issue 55

Travel Agent Professional Staten Island, NY 10312 E-mail: Ann@travelagentprofessional.com Phone: 718.360.3153

Joel M. Abels

Legend In the Travel Industry April 1927 to January 2007

Ann M. Hoek Publisher/Creative Design ann@travelagentprofessional.com Bonnie Walling Editor Bonnie@travelagentprofessional.com Alan Cohen Vice President Marketing Alan@travelagentprofessional.com

Meet Our Editorial Board Paull Tickner, Creator of Special Interest Britain ptickner@customgb.co.uk www.customgb.co.uk Cindy Bertram, Cindy’s Inside Cruise & Travel Track, LLC cindybert@att.net Mitchell J. Schlesinger President, MJS Consultants mjschlesinger@bellsouth.net Les-Lee Roland Owner of The Package Deal Sue Shapiro, President Shapiro Travel Resources sue.shapiro@gmail.com www.shapirotravelresources.com Rusty Pickett, ECC Shellback Cruises www.shellbackcruises.com Sherry Laskin, ACC Travel Writer/NACTA Webinar Moderator www.cruisemaven.com This online magazine is dedicated to the memory of Joel Abels, Travel Trade's editor and publisher. Joel and his life's work may be gone, but with your help it can live on.

Travel Agent Professional has its roots in Home Based Trade, the first magazine of its kind, started by Joel Abels in 2004. Joel and Lenore Abels ran Travel Trade for nearly half a century – it was started by her grandfather, John S. Lewis, and her father, Sidney Lewis, in 1929, and they took the publication over after her grandfather’s passing. Under Joel’s direction, the company grew to be one of the travel agent industry’s leading publications, reaching more than 45,000 agents throughout North America. It spawned a famous series of trade shows and three monthly magazines – Cruise Trade, Tour Trade and Home Based Trade. The Abels also garnered enormous respect – Joel received the Neal Award, called “the Pulitzer Prize of the business press,” for his hard-hitting editorials. On a personal note, after working with Joel for over a decade and staying with him until the end, I grew to truly care for and respect the man. He was like a second father to me. Joel was old school, he stood by his word and believed in his work. There will never be another. While nobody can replace this industry legend, we’re hoping that this new publication, which reunites the original Home Based Trade editorial board, will be able to carry on his passion for travel and those who sell it.

Ann M. Hoek The opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Travel Agent Professional.

December 2017


4 Another One Bites the Dust — L e s - L e e R o l a n d

didn’t seem to care that fifty people were bumping the passengers from the buffet lines and taking over the chaises and the pool. Their promos of cruises or tours combined with air and pre/post packages were offered at rates that most agencies could not compete. Over the years I would get calls, even from my regular clients saying - “I want to book this package, can you match their rate.?“ I couldn’t match it, but I did call this company and ask if they would pay me By Les-Lee Roland Owner of The Package Deal

a commission if I made the booking with them. They did offer a ridiculously low commission, but I wanted to keep my clients and did book with them – twice.

With very little news coverage, a major travel company

For two reasons, I never worked with them again. One, the

with its headquarters in Sarasota, has shut down. This

commission was not regularly sent out. After calling them a

retail agency, employed many agents both in house and

few times, I found the best way was to drive to their main

outside agents, even in other cities, were referred to as

office and plant myself there until a check was written.

additional offices. At one time, they had satellite offices in Ft Myers, The Villages in Florida and elsewhere.

But more important, my clients came back with complaints. Perhaps it was because I take pride in my person-

I haven’t heard about a company this size closing up in a

alized attention to their needs. But with this company-

very long time. For years, the travel section of our local

they get only what is advertised in the package- and we

newspaper ran their weekly ads. I should state that this

all know that people do ask for special dining, bedding,

travel section is usually only one or two pages every

and pre/post in a good location, cabin numbers provided

Sunday – not exactly the New York Times outpouring of

with final docs, etc. And speaking of documents- they

destinations and full page ads.

should be available timely and not just before departure. I don’t deal well with companies who furnish the impor-

They even had their own buses to take people to the

tant info just five days before departure- especially with

cruise ports or to do their days trips. You know when we

airfare with no seat assignments.

agents are invited for a cruise ship inspection. This company would take a bus full of their clients at $15-$25 a

