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Travel Agent Professional October 2013 Issue 25




64 68

Where Travel Professionals Still Excel Succeed — Being The Miracle Worker


By­Cindy­Bertram Cindy's­Inside­Cruise­&­Travel­Track,­LLC


Making Niche Markets Profitable By­Paull­Tickner


Side bySide

By­Scott­Koepf Vice­President­of­Sales­Avoya­Travel/American­Express

Showcase Affluent Traveler Collection...........................26 7UDYHO$JHQW 3URIHVVLRQDO "V̜LiÀÊÓä£Î ÃÃÕiÊÓx

Auto Europe .............................................22 Enterprise Holdings.....................................11 Expedia CruiseShipCenters .......................24 National Car Rental, .....................................21 NEST .............................................................27

Ad Index

OASIS .........................................................7

Auto Europe .....................IFC, 23, 25

Royal Caribbean Line....................BC

Avoya Travel/American Express.....15

Travel Experts, Inc. ........................19

Britain Greatdays.............................3

Travelsavers...................................20 .................17

Travel Agent Professional


By­Les-Lee­Roland Owner­of­The­Package­Deal


Why I Don’t Like Yellow


Travel Agent Professional October 2013 Issue 25

Travel Agent Professional P.O. Box 120198 Staten Island, NY 10312 E-mail: Phone: 718.360.3153

Joel M. Abels

Legend In the Travel Industry April 1927 to January 2007

Ann M. Hoek Publisher/Creative Design Bonnie Walling Editor Alan Cohen Vice President marketing

Meet Our Editorial Board Rusty Pickett, ECC Shellback Cruises Les-Lee Roland Owner of The Package Deal Scott Koepf Vice President of Sales Avoya Travel/ America’s Vacation Center Sherry Laskin, ACC Travel Writer/NACTA Webinar Moderator Paull Tickner, Creator of Special Interest Britain Cindy Bertram, Cindy’s Inside Cruise & Travel Track, LLC Sue Shapiro, President Shapiro Travel Resources

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 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.

September 2013

Welcome to the exciting world of Special Interest Britain, which will help you to identify, develop and convert untapped sources of new business into high yield, customised groups, both large and small. We’re the experts you’ve been looking for if your niche markets include: •

Girls Getaways

3-6 night itineraries to London, Bath & the Cotswolds; quilting, embroidery and needlework.

Garden clubs; herb, rose and other specialist societies; Master Gardeners; flower arrangers.

Regular and specialist bookstores for murder/mystery; friends of libraries; English teachers.

The Performing Arts

Fund raisers for friends of the theatre, symphony, and opera; Gilbert and Sullivan societies.

The Visual Arts

Museums and art galleries; watercolour painters; continuing education college.

Christian Heritage

Episcopal, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian choirs and congregations.

Family travel

Tailor made itineraries to London and the countryside.

Pre and post cruise extensions

Add-ons for Southampton, Dover and Harwich arrivals and departures

Gardens, Stately Homes and Castles Literary Britain

The Great Outdoors

Golf, cycling, walking, steam train enthusiasts. For over 35 years, we’ve been gaining EXPERIENCE through designing and operating often complex tailor made programmes and we have acquired an almost encyclopedic KNOWLEDGE of Britain, both on and off the beaten track. We also have a very long list of UK/Ireland CONNECTIONS who deliver those special touches to your chosen itineraries, and some GREAT RATES thanks to our handling over 80,000 passengers each year. Our tours carry three distinctive hall marks: •

They TRAVEL LESS so that your customers can SEE MORE

Are often for SMALL GROUPS of 15-20 people

Are enhanced by memorable VALUE ADDED EXPERIENCES

As everything we do is designed to meet your client’s interests, time frame and budget, let’s start talking about how we can help you to harness the potential from your chosen niche market(s). For further information please email:

Greatdays UK Incoming

where travel agents ALWAYS come first Offices in London and Manchester, Great Britain Tel: +44 161 928 9286 Fax: +44 161 928 9911

B y L e s - L e e

4 Why I Don’t Like Yellow

R o l a n d

Well that time of the year has arrived. Every September, I put together my marketing plan and budget for the next year. Les-Lee Roland Owner of The Package Deal

Easier said than done. I keep notes throughout the

pagne in each cabin is not a super amenity. Especially

year to remind me of trends, peaks, valleys, requests

since they serve wine and beer with meals. Of

from clients, etc. I also keep an everygrowing bucket

course that is coupled with $100 off the regular fare,

list. Yes, I ask my clients regularly to provide or update

and the TC. Only problem, is their regular fare

their bucket lists. When I see a growth in certain desti-

sometimes is not such a savings due to their every

nations, that’s when I concentrate on securing group

changing promotions.

space, other than what I normally would have. So after I work on securing space to promote for Tahiti is always a prime example. It’s seasonal, exotic,

2014, I work on my advertising budget.

on many people’s lists. And if I get 3 couples interested — I promote. Once I get over that hump of 3

I make a list of the co-op monies I used in 2013, and

bookings, it seems to grow.

their results. So what if I promoted Cunard with coop and people did not book. Did they call me and

River Cruises — thank goodness their TC require-

book something else? That is equally important. Just

ments are for 10 cabins. Easy enough. Same as with

to keep me visible to them.

a couple of other cruise lines. So, if I have not already booked group space earlier in the year, this

I have monthly newsletters and offers that are auto-

is my last chance to get the cabins. I just wish there

matically sent out by my database company. I never

were more benefits offered for the river cruise

know until the last minute what will be offered. But

groups. Somehow, from one river cruise line, selling

my clients do receive them, and if they don’t call me,

10 cabins and then getting a free bottle of cham-

I can give them a quick call or e-mail.

