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February 13, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Disney Magic to run European, Caribbean sailings in 2014
    Disney Cruise Line has announced that it will send the Disney Magic to Venice, Italy, and then to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the first time in 2014 for a series of voyages in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The Disney Magic will home-port in Venice and Barcelona, Spain, from May to August next year and operate seven- and nine-night sailings in the Greek Isles and other European destinations. In September and October, the Disney Magic will sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico, for seven-night voyages with destinations including Grenada, St. Lucia and Barbados. TravelPulse (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Trends and Technology 
  • Corporations temper travel boom with reduced spending
    Business-travel volume may be rising, but most companies are tightening their road warriors' travel budgets to reduce overall spending. Even high-ranking executives are being compelled to fly coach, and travel managers are urging corporate travelers to cut down on flight and hotel amenities. The Wall Street Journal (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pampering men at the spa: A top trend for 2013
    Relaxed women in fluffy bathrobes is the image most would associate with luxury spas, yet men are making greater use of such facilities these days, Meagan Drillinger writes in this article. She lists and describes eight resorts and spas around the world that specialize in pampering males. Luxury Travel Advisor (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Lanai, Hawaii, is blooming once again
    Restoration and renovation efforts under way in Lanai, Hawaii, are helping bring back the island's former beauty, this feature says. Dole Park in Lanai City offers dining areas and retail outlets, while the island's two Four Seasons resorts offer refreshed interiors and amenities. San Francisco Chronicle (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • ASTA moves to oppose proposed state taxes on travel-agent services
    A number of tax proposals that have emerged this year in different states have faced opposition from grass-roots efforts organized by ASTA. The group's efforts were instrumental in the defeat of three bills in Virginia that called for imposing sales taxes on travel services, this feature says. In Minnesota, ASTA is rallying members to block a governor's budget proposal that would levy a sales tax on travel-agent services. "We've had a pretty good track record so far," said Eben Peck, vice president of government affairs at ASTA. TravelPulse (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Agents should "stand proud" about their expertise
    Travel agents should not allow rude clients or fears of bias erode their confidence in the knowledge and expertise they have gathered, John Frenaye writes. "We have experienced far more than most of our clients and with that experience, comes expertise. They have sought out our expertise -- whatever it may be -- and we need to stand proud," Frenaye writes. Travel Research Online (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Small-Business Strategies 
  • How to create a customer-centric culture
    Customers are skilled at exchanging opinions about your company, especially with social media. That's why it's crucial to make sure your employees at all levels are focused on customer satisfaction and act as advocates for your company, writes Clint Oram, co-founder of SugarCRM. Ditch the "old-school view of customer relations" in which only the sales team is responsible for keeping customers happy. TechCrunch (2/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to manage your company's digital assets
    Chances are that your company has a wide array of digital assets -- images, documents, videos -- that can assist with your marketing efforts, writes Matthew Gonnering of Widen Enterprises. It's a good idea to store these assets in a central location such as on a cloud-storage platform and to understand how they are used. "If you know how frequently a product image is downloaded by users or staff, for instance, you might make different decisions when it comes time to shoot an updated set or photograph a new line," he writes. (2/11) 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
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

Several excuses are always less convincing than one."
--Aldous Huxley,
British author

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