If you work in the travel industry you’ve heard it before: it’s extremely hard for small travel agencies to compete with the travel giants like Expedia and Orbitz. Honestly it’s a cold war the home-based agent will never win. But the smaller agencies do have several advantages, two of which are knowledge and access to more unusual destinations. Exotics are becoming more and more popular every day. Don’t get me wrong, the Disney vacation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But as vacation time dwindles in the US, travelers are looking for more one-of-a-kind travel experiences. And people are particularly focused on going to places where others aren’t. I will admit I include myself in this group. So as I was searching places I should visit where tourists aren’t going I stumbled upon Gunnar Garfors blog post “The 25 Least Visited Countries in the World”
A river cruise takes the best aspects of cruising, and combines it with the best of a guided tour. Unpack only once just like on a cruise, and explore the cities you’ve dreamed about visiting. River cruises are much more convenient than a land tour, and can visit ports that traditional cruise ships can’t reach. And with Viking River Cruises you’ll “spend less time getting there and more time being there”.
I know you’ve heard the whispers among the ranks.
Somewhere out there are free trips for travel agents; on new ships, to tropical destinations. In fact anywhere a travel agent wants to go, they can go for free.
Those trips actually have a name in the industry: Familiarization trips (FAMs) and Inaugurals. And it’s true –once upon a time (in the good old days) travel agents did receive a lot of perks, including free travel. But times, they are a-changing, so let me give you the skinny on how FAMs and inaugurals are allotted by the vendors and how TPI disperses them.
...except on the Wordpress. Sorry. I'd like to give you an explanation (not an excuse I promise!). So if you don't know already my full title is a three parter. I'm the Marketing and Business Development Representative but I'm also…
So…secret confession time.
I love Disney. And not a little. I’m one of those people who is constantly checking every Disney Facebook page available. I get all the newsletters. I stalk the blogs. I even read AllEars.net like it is my bible. A little perspective:
I even make it a point to stay on property as much as possible -and I live in Orlando. Sorry I’m not sorry. Cause truthfully I could have worse vices. So when I was given the opportunity to attend the New Fantasyland press event as a travel industry participant, of course I said yes! So I packed my bag for my long journey 30 miles down I-4.
The opening event was held at Splitsville. If you haven’t been to Downtown Disney in a while, Splitsville is located where Virgin Megastore once was. For those who don’t remember there was a Virgin Megastore at Downtown Disney may remember it as the Princess Diana Experience or its short-lived run as RIDEMAKERZ – yes all-caps, one word, with a z (no lie).
The Renaissance – Setting Popular Travel in Motion
The Renaissance spanned roughly through the 14th to 17th centuries and it was a re-birth of the ancient classical era after the Dark Ages. The renaissance first started in the Italian city of Florence through the works of artists and writers spurred by political and cultural changes of the day. Due to the artistic dependency of patronage, the classical theme was set in motion much due to the rich and powerful Medici family. The Medici’s sought to commission art outside the religious themes that dominated the time period. Besides a revival of the romanticized mythological themes of the classical era, a renewed interest was spurred in classical architecture, mathematics and natural philosophy (predecessor to modern science.)
As the renaissance spread through-out Europe, bringing with it a new artistic and academic focus, it became fashionable for young aristocrats to visit the great master pieces of the classical era as part of their classical education, (mainly Roman art and architecture.) This became known as the Grand Tour.
So now you’re a travel consultant – here are some tips on how to let others know what you are doing!
What is screen resolution?
Why can’t you print an image off the internet and keep its quality?
Why is it not a good idea to use a photo in your logo?
Why does your image blur over time?
Founded in 1966, NCL has been a leader in the cruise industry from the start. They were the “first Out Island Cruise, had the first air-sea program” and was one of the first ships to port in Miami. Today Norwegian is known for “Freestyle Cruising”, a laid back way to cruise. Freestyle Cruising features things like anytime dining and casual dress, giving travelers more control over their vacation.
“To all that come to this happy place: welcome.” –Walt Disney
We are so excited to start something new here at TPI –our very own blog! We hope to entertain you, inform you, and most of all help make running your business and your lives easier. Look for articles from TPI staff, guest blogs from TPI agents, spotlights on our vendors and so much more! And let us know what you want to read by emailing us at [email protected]. Don’t be shy!
To kick things off, let’s start off with your marketing plan. Have you developed one yet? 2013 has just started so it’s not to late to prepare your marketing schedule.