October 2013

5 I send out my own birthday — anniversary — thank

listed first. And with the travel industry, the national

you’s — and keep in touch e-mail cards. I use a won-

companies may be mixed in with the locals. For

derful company based in England, with a great choice

example, United Airlines may be just above ABC

of categories of cards. Some with music and some

Family travel.

without. It is my least expensive form of advertising, only $15 a year. It takes about 10 minutes every

So you’re thinking, I should go online and put in trav-

month for me to do this. And of all my clients, only

el agencies and the zip code. Well, where I live, there

three have ever asked for them not to be sent. That’s

are numerous zip codes within 10 miles, and that

a good percentage. Plus I get a report on which ones

doesn’t help.

were opened, and 99% are opened. I prefer looking at their ads in a printed form. In an Now, for the one area that I truly hate working on. I

alphabetical order. I can see where they’re located by

still refer to it as the Yellow Pages. In some areas of

address or even by the beginning of their phone num-

the country there are different names. We all

ber. I know the ones who have taken out larger ads

remember the phone books being delivered once a

and paying a considerable upcharge and they might

year, some for residential and some with yellow

not do that if they didn’t get a return on the monthly

pages only for business.

fees. I can also see if they are listing a supplier – and then I can contact my supplier for co-op, if I choose.

Call me old fashioned. I still like those books. Better than going online for me. Let me tell you why. Going

In my database, I keep a record of every new client

online, you see first the ones who pay extra to be

and how they found me or vice versa. If they were (continued on page 6)

Travel Agent Professional

6 referred by a current client, and they book with me,

out on a limb here, and state that my intelligence level

I do send that first client a gift card. Nothing special,

is probably higher if not equal to most of these reps.

unless it was a BIG booking. But enough, for them to

Certainly so with the last person who called on me.

be appreciative. For any newspaper ad, for a TV or radio spot, I can If the remark shows they found me in the yellow

get a rate card and demographic info.

pages, my database also shows how much they have booked with me. And if they sent me any future

But these books are so sacred, that info has to be

clients. That way I can better analyze how my money

pulled out of them. And pulling a paperbag through a

is being spent.

keyhole is easier.

The last thing I do is to rely on the rep contacting

Somehow progress is not working. What once was

me from the yellow pages for his advice. (In over 20

one book delivered each fall, has turned into three

years of business, I have never had a female from

— five books delivered throughout the year, saturat-

their company calling on me — wonder why). The

ing the same market. And to select one book, and

rep is changed almost yearly. The company brings a

find you are not in their smaller companion book

crew of people in to the area to live for a few

that wasn’t even offered, can be discouraging.

months to saturate the territory. And I have heard stories about their accommodations.

This companion book is said to be smaller, easier to find things in. And as the rep said, many people are

To date — not one rep has given me accurate info

keeping it in their cars. Hello… don’t they carry

that I can use. They give me suggestions on if I increase

enough things in the cars already. Gee I have my

my ad, I should get more business. For the past two

bluetoooth, my I phone and my woman’s voice I can

years, they have been pushing their online advertising.

ask anything to and she responds. (Now if she could only find me a fella). So why would I carry it in the

What I have found is, more agencies have pulled out

car. It’s smaller than a breadbox, but larger than a

of the local books, or decreased their ads, and very

glove compartment.

few are online. Now, it may work for them. But no outsider, whose main interest is getting his own

So, let me take an unofficial survey of my family of trav-

commission and then be out of this territory, can tell

el agents. How do you advertise, and if you use any-

me what is going to work for me.

thing involved with the books from phone companieswhat are your results?. Just send the comments, and the

Now for the dreaded request. I ask for a rate card. This

cities. Maybe Chicago or Denver are better print cities

is something that is offered with all print and media

than Sarasota, Fl. (but we do have better weather).

advertising. This company, representing what I call “yellow pages” does not ever have a rate card. Their

End result- I would rather be home with the chicken pox,

excuse is that the rates are written for them to read, it

than work with the yellow pages type company reps.

would be too complicated for them to list something the business person could understand. Now, I will go

