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November 15, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • U.S. Travel Association grass-roots program will focus on Congress
    The U.S. Travel Association has unveiled plans for a grass-roots initiative that aims to cultivate industry advocates in Congress. "Every congressional district in America can thank travel for jobs and economic activity, so we've designed a program to build our bench of champions in Congress, those members who will stand with us and play offense on policies to protect and stimulate increased travel," said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. The Travel Blitz program is set to launch next year. TravelPulse (11/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • New Amadeus platform seeks to ease the search process
    Amadeus has unveiled a new search platform designed to streamline results for agents and others researching travel. Amadeus Featured Results provides curated results based on the searcher's specifications at a speed of one-tenth of a second. The platform is expected to enter the global market early next year. (11/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AAA forecasts increase in 2012 Thanksgiving travel
    Travel numbers for Thanksgiving weekend will improve from last year as more Americans regain confidence from an improving economy, AAA predicts. The number of road travelers going on trips 50 miles or more from home is expected to rise 0.6% over last year. The group says it expects about 3 million Americans to go by air, rising 0.7% from the previous year. Reuters (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: Fliers want airlines to disclose fees to agents, OTAs
    Ninety-four percent of fliers say fee information should be available to travel agents and online travel agencies, a recent Harris Interactive survey found. "The survey data demonstrates that consumers expect airlines to share fees in a transparent and purchasable format in all the channels where they sell their fares," said David Kelly, executive director of Open Allies for Airfare Transparency. The Seattle Times/Tribune Media Services (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sabre launches mobile messaging app for airlines, hotels
    Sabre partners such as travel agencies, hotels and airlines now can send messages to travelers using the new TripCase Connect mobile application. "TripCase uses location data as well as over 200 other triggers to send relevant messages to travelers and pin-point details such as which travelers have a two-hour layover and which are staying in a town for over five days," said John Samuel, senior vice president of Sabre Traveler Solutions. TravelPulse (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Destination of the Week 
  • Dominican Republic invests in tourism infrastructure
    Tourism development has been booming along the Dominican Republic's East Coast, especially in Punta Cana and Cap Cana. A number of new initiatives throughout the D.R. are poised to stimulate tourism in the entire country, including a new highway linking Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Home-Based Agent Update 
  • Column: Beliefs are better expressed through action
    Agents should let their deeds speak for their beliefs rather than argue on social media, Richard Earls writes. "Our personality infuses our business ethic. Especially in a business so personal as travel consulting, the integrity with which we act, the way we treat our clients and suppliers is far more telling than any list of convictions," Earls writes. Travel Research Online (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Quito, Ecuador, revels in its restored beauty
    Travelers are once again visiting Quito, Ecuador, after the city cleaned itself up and brought its rich history back into the world's eye, this feature says. This UNESCO-designated World Heritage City has vibrant cuisine and many museums, art galleries and grand cathedrals. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • TSA: Brush up on rules before holiday travel time
    The Transportation Security Administration is hoping that travelers stay on top of changes to security measures that can affect their holiday travel. For example, fliers under 12 or over the age of 75, or who are active military members in uniform, do not have to remove their shoes during the screening process. Passengers can find the latest rules by going online or downloading the "MyTSA" app onto mobile devices. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • River, luxury cruises offer lucrative returns on investment, execs say
    Selling luxury or river cruises may require significant investment, knowledge and effort, but its strong demand among affluent travelers ensures significant profits in the long run, executives from river and luxury cruise lines said during the recent CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. 2012 National Conference. "There is a high degree of retention when it comes to luxury, although you make a big investment time-wise. There's the higher commissionable rate and you're going to keep that client and retain them through the booking process," said John Wilson, a sales director with Silversea Cruises. (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • What successful small-business owners do differently
    The most successful small-business owners tend to request feedback, are willing to take risks and use social media, according to a survey. "What I notice about these 'success factors' is that there's really no excuse for not doing them, because most of them don't cost you anything," Rieva Lesonsky of GrowBiz Media writes. SCORE Small Business Success Blog (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Do you know what your website is for?
    Many small businesses are failing to make the most of their websites, Lisa Barone writes. To put things right, it's important that SMBs have a clear vision for what they're trying to achieve online. "Your website should be looked at as an extension of your company, and tasked with achieving the same type of goals that surround your business," Barone explains. Small Business Trends (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • ASTA article in Travel Weekly: "Short-term fix, long-term damage"
    ASTA's vice president of government affairs, Eben Peck, recently wrote an article for Travel Weekly, examining the short- and long-term effects of tax burdens on air transportation. You can read it here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Make professional connections at ASTA's International Destination Expo (IDE) Dubai 2013
    The excitement begins now. Join ASTA at our IDE Dubai April 4-7. Meet with local suppliers and experience firsthand the mystical adventures of Dubai. This one-of-a kind event provides the knowledge and tools you need to be a Dubai Destination Specialist. Receive a 30% discount when booking your air with Emirates airline and take advantage of exclusive rates at the official IDE host hotels. Participate in exciting sightseeing and pre- and post-tour options. Register now and discover why the key to increasing sales to Arabia is Definitely Dubai. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others."
--Robert Louis Stevenson,
Scottish novelist, poet and essayist

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