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January 31, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • CLIA adds Dutch Cruise Council to global organization
    Cruise Lines International Association announced that the Dutch Cruise Council has joined its global alliance and will operate under the name CLIA Netherlands. The association is also in the process of creating a cruise council in Germany, which will be based in Hamburg. TravelPulse (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Norwegian takes Egypt off itinerary through April 2015
    Norwegian Cruise Line said that 10-night Eastern Mediterranean cruises aboard the Norwegian Jade won't include Egypt through at least April 2015. The cruise launches out of Civitavecchia, Italy, and includes port calls in Greece, Italy and Turkey. The Norwegian Spirit, which also operates year-round sailings in Europe, will make 10-night cruises out of Barcelona and Malaga, Spain, in late 2014 and early 2015. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Georgia — An Exciting New European Destination
American Georgian Travel Group's 2013 tours forming for Jun, Jul, Sep, and Oct. Experience Georgian hospitality at its best. Visit ancient ruins, UNESCO world heritage sites and picturesque vineyards. For travelers wanting a cultural and historical experience, Georgia is your country. Customized tours offered. 855-691-4992 Get more information.
  Trends and Technology 
  • Top-notch airport lounges give competitive edge
    Airport lounges are an increasingly critical tool for airlines and airports competing over premium-class international travelers, this feature says. The EVA Air lounge in Taipei offers travelers a shower, laptop charging station and hot food such as dumplings and waffles, while Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport spent $1.6 million to build a new lounge for Priority Pass members that offers food, drinks and more. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Destination of the Week 
  • Shanghai art scene attracts visitors
    The China Art Palace and the Power Station of Art, on opposite banks of the Huangpu River, opened in October. Shanghai hopes that the two landmark galleries will help the city promote itself as a destination for art connoisseurs. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Home-Based Agent Update 
  • 1,400 agents attended Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Expo
    The Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Expo by Virtual Travel Events this week brought in 1,400 travel agents over the course of two days. The event offered interactive webinars and booths showcasing the various packages available in the destination weddings and honeymoons segment. TravelPulse (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • TSA could turn to data from private firms for PreCheck
    The Transportation Security Administration is considering using data from commercial firms to expand its PreCheck program. The TSA said it seeks "to use non-governmental data elements to generate an assessment of the risk to the aviation transportation system that may be posed by a specific individual, and to communicate the identity of persons who have successfully passed this risk-based assessment to TSA's Secure Flight." Homeland Security Today (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Merging social media with search widens online reach
    Travel agents can expand their online exposure through a two-pronged strategy that utilizes the social media and search-engine channels, writes Margie Jordan, CEO of Jordan Executive Travel Service. "Driving traffic to your website begins by creating content that, first, can be found in search engines and, second, is posted on social media. It's a powerful one-two punch that works in harmony and can have an immediate effect on your bottom line," Jordan writes. Travel Weekly (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 Under 40 and an ASTA member?
Under 40 and an ASTA member? Then you owe it to yourself to join ASTA's Young Professional Society (YPS). YPS gives a forum for today's young travel professionals to network, establish strong business contacts and share best practices. Join today.

  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Using storytelling techniques to connect with customers
    You should tell a story with a clear beginning, middle and end when you pitch to prospects, but you should also allow room for improvisation, says Kambri Crews of Ballyhoo Promotions. "If you sound rehearsed, it turns people off and they tune out," Crews says. It's also important to attempt to connect with your audience on a personal level, she says. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Keep those customers from walking out the door
    To keep customers from leaving your business, find out what they think of the products and services, figure out which clients are most profitable, and send reminders to them about your offerings in the early days of the relationship, writes marketing expert Chintan Bharwada. Three other tips: Reward valued customers, try to get them to aggregate their business with your firm and craft a written marketing plan. B2C Marketing Insider (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • The Global Sustainable Tourism Council
    ASTA is a charter member of The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). We support GSTC as part of our desire to see travel to continue to become more sustainable and socially responsible. The GSTC is requesting public feedback on the current draft of The Criteria for Destinations. Travel Agencies and others can comment on or suggest improvements to the Destination Criteria until Feb. 15. The survey is available in English and Spanish. The GSTC is selecting up to 10 destinations to pilot test the second phase of its new Destination Criteria. Destinations interested in becoming an Early Adopter are encouraged to contact for an application. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New credit card surcharge rules
    As a result of an antitrust settlement reached in 2012, effective Jan. 27, 2013, MasterCard and Visa merchants in the United States and U.S. Territories are permitted to impose a credit card surcharge, up to a cap of 4 percent, on consumers when they use a credit card -- except in the ten states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas) where it's currently prohibited. Complete details can be found at and LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

Any workout which does not involve a certain minimum of danger or responsibility does not improve the body -- it just wears it out."
--Norman Mailer,
American writer

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