Comments can be sent to

October 2013

Showcase OASIS Launches OASIS U, Enhanced Future Agent Sales Training (FAST) Delivers Accelerated Learning for Independent Travel Agents Travel agent sales expected to reach $100 billion in 2013 (PhoCusWright). Travel and tourism continue to outpace other employment sectors (U.S. Department of Labor). More consumers are turning to travel agents, because agents offer personalized service and access to industry benefits not available to consumers. Many new and younger sellers of travel are needed now and in the future, as older agents enter retirement. Recognizing this need, OASIS, in conjunction with The Travel Institute, has launched its new OASIS U to enhance the existing F.A.S.T. (Future Agent Sales Training) program, which incorporates training, coaching, and mentoring. OASIS is a leader in the development of turnkey marketing programs for independent travel agents, the company has now added a turnkey training program to empower new agents to quickly enter this high-growth industry. “A cornerstone of OASIS is equipping independent agents with the tools and the confidence they need in order to succeed,” states Kelly Bergin, vice president of business development. “We listen to our agents and mentor them in solving day-to-day challenges. This provides OASIS with the insights to continually improve its learning systems to meet the evolving needs of our agents.” The tuition for the comprehensive F.A.S.T. program is only $399. The curriculum includes courses on marketing, supplier knowledge, social media strategies, business techniques, and much more. Mentoring by an experienced OASIS agent, ensures new agents that help is available when they need it. Ongoing webinars keep them up-to-date on the technology and the trends. As the name implies, F.A.S.T. is designed to provide new agents with everything they need in order to jump-start their new career.

About OASIS OASIS is a division of Smart Travel Group, Ltd. Headquartered in Boca Raton, FL, Smart Travel Group is the holding company for a variety of travel related businesses. Founded in 1987 as Palm Coast





Smolinski, the company has expanded to become one of the leading online cruise agencies in the U.S. Palm Coast Travel, the agency division of Smart Travel Group, is a full service travel agency. It is a member of Signature Travel Network, Iatan, ASTA, NACTA, OSSN, CLIA, and PATH. For more information please contact Kelly Bergin 561-393-7274 ext.120 or or visit

OASIS, the Outside Agents Sales Integration System, is a division of Smart Travel Group of Boca Raton, Florida. For more information about OASIS Agent visit or contact Kelly Bergin at 800-613-8380 extension 120, or by email at Travel Agent Professional

8 Where Travel Professionals C i n d y B e r t r a m

The client comes first and providing that human touch


it comes to good business style,

professionalism and strong business ethics, the client comes first. That’s always been at the core of any good

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

The recent Women’s Day article, “Nine Things Travel Agents Won’t Tell You,” created a bit of a stir and with good reason. The article questioned the integrity of today’s travel professionals, making it sound like they might just misdirect clients to make a higher commissionable sale. Yes, the article had several mistruths, because today’s true travel professionals excel not only when it comes to keeping their clients’ “best interests at heart” but also take on the additional role of being “miracle workers.”

successful business and when it comes to the travel industry, it’s really no different. It’s at the core of what we do and where we excel. Think about your best clients for a minute. If you mentally go back to how they found you, started booking through you and continue coming back again and again? You’ve come to know their preferences, what’s important to them, and what I like to refer to as their “hot buttons.” It’s not like treating them as if they are just a number. How many times have you called a company about an issue or question and end up having to go through about 5 or 6 prompts, before you’re even allowed to talk to a real person? Going through that “voice automation call system” gets very frustrating, because while I’m going through the voice prompts, I’m mentally thinking, “I just want to speak to a human being. If I could have figured out the answer to my question online, I wouldn’t have made this phone call in the first place.”

October 2013

Still Excel




— Being The Miracle Worker An example of “the client comes first”


personal example of “the client comes first” I’d

$2,500.00. I also told Dorothy she had a day or two to

like to share goes back a few years. It involved a client

think about it and run it by her husband, and we could

who was a referral. Dorothy and her husband wanted to

make the change when we did their final payment

go on a rather extensive European cruise and see several things that were still on their “list to see and do.” I went

What did Dorothy and her husband decide to do?

through a few different cruise options to narrow things

They opted for the lower airfare promotion and

down, we found the perfect one, and I got their deposit

were thrilled. The flights worked out well, they had a

put in.

wonderful experience, and when they came back?

I also sent fun things to help keep their excite-

ment, because this was a much awaited vacation. Four

Dorothy came by to drop off a special gift for me.

days before their final deposit was due, I happened to get information about a special discounted, promotional air-

For me? It was just a matter of taking care of my

fare this cruise line was doing out of a different airport,

clients and making sure they came first. Did we lose

but one that still might work for my clients. So I immedi-

some commission? Yes, we lost a little (that’s when

ately called Dorothy about this new promotion. In their

cruise lines provided commission on their airfare.)

case it was going to add a bit more drive time to the dif-

But it really didn’t matter, because not only did they

ferent departure airport but was going to save them

come back to book, but also provided referrals.

money. We discussed the pros and cons – in their case it was going to involve a 2.5 hour drive to the other airport instead of a 1.5 hour drive, but it was a sizable savings of


I was doing the right thing, I gained a “client for life,” and built a genuine client relationship.

The “behind the scenes” work where travel professionals excel people outside the travel industry don’t always grasp are the ongoing changes and

fluctuations when it comes to pricing on products. These aren’t just fluctuations in airfare but changes in tour and cruise line fares, with a variety of stipulations attached. (continued on page 10)

Travel Agent Professional

10 A travel industry colleague, Jodee, recently ran across a bit of a challenge with a client’s booking. It’s a perfect example of our “behind the scenes” work that often doesn’t get written about.

