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March 1, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Carnival Triumph fire had no effect on cruise bookings, report says
    Tim Conder, an analyst at Wells Fargo, has issued a report stating that the Carnival Triumph incident in February had no significant effect on cruise demand. "Consistent with historical precedent following other ship incidents, our industry checks indicate that at this point ... there has been no impact on experienced cruise customer bookings/pricing patterns," the report says. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • United to sell Premier Access perks
    United will begin to offer Premier Access to passengers who do not qualify for expedited screening benefits and priority boarding, but the carrier says it will limit the number of those allowed to purchase the service. Currently, United MileagePlus credit card members, Premier-level MileagePlus members, Star Alliance Gold and Silver members, Copa Airlines Clase Ejecutiva members, along with first- and business-class fliers, have access to Premier Access. Frequent Business Traveler (2/27), Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends and Technology 
  • Report: Travel industry boosted global economy by $6.6 trillion
    A new report by the World Travel and Tourism Council indicates that the travel and tourism industry contributed a total of $6.6 trillion to the global gross domestic product last year. The industry directly provided more than 101 million jobs, accounting for 3.4% of overall global employment. Travel Weekly (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Some hotels want guests to come "home," stay awhile
    Hotel suites may look a lot more like home, as hotels are designing them to be more comfortable with features to accommodate longer stays. Best Western is breaking into the suite segment, as other chains offer extended-stay options as well. "The rooms allow the guest to completely unpack and set up shop no matter how long you're going to be there," said Loren Nalewanski, vice president and global brand manager for TownePlace Suites by Marriott. "[It] makes it easy for business to happen even though they might not be at their workplace." (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Airline tickets cost half as much in 2011 as in 1978
    The cost of an airline ticket in 2011 was 50% less than in 1978, when adjusted for inflation, this feature says. The drop in price stems from deregulation of the industry, experts say. "When you have intense competition for a product that is price sensitive, you have falling prices," said John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist at Airlines for America. The Atlantic (2/2013) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Travelers are rediscovering Myanmar
    Myanmar's mysterious beauty is once again attracting travelers now that democracy is taking root in the once military-run country, this feature says. Infrastructure projects have eased travel access to several tourist spots, such as Golden Rock in Mon State, a Buddhist pilgrimage site said to house a strand of the Buddha's hair. The Washington Post (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • ASTA's advocacy program targets state sales taxes, air travel rules
    ASTA has set its sights on sales-tax proposals in several states that would impose a severe tax burden on member agents, says Eben Peck, ASTA's vice president of government affairs. ASTA also awaits the Transportation Department's decision regarding the International Air Transport Association's New Distribution Capability initiative as well as a ruling on the transparency of ancillary-fee data. (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 

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  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Customer-first marketing makes the difference
    Using social media to promote your company can be challenging, and traditional media is still crucial in marketing. It can get overwhelming to understand how to shape your message on all the platforms available, but one thing is constant, writes Scott Anderson, marketing director at On Hold Company, and that's the customer. Successful companies shape their messages to the client, not the platform, he writes. B2C Marketing Insider (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Making loyal customers along with sales
    Businesses need to "elevate customer loyalty to a business goal," and not just equate that loyalty with someone who makes repeat purchases, writes Vickie Pittard of Little Black Dog Social Media. Using rewards programs, social media and other tools, a business can galvanize its entire team to treat the creation of loyal customers as a corporate mission, she writes. B2C Marketing Insider (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • ASTA offers airline ancillary fee comparison
    Within the E-Library, ASTA members can find a recently updated chart that summarizes the major airlines' ancillary fees. These include baggage fees, advance seat assignment fees, unaccompanied minor fees, priority boarding fees and Wi-Fi fees. See ASTA's Airline Ancillary Fee Chart. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ASTA article in Travel Weekly
    Eben Peck, ASTA's vice president of government affairs, recently wrote an article titled "Sales tax on services: The next big thing?" in Travel Weekly. The article includes information on potential sales taxes on travel agencies. Read the full text here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
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