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November 6, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is scheduled for December opening
    The first phase of the opening of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai has been set for December. At 1,164 feet, the 1,608-room hotel will officially become the world's tallest hotel when it opens. Amenities include a pool deck on the seventh floor, a 16,000-square-foot Saray Spa, nine restaurants and five lounges and entertainment venues. Hotel Management online (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Future travel will include nontraditional destinations, study finds
    Market research firm Euromonitor International has released the results of its "Global Trends Report," which shows the world's top emerging travel trends. The study says U.S. travelers will be increasingly drawn to destinations previously off-limits to foreigners, such as Myanmar, Cuba and North Korea. The travel industry is also expected to see a rise in "technology-free" vacation packages and trips that focus on relaxation. (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tourism group lowers outlook for travel industry
    The World Travel & Tourism Council says it maintains an optimistic outlook on global travel despite slightly downgrading its growth prediction for the industry. The group lowered its 2012 forecast to 2.7% from the 2.8% predicted earlier in the year, mainly due to a 0.2% decline in its global GDP growth estimates this year. "Despite some specific and regional downgrades to short-term economic and industry forecasts, the longer-term prospects for travel and tourism remain very positive, and continue to be boosted by strong growth and rising prosperity in emerging markets," said council President and CEO David Scowsill. TravelPulse (11/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Airlines seek new fees despite ancillary revenue increasing
    Airlines earn ancillary revenue for extra baggage, Wi-Fi service and other goodies, and they stand to make 11.3% more in 2012 than they did with such fees the year before, this feature says. Major carriers will earn $36.1 billion in fees this year, according to a report by IdeaWorksCompany and Amadeus. But watch out for new charges. "The low-hanging fruit is gone; they are going to have to invent products," says travel writer Joe Brancatelli. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Corporate hotel rates are expected to go up
    A continued upsurge in hotel demand alongside a slowdown in supply growth point to increases in lodging rates for corporate travelers, this feature says. Travel managers say contract negotiations for lodging are increasingly favoring hotels in terms of prices. "We're going to be seeing well-above-average increases in average room rate for at least the next three to four years," said PKF Hospitality Research President R. Mark Woodworth. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Travel Weekly Spotlight 
  • Agents work to rebook customers before and after Hurricane Sandy
    Travel agents, some with the winds of Hurricane Sandy howling around them, were rebooking clients round the clock last week as travelers strove to grab quickly disappearing seats to get home or out of the path of the storm. It was a time for the personal touch -- talking clients through their options -- but agents were also armed with technology. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Home-Based Agent Update 
  • Independent agents continue to show business gains, survey finds
    Independent agents are experiencing growth in revenue, sales and commissions, the National Association of Career Travel Agents reports in its 2012 Independent Agent Survey. The business growth could stem from agents' push to expand their product offerings, says Ann van Leeuwen, vice president at NACTA. "Cruises have always been the NACTA agent's bread and butter. But now they are selling more higher-end products, like luxury cruises, river cruises and tours from Classic Vacations," van Leeuwen said. Travel Weekly (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Sian Ka'an offers a glimpse of untouched Mayan culture
    Travelers hoping to see Mexico's ancient Mayan culture in a more authentic light might want to visit Sian Ka'an, a biosphere reserve near Tulum, Mexico. Here, visitors can explore the area's vast system of caves and cenotes, limestone sinkholes that Mayans believed to be entrances to the underworld. The reserve is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. San Francisco Chronicle (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • Potential for phony boarding passes poses a security threat
    Bar codes on boarding passes can be altered and pose an airline security threat, security experts say. The Washington Post was alerted about security gaps, and U.S. officials asked the news outlet not to share details. "We continue to explore and implement additional mitigation measures to prevent the manipulation of boarding passes and are working with the airlines to develop systems and methods to prevent illegal tampering," said Transportation Security Administration chief John S. Pistole. The Washington Post (11/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Agents should establish clients' expectations ahead of trip
    Travel agents can ease possible clients' anxieties immediately after reaching a sale by giving them a timetable prior to departure, Richard Earls writes. He advises setting a time frame for contacting the client as well as payment schedules until the start of the trip. "As the travel professional, it is your responsibility to assuage their anxieties and ensure the highest possible return on their decision to work with you," Earls writes. Travel Research Online (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story — Common sense advice for today's traveler
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  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Top deductions for entrepreneurs
    Travel for work. Professional development. Startup expenses. Those are just a few of the key tax deductions small-business owners need to take advantage of, writes marketing consultant Sarah Johnson. Others include the costs of advertising, the cost of obsolete inventory, health insurance premiums, and the expenses of a home office and business equipment. Intuit Small Business Blog (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The benefits of outsourcing cash management
    It can be a good idea to enlist another firm to help you manage your cash flow so you can focus on selling your product and building your business, according to Kacy Karl Owsley of Cadence Bank. "Outsourcing allows you to work with a business that has the tools to help manage processing receivables and disbursements faster and more efficiently, streamlining workflow to get transactions related to the ins and outs of the cash flow cycle done in a timely manner," she says. Smart Business (11/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Sail and sell with NACTA
    Now is the time to experience an amazing cruise while learning marketing, sales and business skills to be successful in this environment. Space is limited and seminars fill up fast, so make your reservation today. See more information. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Connect with consumers through the TravelSense Facebook page
    Check out and "Like" the TravelSense Facebook page for consumers, based on ASTA's consumer Website Here you can directly connect with consumers to share travel destinations and tips. Conversations between travel professionals and consumers can lead to strong relationships with potential clients. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

It's impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information."
--William Gibson,
American-Canadian author

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