In her case, it

involved good clients who travel together. There are only a few tour

Miracle worker


all have our own stories of “Miracle

Worker” situations. I was able to get a nasty air

companies that offer this destina-

schedule changed eight days before a group I was

tion, and the tour company her

handling left for a cruise tour. Another involved get-

clients like has some pretty strict

ting some clients back sooner after disembarking

stipulations. This tour company requires that guests purchase their

from a cruise in Miami. A major snowstorm shut

travel protection plan, and then if

down the Chicago airports for a two days, and the

the price happens to go down, the

airline told them they would have to stay in Miami

tour company will allow the price change (if the rules are applicable.)

for another 6 days due to lack of availability. With

If clients don’t purchase the travel

the personal business ties we had with that particu-

protection plan at time of booking,

lar airline, however, we were able to help them get

and the price drops, it gets very complicated. These clients had opted not to take that tour company’s travel protec-

back 3 days. Perhaps the best example of travel professionals’ “miracle worker” talents really goes back to what we

tion plan and the price dropped

did when 9/11 hit. Airports were closed for days,

before final payment. Prior to call-

with people stranded all over the country as well as

ing her clients about the lower price, Jodee did some extensive

internationally. But travel professionals jumped in, to

“homework” to see if the price had

help their stranded clients and help them return or

dropped enough to warrant the

make their needed destination. This is what the

change fees that would be involved and if they would still save money. It did, and she presented it to these clients as an option. Was she going to lose some commission if they

Women’s Day article never even seemed to address, yet where we still shine. Maybe at the bottom of our business cards we need

decided to make this change? Yes,

to have a tagline, “Yes, we’ve been known to provide

but once again, it was doing her

a few miracles for our clients.”

“behind the scenes work” to see if this was even a viable option for her clients to consider.

October 2013

Sh o w ca s e Enterprise Holdings Relocating, Renovating Car Rental Facilities at Ft. Myers International Airport Company’s Investment Part of $750 Million Annual Economic Impact on Florida Economy Enterprise Holdings, operator of the Enterprise Rent-ACar, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, today announced plans to better serve customers by relocating and renovating its rental facilities at Ft. Myers International Airport. “We believe the $3.4 million we’re investing in this improved facility will spur market growth and create more jobs in Lee County,” said Rob Wilson, vice president and general manager overseeing operations for Enterprise Holdings in Ft. Myers. “What’s more, customers of all three of our brands will experience added convenience and improved vehicle selection, in addition to the service quality they’ve come to expect.” These improvements — part of a massive reallocation project facilitated by the Lee County Port Airport Authority — will give the Enterprise, National and Alamo brands premier placement in the center of the facility, along with nearly 40 percent of the total space. Enhancements include a new customer-service building, availability of high-end cars, electronic tablets to streamline the rental process, self-service kiosks and a National Car Rental Emerald Experience gateway. The project is scheduled for completion in November 2013. “I am pleased that Enterprise continues to invest in the Southwest Florida community,” said Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, whose Florida Senate district includes Ft. Myers. “We expect the improvements the company is making to its airport facility will continue to spur growth and create more jobs in the region.”

Statewide economic impact

Enterprise Holdings’ investment in Ft. Myers is just one component of its estimated $750 million annual impact on Florida’s economy. Since opening its first Florida location in Orlando more than 40 years ago, the company has grown to nearly 450 rental offices and more than 5,000 employees across the state. “We are proud of our longtime partnerships throughout Florida,” noted Wilson. “Enterprise’s $750 million represents a recurring investment in facilities, local vendors and businesses, people and important community organizations, year after year, not just a projected onetime expenditure.”

Travel Agent Professional

Every year, Enterprise Holdings’ key contributions in Florida include: • $1,500 new employees, including graduates recruited from more than 30 local universities • $185 million in state and local taxes • $130 million in annual vehicle purchases through local dealerships • $1.5 million raised by employees for the United Way’s 34 Florida chapters, with 50 percent of donations matched by Enterprise Holdings Foundation • Nearly $1 million granted to local Florida nonprofit groups such as Impact Florida, Junior Achievement of South Florida, Golden Retriever Rescue of Southwest Florida and the Urban League of Broward County Overall, Enterprise Holdings, through its regional subsidiaries, operates the largest fleet of vehicles in the world through a global network of more than 8,200 airport and neighborhood locations. In addition, Enterprise Holdings’ annual revenues place it near the top of the travel industry, exceeding all other rental car companies, and most airlines, cruise lines, hotels, tour operators and online travel agencies.

Sustainable practices

Enterprise Holdings’ hiring and purchasing numbers in Florida reflect the company’s overarching commitment to implementing sustainable practices throughout its businesses and supply chain. For example, during its most recent fiscal year Enterprise Holdings made $21.7 million in companywide purchases from diverse suppliers based in Florida, including $3.3 million in purchases from certified Minority and Women-Owned businesses. In addition, Enterprise operations throughout the state have reduced energy and water use by 20 percent and 34 percent respectively, with an objective of reducing the company’s overall energy use and related costs 20 percent by 2015. This long-term, sustainable commitment to the Sunshine State also includes offering sustainable local transportation options, such as the expanded fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids that has helped the company play a key role in the Drive Electric Orlando initiative. Additionally, the company’s hourly car- sharing service, Enterprise CarShare, currently operates eight programs throughout Florida’s largest cities.

