Most Clicked ASTA SmartBrief Stories

1. Brazil could relax visa restrictions for U.S. travelers

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 20, 2015

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is expected to consider easing of visa restrictions against U.S. citizens. According to a 2012 study, removing travel visa restrictions on a country correlated with a 200% increase in travelers from that country. Fusion (01/18)

2. Column: Steer client conversations toward the experience of travel

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 21, 2015

Selling on price is not the way to do business, Richard Earls writes. "The customer won on price will be lost on price. The hapless travel agent trains clients to focus on price and then expresses surprise at the lack of 'loyalty,'" Earls writes. Instead, agents should shift the conversation toward the experience of travel -- making memories more important than the cost and transforming the client relationship into one of collaboration and education, Earls writes. Travel Research Online (01/18)

3. MMGY Global: Millennials drawn to agents' experience

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 22, 2015

Travel agents were the booking channel of choice among 28% of millennials in 2014, compared with 13% of travelers ages 50 to 65 years and 15% of those ages 36 to 49 years, according to a study by MMGY Global. Millennials "want to go some place no one else has been, which means they really need a third party to help them work through the details," said CEO Clayton Reid. American City Business Journals (01/21)

4. Norwegian Cruise Line to talk to agents in early 2015 roadshow

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 20, 2015

Norwegian Cruise Line's leaders will host a series of events in January, February and March in 21 major U.S. and Canadian cities to give travel agents a chance to learn about the line's latest plans and offerings. TravelAge West (01/16)

5. Cancun upgrading travel infrastructure amid record 2014

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

2014 was a record year for tourism in Cancun, and officials expect an even bigger 2015, said Jesus Almaguer of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, citing additional air routes, new hotels, and a full slate of special events. In addition, the Mexican government has allocated more than $14 million to upgrade Cancun's beaches. TravelPulse (01/21)

6. United expands food options for mid-haul flights

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

United Airlines has announced three-meal availability for flights up to 5 hours and 19 minutes and multi-course meals on transcontinental flights. This is the latest improvement to meal services for U.S. carriers, as both Delta and American have expanded in-flight menus. Forbes (01/21)

7. New hotels set to open in Hawaii in 2015

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 19, 2015

Travelers visiting Hawaii this year may want to take advantage of new cultural excursions and visit new and recently renovated hotels. The JW Marriott Ihilani, for example, will transform into the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. Meanwhile, the Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore will open in May. This article includes information on other new hotels and activities available in Hawaii. USA Today (01/15)

8. 2014 sales, membership are up for Travel Experts

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 19, 2015

Sales at luxury host agency Travel Experts increased 45% in 2014 over 2013 and the group welcomed 42 new members, representing an 18% increase in membership over 2013. "We have also seen an increase in smaller agencies reconfiguring or even closing, and coming under our umbrella," President Susan Ferrell said. TravelPulse (01/16)

9. Tauck draws solo travelers with price reductions

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 21, 2015

Tauck is offering savings for solo travelers in 2015, including up to $1,000 in discounts on single supplements on more than 60 itineraries. The operator will also waive the single supplement on its Category 1 European riverboat cabins and offer discounts of up to $400 on European land tours. TravelPulse (01/20)

10. All Inclusive Collection seeks 2,900 new rooms in 2 years

ASTA SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

The All Inclusive Collection seeks to build on double-digit demand growth in 2014 by expanding its portfolio with 2,900 additional rooms over the next two years. Vice President of Marketing Frank Maduro said the brand continues to bolster its partnership with travel agents, who account for 90% of its leisure business, by offering a diverse range of programs and incentives. TravelPulse (01/21)

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