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January 15, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Vacation.Com announces sailings under 2013 Culinary Collection has revealed details of its 2013 Culinary Collection, whose food- and wine-themed sailings include cooking classes, wine tastings and regionally inspired menus. Participating cruise lines include Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Silversea Cruises. TravelPulse (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • United offers luggage-delivery program
    United passengers can pay a fee to have their luggage delivered from the airport to their home or hotel. The fee starts at $29.95 for one bag, with the program starting at major airports in Honolulu, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla., with more to be added during the year. Frequent Business Traveler (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Travel agents' air-ticket sales in 2012 rose 3%, ARC reports
    Travel agents sold $84.5 billion in airline tickets in 2012 -- up 3% from $82.1 billion recorded in 2011, the Airlines Reporting Corp. has found. The consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by travel agents in 2012 rose 2.93% year-over-year compared with figures in 2011, ARC said. Total sales rose 2.93% in 2012. TravelPulse (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • D.C.-area airports add amenities for international travelers
    Dulles International and Reagan National airports are adding more amenities to engage international travelers as they travel through the metro area of Washington, D.C. "International travelers arrive at the airport with a lot of time before their flight," said Steve Baker, vice president of business administration at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Both airports have added restaurants and retail stores. The Washington Post/Capital Business (1/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels eye digital check-in options
    InterContinental Hotels Group has launched a digital check-in kiosk at the Crowne Plaza Orlando-Universal in Florida, which lets guests scan a bar code on paper or via their smartphones to obtain room keys. The company will continue testing the technology before rolling it out at other locations. Hilton lets its HHonors members use the Suite Selection service at its Homewood Suites by Hilton, which allows them to choose the room they want via a virtual map of the hotel. (1/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Travel Weekly Spotlight 
  • Insider experiences intact on A&K Connections tour
    One might call Connections by A&K its budget line, but of course, "budget" is a relative term at Abercrombie & Kent, which is known for its intimate, very top-line-luxury tours that include nights at five-star hotels. In other words, Connections is still going to be quite the comfortable journey, with plenty of perks and upscale accommodations to be sampled. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Home-Based Agent Update 
  • To go solo, agents must adopt a risk-taking mindset
    Travel agents looking to start their own business should be willing to take risks and have the perseverance to face setbacks, advises business author Carol Roth. "So many people start businesses based on their passions. Passion gets you started, but it's perseverance that keeps you going," Roth says. (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina, offers a medley of flavors
    One of the ways to experience the rich culture of Argentina is through its complex cuisine, which carries influences from Europe and Latin America, this feature says. Visitors to Buenos Aires can feast on a parilla completada, induldge in a bife de chorizo or sample Chinese food in the city's Chinatown. TravelAge West (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  Best Practices 
  • Building on public relations opens many business opportunities
    Travel agents should employ follow-up strategies to good public relations, which allow them to improve their credentials and reach more potential clients, Richard Earls writes. "A follow-up plan has two important goals. Firstly, you want to ensure as many people as possible see the public relations placement. Secondly, you want to extend the shelf life of the placement as long as possible," Earls writes. Social media and the agency website are two effective channels for follow-up efforts. Travel Research Online (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 ASTA's Home-Based Marketing Guide
Running a home-based business isn't easy. Look no further than ASTA for the marketing tips and tools you need to attract new clients and achieve growth in today's market. ASTA's Home-Based Marketing Guide provides members with fresh, new ways to promote their unique services to consumers and improve the way they do business.


Interested in learning more about advertising in ASTA SmartBrief? Contact Candace Donlin at (202) 407-7861 or 

  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Top 3 tips for hanging on to your customers
    Retaining your top customers takes constant attention, and harnessing the power of your business' online presence can make that easier, writes Joshua Paul, marketing director at Socious. His three tips for customer retention: Use online communities as a "listening post" to know what customers are saying, and maintain dialogue; create content and offers just for current customers; and use surveys and e-mails to stay at the forefront of customers' minds. B2C Marketing Insider (1/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Supplier webinars from NACTA
    If you want to hear about the latest offerings from top cruise lines and tour operators, check out the National Association of Career Travel Agents' extensive calendar of events. Open to all agents, webinars will give you a competitive edge. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ASTA logo enhances your website
    Enhance your company's reputation with the ASTA logo. Be recognized worldwide by travel agents, suppliers and consumers as a part of a reputable travel community. ASTA and its affiliates now constitute the world's largest and most influential travel trade association with members in 120 countries. As the world's largest travel trade association, our work encompasses every aspect of the travel experience. Visit to download the ASTA logo and to find out more about the guidelines of using the ASTA logo. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

If you can't write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don't have a clear idea."
--David Belasco,
American theatrical producer, director and playwright

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