12 B y P a u l l

Making Niche Markets


T i c k n e r

I f d eve l o p i n g s m a l l c u s t o m i s e d s p e c i a l i n t e re s t groups with an air/land sales value of around $40,000 is o n yo u r a g e n d a l e t m e tempt you with some bright ideas here in the UK. With Britain as the chosen destination you need a hook on which to hang the customised tour and a Pied Piper to help you find the s m a l l g ro u p o f 2 0 o r s o intrepid travellers. Paull Tickner, creator of Special Interest Britain, is affiliated with the Greatdays Travel Group. For over 30 years, he has been developing and operating customised niche travel programs for the United Kingdom and Ireland. For more information, visit his Web site at and E-mail him at

October 2013

13 If you’re targeting the local garden club, there’s the Chelsea Flower Show at the end of May. What you might not have thought of is packaging it with the Courson Show in Paris (takes place just before Chelsea) or with Bloom, the big horticultural event in Dublin which is staged at the very beginning of June. Go and meet your theatre contacts and tell them that next year is the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. The first ‘Shakespeare Week’ takes place in late March which might work for a Spring Break student group while the Bard’s Birthday weekend (26th-27th April) could appeal to a Friends/Patrons group especially if an English Shakespearian actor led the tour from London to Stratford. For more information, check out Talk to your Minister about the York Mystery Plays as the hook on which to hang a unique tour. Since 1998 the 7 Guilds and Companies of York have established a 4 yearly cycle of pageant wagon productions of York’s internationally renowned Mystery Plays which date back to medieval times. In 2014 the large scale open air productions will take place between13th — 20th July against the stunning backdrop of the city. These performances hark back to the original spectacle of the Corpus Christi Day Festivities and are true in spirit to both the medieval original and the 1950s revivals. The 2014 production will again fill the City streets with drama and spectacle offering a truly unique experience. Find out more at: The northern part of this itinerary should include spectacular Durham Cathedral, burial place for St Cuthbert and a side trip to Holy Island, a place of pilgrimage for centuries and where St Aidan established a monastery in 635 AD. I would also add Chester (continued on page 14)

Travel Agent Professional

14 Cathedral where they will be opening a brand new

north east of England,

visitor experience next year. The ‘Cathedral at


Heights’ project will allow you to get a glimpse of the

Infantry Museum and

1000 year old building from a completely new per-

Art Gallery is one of

spective by scaling the bell tower, getting up close

Durham City’s most

and personal with the stained-glass windows, peering


down on the 14th century quire stalls and ambling


along the galleries. It’s a sky-high tour offering unri-

exhibits and interactive

valled panoramic views of the 2000 year old city.

displays will commem-

orate the anniversary in a special way.

Throughout 2014, the beautiful city of Bath will be

The museum relates the proud 200-year-old story of

celebrating the ‘Year of Festivals’. No matter when

the Durham Light Infantry, focusing on the experi-

you visit, you'll be sure to find a rich and varied pro-

ence of war using letter and diary extracts, and the

gramme of events taking place throughout the year

actual voices of veterans. It tells the story of ordinary

featuring a wonderful mix of music, literature, food,

people who lived extraordinary lives. Also available

film and art events. Highlights include the Bath

to view is a sizable collection of beautiful uniforms,

International Music Festival in May, the ever-popular

extravagant headgear and decorative silver from the

Jane Austen Festival in September with the

regiment's early years.



visitor and


Mozartfest filling a couple of weeks in November. Keep up to date at

And finally, something for those of you with clients in the legal profession. Just four original copies of the

For those who like to use a literary theme for their

Magna Carta have survived for very nearly 800 years.

UK tour, the city of Oxford can offer some fascinat-

Generally regarded as the cornerstone of liberty in

ing On Location tours where the cast includes

the English speaking world, one version is owned by

Inspector Morse, Sergeant Lewis and Inspector

Lincoln Cathedral and in 2015 it will be housed in a

Barnaby (Midsomer Murders). For a different market,

bespoke home as part of the redevelopment of

Alice’s Day in early July offers an event where you

Lincoln Castle. It will be displayed with the city’s

can bring together Lewis Carroll, J R R Tolkien and

Charter of the Forest (1217) and other priceless doc-

Harry Potter. The city also plays a very important

uments from the cathedral archive and elsewhere. An

role in a C S Lewis tour.

audio visual display will bring them all to life alongside the whole story of the castle and its role as a prison.

Next year, the UK and Ireland will be marking the

Watch this space as a full programme of celebrations

centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. In the

is being planned for this major anniversary.

October 2013

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16 By Scott


went to see the Sondheim Musical

‘Company’ for the second time last week.

