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February 8, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Avalon Waterways announces construction of 3 new river vessels
    Avalon Waterways plans to launch three new luxury ships that are under construction in time for the 2014 cruise season. Two of the vessels each will have 66 suites and 17 staterooms, and the third will have 52 suites and 12 staterooms. Each ship will also include two 300-square-foot Royal Suites. TravelPulse (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • 66% of business travelers can book online, but only 33% do so
    A leading provider of IT solutions for the global tourism and travel industry has released a report that indicates two-thirds of business travelers now have the opportunity to book their travel through an online agent. However, the Business Travel Insights report created by Amadeus reveals that only about half that number take advantage of this option. Travel Daily UK (U.K.) (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Travel helps set the mood for love, survey finds
    The U.S. Travel Association has released the results of a new survey that found travel as a strong motivator for romance. Sixty-three percent of respondents said that a weekend vacation helps stir romantic thoughts more effectively than gifts. Strengthening intimacy was an important motivator for travel for nearly 60% of couples surveyed, the survey found. (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Israel aims to boost tourism amid security concerns
    Although security is a concern, hotel development and travel are on the rise in Israel, and even the government is pitching in with grants. "It's understood by the government that tourism here is very sensitive to the political and geopolitical environment, and if we want investors to build big hotels for hundreds of millions of shekels, we have to help them," said Eran Nitzan, the Ministry of Tourism's senior deputy director for infrastructure development and investments. The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is set to open this summer. Bloomberg (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Destinations in and near San José, Costa Rica, show nation's culture
    San José, Costa Rica, the country's capital and common starting point for travelers' journeys, and the surrounding area have enough destination offerings to make up an entertaining day of exploration, this feature says. Visitors can stop by the Museum of Cartago, which stands as a marker for a massive earthquake that hit the city a century ago. San José's Central Market offers a variety of souvenirs and local delicacies. TravelAge West (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • Court settlement in Alaska places tighter rules on port lecturers
    Port lecturers in Alaska will be placed under stricter guidelines regarding their dialog under terms of a recent court settlement. Onboard Media, PPI Group and Royal Media Partners reached a deal with the state to provide their lecturers with a script that informs passengers that they are being paid to promote paying retailers in their talks. Lecturers will also be prohibited from disparaging nonpaying stores. A monitoring system is being established to enforce the new policies. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: How to capture the first-time cruiser market
    Persuading noncruisers to take their first voyage lies in informing them about the benefits of cruising and providing facts to overcome common objections, writes travel-industry speaker Keith Powell. "As a travel professional, show your knowledge by addressing them in advance. There is no 'stupid question' in sales but many times the salesperson skips the simple items leaving the buyer to guess or assume," Powell writes. Travel Research Online (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Hang on: 4 ways to keep the customers you have
    It's so much more cost-effective to retain the customers your business has than to win new ones; by focusing hard on great service and reshaping company policies to make sure they benefit customers, a business can boost retention, writes Sheila Roy, sales and marketing director at USA Fulfillment. Two other ideas for keeping clients loyal: Stay connected with customers through e-mail, phone and mailed coupons; and be sure customers can get questions answered on the company's website. B2C Marketing Insider (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Top 10 ideas for smarter small business
    To sharpen your time management skills as a small-business owner, harness the power of technology to share files when you're on the run, outsource for jobs such as bookkeeping or IT, and make it a habit to check e-mail only three times a day, says designer Robin Wilson, president and CEO of Robin Wilson Home. Among her other top 10 tips for small-business leaders: Schedule short breaks between meetings, secure office supplies to cut costs, and eye cash flow daily. (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Arizona Chapter reaches 2012 ASTAPAC goal
    The final 2012 ASTAPAC fundraising numbers are in, and we are happy to announce that the Arizona Chapter joined an elite group of chapters that met or exceeded their fundraising goals for ASTA's Political Action Committee (ASTAPAC). ASTAPAC is a critical advocacy tool for the association, ensuring us a "seat at the table" in Washington as policymakers consider the issues that affect our industry the most. This year, each chapter was assigned a fundraising goal, based on a simple calculation of the number of chapter members. Learn more about ASTAPAC and how to help your chapter meet its 2013 fundraising goals here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Invitation to participate in U.S. destinations survey
    All ASTA travel agent members should have received an invitation to fill out a travel agent survey on U.S. Destinations. All respondents to the survey will be placed in a drawing for one of five $100 AMEX cards. This survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete. Please contact Melissa Teates at 703-739-6893 or if you did not receive your invitation or have questions. Additional rules and conditions for the drawing will be available at the end of the survey or can be requested at No purchase is necessary to be entered into the drawing. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If you want to make enemies, try to change something."
--Woodrow Wilson,
28th U.S. president

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