Agents benefit from demand for Mexico travel | Royal Caribbean changes its Australian itineraries | Competition drives low fares for consumers
April 27, 2017
ASTA SmartBrief
News for travel agents
Business and Industry Watch
Agents benefit from demand for Mexico travel
Mexico has climbed to eighth place in the World Tourism Organization's most popular destination rankings, knocking Turkey out of that spot. Forty-five percent of agents saw an increase in Mexican sales of more than 5%, according to a recent survey.
TravelPulse (4/26) 
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Royal Caribbean changes its Australian itineraries
Royal Caribbean changes its Australian itineraries
(Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)
Royal Caribbean has made changes to its Australian schedule for the 2018-2019 season, including Voyager of the Seas' change in location from Australia to Singapore. Radiance of the Seas will sail from Melbourne, while Explorer of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas will serve Sydney.
Cruise Critic (4/26) 
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Trends and Technology
Competition drives low fares for consumers
Department of Transportation data show airline customers are benefiting from historically low fares, as prices dropped 8.5% year over year in 2016. "As always, competition drives pricing and competition is alive and well, as evidenced by the fact that inflation-adjusted airfares have fallen 26% since 2000," said Vaughn Jennings, a spokesman for Airlines for America.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/25) 
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Cruise lines cut Mediterranean sailings due to terrorism concerns
Major cruise brands are sending smaller and a lesser number of ships to the Mediterranean because of terrorism issues, according to a Risposte Turismo report. "In 2017 we shouldn't register any growth in major Med ports," said Francesco di Cesare, president of Risposte Turismo.
Travel Weekly (4/26) 
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Consumer Travel News
Experiencing luxury, thrills on the Arabian coast
While Dubai is known for its traditional values, another United Arab Emirates city, Ras Al Khaimah, is a more relaxed and modern coastal resort town that offers luxury, fun and adventure. Home to the five-star Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah is perfect for thrill-seekers who want to sand surf and do some off-roading in the dunes.
Travel Weekly (4/20) 
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Best Practices
Agents' expertise can help special needs travelers
Agents' expertise can help special needs travelers
(Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/AFP/Getty Images)
Knowledgeable agents can greatly benefit travelers who have accessibility needs, especial baby boomers. Unlike their previous generation, which tried to conceal disabilities, on-the-go boomers "say 'let's go,' and that means they need well-trained travel agents to help them navigate their options." said Jim Smith, a special needs travel expert. (4/26) 
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Small-Business Strategies
Interactive training enhances agents' learning
Interactive training modules are helping agents to better retain information than traditional lecturer-based learning. Video resources, coupled with testing and feedback systems, can greatly improve an agent's engagement.
Travel Weekly (4/26) 
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