Side by Side


Not only did I love it the first time as it inspired my last column, but this time my daughter was a last minute replacement in the cast, so I had to go! She was wonderful, but I won’t elaborate on her performance but instead will focus on one of the songs, Side by Side, that speaks to the need for ‘company’. The whole show explores our dependence on and desire to have relationships. We are simply wired to interact with each other; and since we are in sales, I think for us it is even a deeper part of who we are. There are actually two perspectives I took from this song. First is the need to have others involved in your business. No mat-

Scott Koepf VP of Sales Avoya Travel/American Express

ter how many strengths you have, you will be more successful if you can work in tandem with someone else that will allow you to do what you are exceptional at. Love the client conversations, but dread the paperwork? Then find an assistant to do the paperwork while you do what you do best — Side by Side. Consider building up a moral support group who will encourage, motivate, and challenge you — Side by Side. You should build strong relationships with your primary suppliers so that you can market and sell with confidence – Side by Side. Or better yet, build up all of these relationships so as the years go by you can sing:

Isn't it warm? Isn't it rosy? Side by side! Ports in a storm, Comfy and cozy, Side by side! Everything shines, How sweet, Side by side! Parallel lines, Who meet, Side by side! Year after year, Older and older, Side by side! Sharing a tear, And lending a shoulder, Side by side!

(continued on page 18)

October 2013

• Host Agency Profiles • Host Agency Reviews • Host Agency Articles • Host Agency Events

Travel Professional


Home Based Travel Agent Books

“How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency Independent Study Guide and Workbook”

Forum • Special Interest Groups • Blogs Forms and Documents • Air Consolidators Cruise & Niche Cruise Directories • Video

“Selling Cruises, Don't Miss the Boat“

Live Chat Every Tuesday!

“Home Based Travel Affiliate“

11,000 Travel Professionals Can’t be Wrong!

“Marketing Prescriptions, For Today's Economy and Beyond“

It’s FUN and it’s FREE!

Side by Side!

18 The second perspective on this song is the result of a proactive approach to the first perspective. In other words, when you build the network and partnerships in your business, the ultimate result is extraordinary relationships with your customers. I often ask travel agents what the ultimate goal is for their business. In most cases the answer I am provided is a desired annual sales figure such as ‘a million dollars in sales’. While certainly an important part of goal setting, it is not a goal that addresses the root cause of those sales. The brilliant management consultant, Peter Drucker, said that the sole purpose of any business is ‘to find and keep customers’. If you do that well, then a million dollars in sales is just a measly by-product on your way to true success! Finding and keeping customers is both an art and a science but if you are proficient at it, then the end result is loyal, lifetime clients. In fact, ultimate success may be defined as the point in which you no longer need to spend any effort on the finding part because you are so good at the keeping part. I will suggest that when that occurs it is time to hire someone else and help them follow your same path. Your plate will be full because you will have clients singing the same song as above that also includes the following lyrics:

What would we do without you? How would we ever get-How would we ever get-How would we ever get-How would we ever get — through? What would we do without you? When your customers feel they truly would not know what to do without you, then you have established your value without question. So go find a team to work with — Side by Side, so that you and your clients can build on a relationship — Side by Side, so that the number of clients you have and the extraordinary sales they generate will multiply beyond your wildest dreams — Side by Side!

October 2013

Travel Agent Professional

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We invite you to learn more about why our HNLUJPLZHYLJVUÄKLU[PU;9(=,3:(=,9: HUK^OH[^LJHUKVMVY`V\ *HSS\Z[VKH`  

Sh o w ca s e National’s Emerald Club Makes Earning Rewards as Easy as “One Two Free” Club Members Can Earn Free* Rental Days by Renting Vehicles, Participating in Bonus Activities

National Car Rental, through its award-winning Emerald Club, is launching its annual One Two Free® promotion. The promotion offers registered Emerald Club members one free rental day for every two qualifying rentals** of a midsize or larger vehicle (for two or more consecutive days.) Members can earn up to 50 free rental days by participating in the promotion, which begins today and includes an earning period through Jan. 31, 2014. National has enhanced this year’s “One Two Free” promotion with the introduction of a points-based system that allows Emerald Club members to earn bonus points for non-rental activities. In addition to the points members earn for qualifying rentals (each is worth 300 points, with a free day awarded once a member earns 600 points), other opportunities to earn bonus points include: • Referring up to 10 friends to join the Emerald Club and “One Two Free” promotion (300 points per referred individual upon completion of a rental) • Downloading National’s new mobile app (one-time bonus of 25 points) • Utilizing Facebook social sign-in to connect on National’s “One Two Free” promotion site (50 points) • Participating in the Emerald Reserve service — for members who require a specific car class, such as a convertible, SUV, minivan, etc. — at Emerald Aisle locations (one-time bonus of 25 points) To refer a friend for the promotion, members can share the “One Two Free” registration link via email, Facebook or Twitter. Participating members receive 300 bonus points when a referred friend becomes an Emerald Club member, registers for the promotion and completes a qualifying rental by Jan. 31, 2014. “For more than a decade, ‘One Two Free’ has been a very popular promotion with our loyal Emerald Club members. This year we’re offering them even more reward-earning opportunities outside of the rental process,” said Rob Connors, assistant vice president of brand marketing for

