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December 10, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Disney will offer Mediterranean cruises in 2013
    Disney Cruise Line has announced that the Disney Magic will return to the Mediterranean for a series of voyages out of Barcelona, Spain. The planned sailings include four-, seven- and 12-day itineraries with calls on 13 ports such as Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kusadasi, Turkey; and Venice, Italy. Travel Weekly (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Southwest asks FAA for more slots at Reagan airport
    Southwest Airlines has applied to the Federal Aviation Administration to secure more landing rights at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The carrier plans to use the slots to add service from the airport to William P. Hobby Airport in Houston. "Houston is one of Southwest Airlines' three original cities, and this proposed new service is another example of our strong commitment to continue adding value to the community," said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • St. Regis Hotels plans to open its first property in Africa
    St. Regis Hotels and Resorts is looking to open its first hotel in Africa with the planned launch of the St. Regis Mauritius Resort. Its beachside location along the Le Morne UNESCO World Heritage Site will afford expansive views of the Indian Ocean from the property's 172 rooms and suites. TravelPulse (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Survey: 26.7% of tour operators predict a "boom year" in 2013
    The United States Tour Operators Association has unveiled the results of a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which shows that 26.7% of its member tour operators are expecting sales in 2013 to rise by more than 10%, while an equal number expect a growth increase of 7% to 9%. The group revealed the study's findings during its annual conference in Hawaii, where it also unveiled an updated website and a new social media campaign. TravelPulse (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: Most European companies stick to travel budgets in 2012
    Sixty-three percent of companies in Europe maintained their corporate travel budgets in 2012 and 23% increased spending, shows the American Express Global Business Travel survey. The survey found that 73% do not plan to revise their corporate-travel forecasts for 2013 and 16% will increase their budgets. Reuters (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Club floors bring exclusivity to luxury hotels
    The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Colorado offers exclusive club floors and rooms in its hotel, creating a hotel within a hotel. These floors in this and other hotels have food and drinks available in the lounges, along with dedicated service and exclusive products not found in standard guest rooms. Hotel Interactive (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Four Seasons in Costa Rica seeks to help guests unplug, rewind
    The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo hopes its Disconnect to Reconnect program will help guests who say they want to unwind actually do so. The resort offers guests a service to hold their iPhones and distributes a guide of resort activities that do not require technology. HotelChatter (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • FCC urges FAA to widen in-flight mobile device use
    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski sent a letter Thursday to the Federal Aviation Administration encouraging it to expand the permitted use of electronic devices on flights. When the FAA formed a group to look into the issue earlier this year, it said it would not allow fliers to talk on phones during flights. The Hill/Hillicon Valley blog (12/6), CNET (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Sellers of luxury travel need firsthand knowledge, experts say
    Travel agents seeking to sell luxury travel can pitch their products better if they possess firsthand knowledge of destinations, luxury agents and suppliers said during the recent Signature Sales Meeting and Trade Show in Las Vegas. "Be more proactive in sending agents out [on luxury fams] so they can sell from their experience of being there rather than from their own taste or their own pocketbook," said Steve Orens, president of Plaza Travel in Encino, Calif. (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Small-Business Strategies 
  • 5 tips for delivering superior customer service
    Many companies are providing poor customer service that might be hurting their growth prospects, Denise Gosnell writes. However, you can offer top-notch service by paying attention to what your customers tell you, keeping your clients in the loop and requesting feedback to improve your business. The Huffington Post/The Blog (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New Year's resolutions to help you start 2013 with a bang
    If you're looking for ways to improve your company in 2013, you can start by resolving to develop a new skill, get to know your customers and join a business organization, Lyndell Fogarty writes in this blog post. Such organizations "are a great way to keep up with advances in your field, contribute to the growth of your industry, make contacts and generate referrals and learn from others' strengths and skills," Fogarty writes. Dynamic Business online (Australia)/blog (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Make the most of your ASTA benefits
    Have you been putting off taking advantage of ASTA's exciting, interactive benefits simply because you don't know where to start? Are you ready to use ASTA's Web Exchange? Want help registering for TravelSense Community or creating a link to on your Web site? Let ASTA help you figure it out with convenient tutorials. Located in the eLibrary section of, these detailed, how-to instructions make it easy to use ASTA's interactive benefits. View these online tutorials. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.,
American physician, writer and poet

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