First of all, this company always encouraged cash discounts

head offering a day on a cruise ship with buffet lunch. My

for payment up front without credit cards. Yes, major sup-

complaints to cruise lines about this were rebuffed. They

pliers like Viking River Cruises offer that as well, but Viking

December 2017


—

Sweep it Away

5

offers a refund policy. But this company, obviously just kept

How can you benefit from this? I know I am reaching out

the money, and not use an escrow account, and final pay-

a bit, but if every agent reads this and THEN calls your

ment was not refundable. When they shut their doors, the

local newspaper and say- “now is the time for you to run

truth about where the money became apparent. Large

a column about how travelers should choose a travel

groups booked with MSC and other companies found

agent.

their payments were never sent to the cruise lines. Space had been cancelled and their clients were left with nothing.

Give them examples, like not to buy the travel insurance form companies who have their own coverage- check for

Using Facebook, the owner of this now defunct company

clauses about default. If agencies discourage credit cards-

gave his version of why he suddenly shut down. He

the consumer should understand the lack of protection

blamed the Hurricanes, the travel ban for Cuba, as well as

for refunds. If a company offers packages, consumers can

his agents who worked for him. He said he will sell his

easily find out the ratings and locations of the properties.

assets and needs time to make refunds. But nowhere did

If seating on airplanes are not provided, ask why.

he state what has happened to the hundreds of thousand

Frequent flier programs versus bulk rates. Imagine flights

dollars he had collected and not paid to the cruise lines.

to and from Europe or Asia and forfeiting the mileage can be okay, if the consumer is forewarned. Are there any

First of all, the Hurricanes were Caribbean, Fla and Texas

upgrades possible with the cruise line? How about the

based- not in Europe.

tours offered- any changes substituted? And most important- does the agency have an escrow account in place to

The travel ban for Cuba is for individual travel, not com-

assure the final payment is secure. Provide a phone num-

panies who have cultural programs in effect to get the

ber for your local State Consumer office where people

visas. And all the cruise lines are still promoting and

can check out a company. The Better Business Bureau

expanding their visits to Cuba.

only provides info on their members- so that is not the best place to call.

And to blame his agents. Seems like some agent were aware of the financial problems, and perhaps to protect

If you belong to a consortium, contact their marketing

their clients and their own commissions, pulled their

department and see if they can help you in contacting

orders and placed them with companies that were solid.

local media.

So where were the refunds?

In my case, I am answering consumer calls about this agency asking for help. I only wish that an organization

Why am I wasting this space writing about the demise of

like CLIA or IATA would do a PR campaign on how to

this company that had been in business for over twenty

have confidence working with a travel agent and its

years. It’s a great marketing lesson for all of us.

agency.

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Relationships & Loyalty;

M i t c h e l l J . S c h l e s i n g e r

By Mitchell J. Schlesinger Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, MJS Consultants, mjschlesinger@bellsouth.net

There are significant developments in the cruise industry that present burgeoning sales and profitbased opportunities for savvy travel sellers. The order book is filled with new and interesting ships being introduced over the next 5 years, there is rapid expansion of ships and itineraries

Your customers must constantly be engaged. The truth is, that if they are not buying travel from you,

to exotic, soft adventure and enrichment focused

they are buying it from someone else. The objective

destinations and ship configurations that contin-

is to make them “Clients for Life” once they book

ues to provide upsell opportunities to customers

with you initially.

and prospects. Critical to taking advantage of all this develop-

Recognition presents the opportunity to sell both directly and subliminally.

ment is the ability to leverage relationships and

Specific messaging with specific itineraries/offers

loyalty with both preferred suppliers and cus-

that recognize past travel makes customers feel

tomers. I have written numerous articles and co-

like you are communicating to them one-on-one.

authored a book focusing on “Clients for Life”,

Notes recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, holi-

and always start with the three R’s; Recognition,

days, etc., even without selling directly, still has

Referrals & Rewards:

sales impact.

December 2017


Keys To Success

7

Featuring customer photos and reactions after returning from trips on your website is another way to make them feel special and become a 3rd party endorsement.