National. “Earning points for quick and simple activities like downloading our new mobile app and referring friends to the program makes it faster and easier than ever to enjoy free rentals.” Customers can join National’s Emerald Club at and immediately take part in the “One Two Free” promotion. There are no fees to join, and members enjoy expedited service at airports and free upgrades in National’s “Emerald Aisle.” Current Emerald Club members can register for the promotion at Free days earned for qualifying rentals through the “One Two Free” promotion are awarded in addition to a member’s chosen rewards earnings (frequent traveler miles/points or rental credits.) Emerald Club members may track and redeem the free rental days they earn through “One Two Free” between Sept. 9, 2013, and June 16, 2014, by visiting Up to three free days can be redeemed per rental at any time, including weekends. In keeping with the speed and convenience of the Emerald Club rental experience, National notifies participants about their free rental days via email. *Earned free day may be redeemed to cover base rate for a rental day but excludes taxes, governmentally-authorized or imposed surcharges, license recoupment/air tax recovery, concession recoupment fees, airport and airport facility fees, fuel, one-way rental charge, additional driver fee, or optional items, which shall be the responsibility of the renter. **A qualifying rental is the paid rental, via the Emerald Club, of a midsize or larger vehicle at participating locations in the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia (excluding Canada), for a period of two or more consecutive days during the promotion.

For more information, visit To enjoy all the benefits of the Emerald Club, enroll online by visiting

Travel Agent Professional


Your European Trip Is More Affordable! Free GPS Rentals, Savings of 20% With Luxury Car Rental Services Summer Is Not Over Yet! There’s Still Time To Earn Fresh Maine Seafood With Prestige Car Rentals and Business Class Packages with Auto Europe Auto Europe is reminding agents that there is still time to earn their fresh Maine seafood rewards for reservations now through September 30, 2013. Agents can earn three free lobsters or two pounds of salmon with any weekly prestige or sports car rental or business class air packages through their tour division, Fly International. Auto Europe offers the largest selection of luxury vehicles including the latest models from Astin Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lotus, Mercedes, Maserati, Porsche, Range Rover and others. Their dedicated team of specialists can arrange all the details from “meet and greet” service, on or off airport delivery including hotel or private residence and also customized arrangements for special occasions including delivery of vehicles within 24 hours to any major city in Europe.

Auto Europe is also offering incentives for your clients. Their current offers for September include up to 20% off car rental services, free one car class upgrades and free GPS rentals with select car rental services. Their tour division, Fly International offers A La Carte services for a truly customized travel package to suit your upscale travelers with business class services on all major carriers. Seafood offer valid with any seven-day minimum luxury or prestige car rental. Offers subject to change without notice and additional restrictions may apply. Offer valid for US residents only, for reservations now through September 30, 2013 for travel by December 31, 2013. Auto Europe services over 8,000 car rental locations in over 130 countries worldwide. In addition, through their tour division, they offer scheduled airfare to Europe with over 30 carriers and service 3, 4 & 5 star worldwide hotels.

Summer Is Not Over Yet!

There’s Still Time To Earn Fresh Maine Seafood With Prestige Car Rentals and Business Class Packages with Auto Europe Auto Europe is offering customized business class packages to upscale travelers with Fall business class packages to Europe including business class airfare, four nights deluxe accommodations and a choice of a four day luxury car rental or round-trip private chauffeur transfers. These services are offered through their tour division, Fly International. Travel agents can earn up to $1,250.00 per package, $625.00 per passenger, in commissions on these packages and with Auto Europe’s Travel Agent Rewards Program for 2013, can also earn iPad®s, up to $500 gift cards, fresh Maine seafood and free travel services for their own use. Thousands of packages are available from all major departure cities in the USA to all major destinations in Europe. For example, packages from Boston to Copenhagen start at $2717, Philadelphia to Amsterdam $4347, Chicago to Zurich $5327, Miami to Madrid $5297, Washington, D.C. to Paris

from $5127, San Francisco to London $5899 or Seattle to Rome from $6049. All prices are per-person based on two people traveling and are valid for departures September 20 – November 15, 2013 and must be purchased by September 16, 2013. Airfare is roundtrip business class including all taxes and fuel surcharge. Hotel prices include VAT and breakfast; city taxes are not included and are payable to the hotel directly. Car rental includes VAT, CDW, Theft Protection and unlimited mileage. Private chauffeur transfers are round-trip in Europe between the airport and a downtown location, and do not include gratuity. Advance purchase and minimum stay requirements may apply. Fares are subject to availability and are subject to change until payment is received. For details about the 2013 Travel Agents Rewards Program, please visit

1 . 8 0 0 . 2 2 3 . 5 5 5 5 • w w w. a u t o e u r o p e . c o m 39 Commercial St., P.O. Box 7006, Portland, ME 04112

