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March 15, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Generator malfunction leaves Carnival Dream at St. Maarten port
    Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Dream remains in port at St. Maarten in the Caribbean after technical problems arose with a backup diesel generator. The cruise line has made arrangements to fly the ship's passengers to their home cities or to Port Canaveral, Fla., and has canceled the Dream's sailing scheduled for Saturday. "While the ship's propulsion systems and primary power source were not impacted, in an abundance of caution, we prefer not to sail with guests on board without an operational back-up emergency generator," the company said. (3/14), USA Today/Cruise Log blog (3/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Marriott eyes resort on Italian island
    Marriott will open a luxury resort on Sacca Sessola, a private island near Venice, Italy. The JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa will have 266 guestrooms, a spa and more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space. (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Jamaica ups tourism drive
    Jamaica's tourism industry is preparing to go all out this year with initiatives to attract more leisure visitors. The hotel and resort segment is touting several new openings and renovations, such as the all-inclusive Seashore Bay Beach Resort in Sandy Bay, Negril. Several carriers such as Delta Air Lines, AirTran Airways and JetBlue Airways have unveiled plans to expand service in the country. TravelAge West (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Spa travel is surging, travel agents say
    Travel to destination spas appears strong, according to a recent survey of travel agents, according to a SpaFinder Wellness poll. Some 68% of agents surveyed said 2012 bookings for spa travel were up, compared with 37% a year earlier. Many agents said gains were strong in travel to spas known for programs in fitness, weight loss and stress reduction. (3/13), TravelPulse (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  Best Practices 
  • Column: True work enthusiasm should come from the heart
    Maintaining a positive attitude that impresses clients requires a deep passion for travel that manifests in an agent's environment and daily actions, Richard Earls writes. "Work to not just intellectually understand the need for empathy but to adopt an empathetic attitude emotionally so that it is your first reaction to the client, not a forced one," Earls writes. Travel Research Online (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • 5 tips for more effective content marketing
    Your content marketing initiatives will be more successful if you develop a plan and strive to understand your target audience, writes Katherine Duncan. "Study your prospective audience to determine their needs and interests so you can appeal to them in an entertaining manner," she recommends. Offer a variety of content, and use social media to attract attention to the content you have created. Entrepreneur online (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Staffing, empathy are keys to happy customers
    Finding the best staffers is one of the foundations of creating top-quality customer service, business writer Stefanie Amini says, and focusing on training workers to have great knowledge of your product or service will help a company retain those workers. Another key: Show empathy with customers. Customers want to know their complaints are being heard and their needs met, Amini writes. B2C Marketing Insider (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Press release: ASTA renews commitment to combat human trafficking, sex tourism
    ASTA renewed its commitment to lead the travel industry in an ongoing battle against human trafficking and child sex tourism, formally joining the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking" partnership. Read the full release. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Preventing ticketing fraud: Best practices
    ASTA members are reminded to never attempt to log into their GDS after clicking on a login link found in an e-mail -- even if the message appears to be a legitimate e-mail from your GDS vendor or the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC). ARC, in conjunction with the GDSs, has published a new best practices guide for preventing unauthorized or stolen ticketing fraud. To access the guide, log in to My ARC, locate the Fraud Prevention portlet and click on Best Practices and Unauthorized/Stolen Ticketing & Phishing E-mails. Report suspicious activity to or (855) 358-0393. For more information, check out ASTA's recorded webinar. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ohio Legislative update -- Sales tax on travel agents
    We want to update you on where things stand in Ohio a few weeks out from ASTA's "action alert" on Gov. John Kasich's proposal to extend the state's sales tax to "travel agent services." We also want to extend a big thank you to everyone who responded to the alert. The response was incredible -- including multiple phone and face-to-face contacts with legislators and more than 220 e-mails sent. This is a great start to making sure our industry is protected in Columbus, but there is more to do so ACT NOW! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Adventure is not outside man; it is within."
--George Eliot,
British writer

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