• •

Referrals are the lifeblood of successful sales, particularly in the travel selling industry. With the right communication and incentives, loyal customers become sales adjuncts for your agency. Rewards are effective and do not have to break the bank: Customers should receive a future cruise credit for all guests they refer. The FCC can be scaled based on what is purchased either in terms of dollars, cruise length or stateroom type. Just like the communication they receive from hotel and airline loyalty programs, all communication should include how much credit is available in their “bank” for a future cruise. Remember, it is significantly less expensive to generate new customers via referrals/rewards than via marketing.

Travel Agent Professional


8 Relationships with preferred suppliers is more of a 2-way street and is very much about how much favor and leverage you can develop;

• • •

The more you support specific preferred suppliers, the more concentrated and productive your time, marketing and sales efforts can be. The more sales, guests and revenue provided to specific suppliers for specific destinations puts you in the focus of BDMs, regional directors and even cruise line revenue management teams. Here is something to keep in mind. In addition to individual guest sales, your value to your cruise partners can be greatly enhanced based on group bookings, particularly the conversion: If you register a group request for 25 staterooms/ 50 guests and eventually provide 40 guests, that is an 80% conversion rate. The overall average of group conversion at cruise lines (excluding incentive groups) falls in the 10%-20% range. If you consistently register groups that convert at 50% + you will be noticed by the cruise line revenue management team. This gives you leverage with your preferred suppliers when you want extras for your guests, group terms, upgrades, OBC’s, etc. It also gives your BDM ammunition to support you with revenue management. AND, I promise this happens, the more groups you provide for specific destinations at positive conversion rates, the revenue management team will reach out to your BDM to make sure the business continues, and even offer incentives to generate more groups.

With substantial support for preferred suppliers, you have the opportunity to be invited to company events like ship introductions, where you can meet company executives and discuss ways to enhance business further.

The most successful companies excel at developing relationships and loyalty with customers, particularly with distribution partners/preferred suppliers and eventual consumer purchasers. And it is critical that this approach is an instinct to you and all members of your team. Every single contact is a judged experience, no matter the size of the company. While we usually think about this in terms of big companies, there is a small grocery chain, Stew Leonard, based in the northeast, that qualifies as a top service provider in Forbes and Fortune magazine rankings. Use this example as motivation to enhance your relationships with customers and travel partners to elevate your sales.

December 2017


Travel Agent Professional


10 C i n d y B e r t r a m

By Cindy Bertram Cindy's Inside Cruise & Travel Track, LLC

The

recent back to

back catastrophic hurricanes that first went through the Caribbean, and then moved inland were scar y. And as we watched the news coverage, it brought genuine concern for p e o p l e i n t h e a r e a s t h a t we r e h i t a n d a f fe c t e d . Ye s , i t h a l t e d transpor tation — canceling flights, cruise depar tures and more. But the travel industr y jumped in immediately to help out through diverse ways. Travel agent professionals worked diligently helping their clients, from rescheduling, redirecting, and rebooking, using contacts, leveraging help from supplier s and more . It did give new meaning to the idea of successfully navigating the through the storms. December 2017


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Navigate Through the Storms

Learning and Having that Back-Up Plan In life as well as in the business world, it’s important to have a back-up plan. That’s even more critical in travel. Putting together a strategy plan to handle emergency situations is part of what we do as travel professionals. Having that list of key contact names, phone numbers and contact information for the suppliers we use is a core part. And having this ready to use can reduce a bit of the stress, letting us jump in quickly. When the tragedies of 9/11 took place and the world literally stopped, this really brought a new meaning to having that back-up plan. I was working at a retail full service travel agency at the time. It was truly unexpected. We had clients who were stranded, with flight cancellations and more. But thanks to our “jump in and do it” mindset, we managed to get our clients taken care of using diverse methods. And at the agency, we then worked harder with a bit more of a formal emergency strategy plan.

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Another Part of the Strategy Plan – Enticing People to Travel Again After 9/11 tragedies, another unexpected situation occurred. People became hesitate to travel and began to “cocoon.” Rather than planning trips to escape, some people stopped traveling, instead spending the money they had set aside to buy “things” - possessions. What I did do to combat that? I began doing a monthly newsletter, sharing updates along with fun tips, working to entice peoples’ interest. I make sure I didn’t use this media piece to “sell cruises and travel.” And it worked. Eventually the people who were hesitant to travel decided it was time to travel again, realizing that creating those memories of a lifetime were also important. And collecting those memories became more important than collecting “things.” I had a set of clients who cocooned for a year. But as a result of my newsletter, they decided to travel again.