*Some conditions apply. See next page. Travel Agent Professional


Expedia CrusieShipCenters is Giving Away 25 Free Cruise

Expedia CruiseShipCenters is gearing up for our annual cruise giveaway contest, in which 25 winners will be awarded a cruise to the Bahamas on one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s spectacular ships. The Win 1 of 25 Free Cruises Contest is a great opportunity for our Vacation Consultants to grow their customer databases by inviting everyone in their circle of influence – friends, family, coworkers and clients – to enter for their chance to win a free cruise! When people sign up to be part of your database, they can also register to receive exclusive email offers sent personalized from you. Our last Win 1 of 25 FREE Cruises Contest was a huge success and received over 335,000 entries, with 80% of entrants voluntarily subscribing to at least 1 of our email newsletters. “This contest provides an incredible opportunity for our agents to grow their business,” says Geraldine Ree, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Expedia CruiseShipCenters. “Offering someone the chance to win a free cruise is an easy way to begin the customer relationship so that when the time does come for them to book their next vacation, our agents will be top of mind,” she added. We're committed to providing all 4,000 of our Vacation Consultants with the tools they need to build a fun and flexible travel business that fits their lifestyle. All of our training, marketing and technology were designed with your success in mind, so that you can enjoy a rewarding business in travel, even with no industry experience! Find out how you can join our team at an upcoming information webinar. RSVP now or choose the session to the top right that best suits your schedule. Warm regards, Pat Heathfield Expedia CruiseShipCenters Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Just Cruises 43277 Garfield Rd, Clinton Township, MI 48038 Phone: 586-840-7447/800-837-4477 Email: •

October 2013

Travel Agent Professional


The Affluent Traveler Magazine Launches $10,000 Dream Vacation Sweepstakes The Affluent Traveler, the semi-annual luxury lifestyle magazine of The Affluent Traveler Collection, is offering aspiring travelers the chance to win a river cruise vacation for two valued at $10,000. The prize includes a 7 night










visit; entries will be accepted through December 15, 2013. The winner and a guest will travel first class via Delta Airlines and sail through Europe, enjoying an AmaWaterways ‘In Celebration of Wine’ cruise. The cruise includes wine lectures, wine tastings and excursions to historic vineyards and cellars. Celebrity wine hosts from some of the top wineries in North America will accompany each cruise. The Affluent Traveler, designed to serve as the ‘guide to the good life,’ features the world’s finest travel experiences, celebrity interviews and an expansive culinary section. It has an international distribution in more than 15 countries and is available by subscription, through licensed travel advisors of The Affluent Traveler Collection, at major bookstores, on newsstands, in select airport lounges and in the guestrooms of all Affluent Traveler Collection preferred hotels. The Affluent Traveler is the official magazine of The Affluent Traveler Collection, one of 18 brands owned by American Marketing Group, Inc. To learn more about The Affluent Traveler Collection or find an Affluent Traveler Collection licensed travel advisor, visit

*No purchase necessary to win. Terms and conditions apply and can be found by logging on to

For more information about The Affluent Traveler Collection, agencies and suppliers can visit, email, or call 877-645-6351.

October 2013


NEST to Hold National Training Event — Network of Home-based Agencies Convene in November — In a continued effort to provide its members with the most comprehensive and innovative training opportunities, the

About NEST:

Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel (NEST) announces its

The Network of Entrepreneurs Selling

NEST Bootcamp, a two day training event next month. The

Travel (NEST), based in Oyster Bay,

event will include business building seminars, niche travel experience workshops and a trade show. NEST Bootcamp will

New York, is the industry’s first and

take place November 4 – 5, 2013 at the Hyatt Pier 66 in Fort

only marketing group exclusively for

Lauderdale, Florida.

home-based travel agents. The company focuses entirely on helping home-

“As with all of our training sessions, NEST Bootcamp has been carefully put together based on what our agencies have told us is most important to them,” says Kathryn Mazza-Burney,

based travel agents achieve greater success financially, professionally and

President of NEST. “The success of our members has, and

personally by championing solutions

always will be, our top priority. So when there is a chance to

and opportunities just for them. From

provide additional support, we seize the opportunity.”

supplier negotiations to marketing,

A comprehensive line-up of business building sessions covering everything from niche travel trends and sales strategies to

education to networking, and a complete portfolio of technology solu-

marketing planning, technology and more is on the agenda.

tions, NEST delivers what home-based

Well-known industry speaker Cory Andrichuk, President of

agents need, when they need it. NEST

brandUcoaching Inc. will be the keynote speaker and will coach attendees at some of the workshops. Members will have the opportunity to network with their peers, preferred suppliers

also supports the changing needs of suppliers, helping them to effectively

and NEST executives. Another key component is a preferred

reach the rapidly growing, home-

supplier showcase, inclusive of a mini trade show. Participants

based distribution channel to train,

will have the opportunity to schedule individual appointments

motivate, cultivate and compensate

in advance with preferred suppliers to discuss product offerings, marketing, sales tactics and vendor support.


To learn more about joining NEST, home-based agents can visit or contact Rosemary Sarkis at 888-245-NEST x3007.

Travel Agent Professional

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The sea is calling. It whispers your name, inviting you to a place more beautiful than anything you’ve seen. Where light dances on the waves, and the gentle sound puts you at ease. Where you can enjoy a piña colada, a massage, ice skating and rock climbing all in one place. Only Royal Caribbean International® delivers the one vacation that’s a full sea of possibilities.


Travel Agent Professional Oct. 2013  

TAP is one of the only magazine for the Home Based Trade Agent.... With stories written by industry leaders like Rusty Pickett, ECC, Shellba...

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