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February 15, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • AMR and US Airways boards approve merger
    The boards of US Airways and AMR, American Airlines' parent company, have given final approval to a merger of the two airlines. "The combination of American and US Airways brings together two highly complementary networks with access to the best destinations around the globe and gives us a strong platform to provide our customers the most connected, comfortable travel experience available," said AMR Chairman, President and CEO Tom Horton, who will serve as chairman of the board of the new American Airlines. US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker, who will serve as CEO of the new airline, also pointed to the benefit customers would see from the merger. "The combined airline will have the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace," Parker said. "Our combined network will provide a significantly more attractive offering to customers." Air Transport World (2/14), The Washington Post (2/14), The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model) (2/14), Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)/Sky Talk blog (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Paul Gauguin Cruises will launch its first Asian sailings in 2014
    Paul Gauguin Cruises has unveiled its 2014 cruise program, which includes the line's first voyages in Asia. The line will offer two 14-night sailings between Cairns, Australia, and Singapore, with destinations that include Komodo Island and Bali, Indonesia, as well as Thursday Island, Australia. An 11-night cruise from Fiji to Australia will launch June 14, 2014, with port calls in Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. TravelPulse (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Farelogix unveils mobile-based distribution platform
    Farelogix's new Airline Commerce Gateway platform lets users change tickets on a mobile device, among other features. It also lets travel agents see videos of seats, airport lounges and meals. "[T]his is where a travel agent can offer tremendous value," said Jim Davidson, the company's president and CEO. Travel Weekly (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New wave of visitors revives travel in Caribbean
    The number of people visiting the Caribbean last year -- about 25 million -- was up about 5% from the year before, a sign that tourism is rebounding in the region. Hotel occupancy was up 7% and revenue was up nearly 9%. "The region as a whole has regained ground lost in the heat of the global economic depression," said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, chairwoman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Dayton Daily News (Ohio)/The Associated Press (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • U.S. Travel will continue fight for ease of visa access, CEO says
    Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, says his group will continue its campaign to reduce visa waiting times and expand the list of countries under the U.S. visa-waiver program. "We want to add Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Poland, Israel and four or five others. There is dialogue currently between the U.S. government and Brazil," Dow said. The group will also continue its search for travel-industry supporters in Congress to bolster government support for the industry, Dow says. (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • The 7 sentences you need for a marketing strategy
    It's important to create a strategy to guide your marketing efforts, but this strategy need not be complicated, write Jay and Jeannie Levinson in this excerpt from their book "Guerrilla Marketing Field Guide." Your strategy, which only has to be seven sentences long, should address topics such as your target audience and the tools you can use to reach them. Entrepreneur online (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Webinar: U.S. Travel to Cuba: 2013 and Beyond
    The decades-old U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba has long restricted travel by Americans to the island. Despite restrictions, nearly 400,000 U.S. travelers visited Cuba in 2012 to see family members and participated in specialized tours that promote "people-to-people" contact between Cuba and the U.S. Many observers expect Cuba travel to grow further over the next several years. This webinar will discuss the outlook for U.S. travel to Cuba in 2013 and beyond. Panelists will explain legal ways for Americans to travel to Cuba, along with rules that allow U.S. travel agencies to earn fees for referrals to authorized Cuba travel providers. Sign up for this Feb. 20 webinar. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Arizona grass-roots campaign launches
    ASTA is calling on members in Arizona to protect their travel insurance revenue stream by asking state legislators to support travel insurance deregulation legislation (HB 2560). Arizona's insurance commissioner can follow new standards that will eliminate the travel insurance licensing burden on travel agents in Arizona. This will not only save them money, but it will also lead the way for more states to adopt the new standard. Arizona members can send either a short e-mail through our web form or make a telephone call (find legislator contact information here). Your voice counts! Contact John Pittman with questions. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal. Not to people or things."
--Albert Einstein,
German-born theoretical physicist

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