December 2017


13 Insights from Camille Olivere, Senior Vice President, Sales, Norwegian Cruise Line As we’ve once again recently seen, cruise lines monitor tropical storms and hurricanes, making sure they keep their ships outside those storm paths. Cruise lines have policies in place as they work to keep their ships and people safe. Camille Olivere, Senior Vice President, Sales, Norwegian Cruise Line and I recently had some time to chat about these topics. I asked Camille how Norwegian Cruise Line monitored storms along with keeping travel agents informed. Camille explained, “We monitor tropical storms and hurricanes ensuring the safety of our ships, crew and guest. In the event that we must deviate a sailing notification is sent out to guest and travel partners via email, voice reach and text. Should the need arise where a sailing is cancelled we will offer 100% refund. If a guest chooses to cancel due to the weather they are subject to normal cancellation penalties.”

Keeping Ships Away from the Storms and Updates with Travel Agent Partners Camille and I then discussed a bit more about what cruise lines do, including Norwegian Cruise Line, when a hurricane/tropical storm is actually in the area of the return port of call. Norwegian Cruise Line went through this with Hurricane Irma, delaying ships from returning to PortMiami. Getting those ships with their guests and crew safely back is a top key concern. I asked Camille, “How did Norwegian Cruise Line keep their travel agent partners updated through this particular situation?” Camille provided more and explained, “We typically make these decisions as a team so we communicate to the trade immediately after we make the decision. We heard from many partners that we were best in class in terms of transparency and communication timing. That is one of the most important aspects of successfully managing through crises, so we are very pleased that travel partners recognized this.”

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How Travel Agents can handle emergency situations Having worked in the cruise and travel agency industry for several years, Camille has seen successful tactics that travel agents use to help their clients, when these unexpectedly emergency situations come up. I asked Camille to share a bit more, and she mentioned, “My personal view is honesty is the best policy. Keeping customers in the loop with what you know is very important. I think the telephone works better than email with customers. If you want to communicate something, pick up the phone so they can ask you questions and you can give them more color on the situation and past experiences.”

Compensation for Guests Affected and how that is handled Then Camille and I chatted a bit more on the area of compensation for guests affected when an unexpected situation evolves, like the recent hurricanes this fall. I asked Camille, “What have you been providing cruise guests who were affected?” Camille explained, “Compensation varied based on the timing of the cancellation and we don’t have any flat stated policy as we factor in everything, but we want our customers to come back so we are very focused on taking good care of them. Sometimes it can be a windfall for the guest when a cruise is cancelled because they could get a full refund and a bunch of goodies on top of it that will help offset the next vacation.”

December 2017


15 Dealing with Clients Who Now Might Be Hesitant to Travel – Suggestions Camille and her team talk with travel agents on an ongoing basis, from sales calls, and being at travel conferences, along with being at their own specially planned events. Camille and I then covered a bit more - the important role travel agents also play, being on the front line, dealing with their clients along with future clients on a day to day basis. I asked Camille, “What suggestions would you provide to travel agents when it comes to how to best handle the question their clients now might ask when booking a cruise vacation? If their clients had been thinking about taking a cruise but now with the recent hurricanes, might hesitate, being concerned about their safety?” Camille said, “I just had this conversation with some people who had never cruised. What I told them is what I think agents should say and that is this was the worst hurricane season in over 100 years. The likelihood of something like this season happening again next year is extremely low. Some people don’t know there is a hurricane season. I told them hurricanes are most likely in Sept/Oct timeframe with August and November on the fringe. Also hurricanes are fairly predictable so you know well in advance any areas of concern. Safety is not an issue. It’s inconvenience that is caused by changes in itineraries or delays and on rare occasions a cancellation. If a hurricane is coming we can typically reroute the ship to optimal conditions. We can also have early departures or arrivals to accommodate. So guests can make a more informed decision.”

Adding that Personal Touch Adding that personal touch factor is important. I mentioned that cruise documents list all their policies in the "fine print" but it's important that travel agents walk through those key things (more on a personal basis) with their clients. Camille said, “I would just restate the above. Clients need to know they are committed to the cruise even if there are some changes that need to be made. When you have your guests on Norwegian you

Travel Agent Professional


16 can be sure that we are always looking to make sure that our guests will have the best experience possible so they come back again and again. On some of our itineraries we even added a 4th port to a 7 day itinerary when we changed it which enhances the guest experience.” Camille and I then talked a bit more about what Norwegian Cruise Line did by redirecting their Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas, not just bringing supplies but also getting over 900+ people evacuated off island (due to the airport being shut down) and back to Miami safely. I mentioned it was a wonderful amazing story, and shared the personal, caring side of Norwegian Cruise Line and their parent company. Camille said, “Yes, thank you. I was very proud of our company and we continue to help through our charity “Hope Starts Here”. And by the way, it wasn’t just humans we rescued. There were dogs, cats and Ferrets as well! No one wanted to leave their beloved pets behind! I know I would never!”

Some additional thoughts After the recent hurricanes’ devastation, we saw some wonderful humanitarian efforts occur, thanks to the travel and cruise industry. And now many of those ports and areas affected are coming back. Letting people know that those areas have gotten through those storms is also another important part of our travel agent DNA – keeping our clients and future clients informed with “gentle” updates, creating and building interest again.

December 2017


18 A Whodunnit of Detectives P a u l l T i c k n e r

I don’t know what the collective word is for a group of detectives but I’m throwing my hat in the ring with this definition. Many of you will instantly recognise the images, as will several of your clients who may have organised their social calendar just to watch next week’s episode of Inspector Morse, Lewis, Poirot, Miss Marple or Foyles War to name just five of the popular British TV series screened on PBS in the past few years. When imaginatively blended with our castles, stately homes, privately owned gardens, cathedrals, pubs and tea rooms, they and their counterparts can be

By Paull Tickner

converted into money making, customised UK tours.

Paull Tickner & Associates Ltd.

Paull Tickner, owner of U.K.-based Custom GB, is renowned for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at www.customgb.co.uk and E-mail him at ptickner@customgb.co.uk

December 2017


19 Most of these great detectives and their TV series are conveniently located within easy striking distance of London and work best as 2-3 night programmes, topped and tailed with a few days in our capital city. As they are also close to Southampton, Dover and Harwich, you can confidently offer them as tailor made pre/post cruise extensions to frequent UK travellers.

Inspectors Morse and Lewis With Oxford less than 90 minutes north of Southampton and about the same from London, it makes a great hub for a customised pre/post cruise extension. It’s also famous as the location for the filming of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour. With touches of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Miss Marple and Midsomer Murders on the way and visits to either magnificent Blenheim Place or treasure-filled Waddesdon Manor, this tour ticks all the boxes.

The Sport of Queens Here’s another idea for a pre/post cruise add-on, this time for Harwich arrivals/departures. Based near the university city of Cambridge, it spends a day discovering Newmarket, the birthplace and home of horse racing and inspiration for many of Dick Francis’ best-selling novels and visits Grantchester, location for the popular TV series of the same name, home to the inquisitive vicar Sydney Chambers and the gruff, down-to-earth police inspector Geordie Keating.

Quiche of Death Agatha Raisin and Father Brown are two more popular TV characters and both are associated with the Cotswolds. Chipping Campden, Broadway and Stow on the Wold clearly feature in M C Beaton’s popular novels and Father Brown is filmed in the village where she lives. Turn fiction into on location reality with visits to one or two of her favourite pubs, tea rooms and pubs. This also works as a pre or post cruise add-on for Southampton arrivals/departures.

It’s Elementary My Dear Watson To get the best out of a Sherlock Holmes tour, you need spend a couple of days visiting London locations used in the many different adaptations before travelling to Portsmouth where you’ll find the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Collection in the ‘Study in Sherlock’ exhibtion. Heading for Salisbury, pause at the 12th century St Peter’s Church, Minstead where Sir Arthur is buried before reaching Bristol where they’ve created a tour that reveals

Travel Agent Professional


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Inspector_Morse_and_DS_Lewis

the locations used in the recent BBC Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch. London, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Bath, Bristol, Oxford and back to London – don’t you feel a tour coming on?

Crusader, Monk, Detective A few years ago, Masterpiece Theatre successfully screened Ellis Peter’s medieval mysteries about Brother Cadfael, the crusader turned herbalist monk detective who lived in the Welsh border county of Shropshire. Untouched by progress, the castles, abbeys, picturesque villages and towns vividly capture his life and times. This largely undiscovered corner on the Wales/England border is now more accessible thanks to Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop flights to Manchester from Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco and New York.

Midsomer Murders Another notable addition to the list of Great Detectives is the unflappable Inspector Barnaby, star of the corpse strewn TV series Midsomer Murders. Filmed extensively in the otherwise peaceful county of Buckinghamshire, just north of London, take an On Location tour of some of the real-life towns and villages used in the series.

Murder Most Foul As your clients, yourself included perhaps will have read many of Agatha Christie’s novels, let’s talk about a customised tour to the English Riviera. A 3-night programme will include a visit to her former home at Greenway and many of the other places that inspired the Poirot and Miss Marple novels created by the Queen of Crimewriters. Expand the interest by adding visits to locations used in the filming of Poldark and Doc Martin even though they’ve nothing to do with the murder mystery theme! There will be a one-day Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay on Saturday 15th September next year.

The Great Detectives Tour If this has fired your imagination, this all-embracing itinerary brings together Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, Agatha Raisin, Father Brown and offers a 2-night extension to the English Riviera, the former home of Agatha Christie. Email me for details.

Rub Shoulders With The Authors For real fans wanting to rub shoulders with some of their favourite writers, I can thoroughly recommend two outstanding, annual literary festivals. Crimefest takes place in Bristol (17th-20th May) followed by the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate (19th-22nd July).

December 2017


In Celebration of Veteran’s Day, Five Military Veterans Win Travel Franchises from Dream Vacations Franchisor has given away 30 free home-based travel businesses to U.S. veterans valued at $381,000 In celebration of Veteran’s Day, the number one franchise for veterans Dream Vacations is awarding five military heroes with free travel franchises as part of its award-winning 6th annual contest “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General.” Currently more than 30 percent of franchise owners within Dream Vacations are military veterans and over the past six years, the travel agency franchise has awarded 30 free franchises valued at $381,000 to deserving military veterans.

Photo Cutline (Left to Right): Army Veteran Fredrick Wilkins, Navy Veteran Brian Williams, Navy Veteran Nicholas Johnson-Moyneur, Air Force Veteran Cynthia Seymour and Air Force Veteran Michelle McGinnis. Photo Credit: www.TheLXA.com

“Just like military veterans are the backbone of our country, they are also the backbone of Dream Vacations and we are honored to be able to provide them with our business opportunity,” said Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of Dream Vacations. “Every year I am impressed by the high caliber of applicants we receive, but I am confident that this year’s winners will be joining their peers of past winners as some of our must successful owners.” Recognized in 2017 with highest honors at the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Franchising Gives Back Awards, the annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest was open to former members of any of the five branches of the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are retired, off active duty and/or honorably discharged prior to the contest start date this past May. Candidates participated in a rigorous threepart application process which included creating a business plan, video essay and phone interviews. More than 1,500 people have applied for franchise ownership through Operation Vetrepreneur. This year’s winners are Navy Veteran Nicholas Johnson-Moyneur of St. Charles, Mo.; Air Force Veteran Michelle McGinnis of Oklahoma

City; Air Force Veteran Cynthia Seymour of Syracuse, N.Y.; Fredrick Wilkins of Ridgeway, S.C.; and Navy Veteran Brian Williams of Austin, Texas. “Winning Operation Vetrepreneur has been a dream come true. I have always had that entrepreneurial spirit and Dream Vacations offers the support and professional expertise to allow me to live my passion,” said Vetrepreneur Winner Moyneur. “As a Navy Veteran, I have been blown away with the level of commitment that Dream Vacations has to the military community. I am truly honored to join the Dream Vacations family.” Dream Vacations is committed to giving back to the military community and offers an enlistment package valued at no less than $5,000, to assist veterans in transitioning back to civilian life. New franchise owners can select one of three perks — receiving up to $7,000 back based on sales through the Earn Back promotion, a $1,000 market-

December 2017


ing credit, or waived administrative fees valued at $1,350. Additional benefits for military veterans include a 20 percent discount off the initial fee, waived training fee for a business partner, veteran-themed marketing assets, the ability to hire active-duty military spouses as associates at a discount, LeisureCare Travel Insurance discounts for veterans, travel discounts for military customers, access to veteran networking groups and the ability to move residences and stay in business. Dream Vacations proudly supports military veterans and is consistently recognized by leading industry publications as a veteran-friendly franchise. As a member of the IFA’s VetFran initiative, Dream Vacations is the only travel franchise to receive a five star ranking. Other national accolades include number one rankings by Entrepreneur magazine on its “Top Franchises for Veterans” list, Military Times “Best for Vets: Franchises”

list and Forbes “10 Top Military-Friendly Franchises.” Additional recognitions include inclusion on G.I. Jobs annual “Hot Franchises for Veterans,” US Veterans magazine’s “Top Veteran-Friendly Companies”, USA Today’s “50 Top Franchises for Military Veterans” and recognition by MSC Cruises in its Seaside Salute Award. Dream Vacations is committed to being “Rich in Diversity” and empowers all owners, franchisees and employees to reach their highest potential by leveraging their broad range of talent, experiences, personalities, viewpoints and ideas to generate business growth. Military veterans who have a passion for travel and entrepreneurism who are interested in opening a Dream Vacations travel franchise, please visit www.DreamVacations Franchise.com or call 888-249-8235.

$111,000 Donated to Make-A-Wish® During Onboard Fundraisers at Cruises Inc.®, CruiseOne® & Dream Vacations 2017 National Conference 20 children will receive their wishes

For the past six years, Make-A-Wish® has been the signature charity for Cruises Inc.®, CruiseOne®, Dream Vacations and parent company World Travel Holdings. Fundraising is always a core component of National Conference and this year, attendees raised more than $111,000, which means 20 children with life-threatening medical conditions will have their wishes granted. While aboard the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas, franchisees, agents, staff and suppliers participated in a variety of fundraising activities such as guessing next year’s conference date and venue; silent auctions; the Monster Mash Dash presented by Celebrity Cruises®; and exclusive access to the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea. “Every day I am given the opportunity to grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, but this past week has been so inspirational to see travel agents from the around the country come together in support of Make-A-Wish,” said Norm Wedderburn, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Florida. “With more than 75 percent of wishes involving travel, our partnership is the perfect fit.” People with a passion for travel who want to learn more about franchising opportunities with CruiseOne and Dream Vacations, and business opportunities with Cruises Inc. should visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com and www.SellCruises.com. About Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® Dream Vacations, CruiseOne® and Cruises Inc.® are part of World Travel Holdings, the world’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company. The Dream Vacations and CruiseOne franchise opportunities give entrepreneurs a choice in how they want to brand their travel business, and Cruises Inc. is an independent business opportunity. Both business models provide a work-from-home opportunity to those interested in selling all types of travel experiences whether it be a cruise, resort stay or land tour. With a mission of delivering a remarkable experience, travel agents with all three brands are given premium resources to plan and create a seamless vacation experience for the customer while offering the best value. For more information on Dream Vacations and CruiseOne, visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/DreamVacationsFranchise and follow on Twitter at @Dream_Franchise. For more information on Cruises Inc., visit www.SellCruises.com and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SellCruises.

Travel Agent Professional


THIS IS A DOUBLE DARING THRILL A MINUTE F A M I L Y A D V E N T U R E.

This is not a cruise. This is an all new way for your clients to adventure with the best and biggest ships in the world. Discover Allure of the Seas ® and Oasis of the Seas ® in the Caribbean, delivering a double dose of family thrills at an unbeatable value. Or experience Europe on a massive scale onboard the new Harmony of the Seas SM, debuting this May with all new activities, restaurants and gravity-defying slides like nothing ever seen at sea. Plus spacious accommodations ideal for big family adventures. No matter where your clients choose to go, there’s no better way to jumpstart a summer vacation than with our Oasis Class ships.

OASIS OF THE SEAS ®

ALLURE OF THE SEAS ®

HARMONY OF THE SEAS SM

Fort Lauderdale | Through Fall 2016

Fort Lauderdale | Year Round

Barcelona | Spring & Summer 2016 Fort Lauderdale | Fall 2016

Port Canaveral | Winter 2016

For more information visit www.LoyalToYouAlways.com/Oasis

Features vary by ship. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas. 16050747 • 5/4/16

Travel Agent Professional December 2017  
Travel Agent Professional December 2017  

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