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November 8, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Oceania changes 2013 schedule to include longer Alaska cruise
    Oceania Cruises has announced that it is adding a 14-night voyage to Alaska in its 2013 schedule, which will replace two seven-night Alaska sailings scheduled for June. The new sailing will depart from and end in Seattle, with stops that include Alaska's Hubbard Glacier, Seward and Kodiak. The change was made in response to customer feedback, the cruise line says. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Royal Caribbean loosens restriction on bringing alcohol aboard ships
    Royal Caribbean International has modified its alcohol policy and is now allowing two 750-milliliter bottles of wine per cabin to be brought aboard its ships. If passengers consume the wine in guest cabins or on their balconies there is no charge, while drinking it in public areas will incur a $25 corkage fee. Travel Weekly (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • American Airlines no longer accepts paper tickets
    At the beginning of the month, American Airlines quit honoring paper tickets. "[T]he usage of paper tickets has shrunk to such a small number that American decided that it was time to align its policies with its joint business partners and reduce the cost and complexity caused by paper tickets," a representative said. (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Travel agents weigh in on re-election of Obama
    Travel agents from across the U.S. are offering differing views on the effect of President Barack Obama's re-election on the travel industry. Some suggest that optimism will rise under another Obama term. Others draw attention to the president's health care program and its potential effects on small businesses, while still others are taking a wait-and-see approach. (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Destination of the Week 
  • Mazatlan tourism muscles into the future
    Travel agents should take note that Mazatlan is back on the tourism map. The once-industrial city anticipates the return of cruise ships and the inauguration of a new highway. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Home-Based Agent Update 
  • Workshop offers tips for running a home-based-agent business
    The Travel Weekly CruiseWorld and Home Based Agent Show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., this week included a workshop on starting a home-based travel agency. The event offered helpful strategies in the use of technology to advance the business, such as collecting photos taken with cruise industry VIPs for use on websites and in newsletters and using Google Voice to stay connected with clients. Travel Weekly (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Small-town charm thrives in Santa Paula, Calif.
    Santa Paula, Calif., offers small-town attractions with a touch of the area's rich history, this feature says. The town's four museums display local art as well as fascinating antiques in the fields of aviation, agriculture and oil production. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  Best Practices 
  • Experts recommend an online marketing strategy on multiple fronts
    A recent survey by ASTA reveals that more travel agents are dropping their use of websites in favor of social media. "For younger agents and second careers, it seems to be that social media, Facebook predominantly, takes the place of a website," said Melissa Teates, director of research at ASTA. A number of experts advise against this trend and stress that a broad online marketing plan is more effective. "New agents who want an online presence should create a marketing plan that will include Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter," said Carrie Finley-Bajak, president of Travel Weekly (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • How monitoring social media can help your marketing efforts
    Entrepreneurs who want to market their products can use social media to find answers to key questions such as who might be interested in their products and which users tend to have influence over their peers, Lee Odden writes. The data derived from analytics "can provide direction for optimizing social media marketing efforts for better performance, whether it's different topics for blog posts, words used in tweets, or types of images shared on Pinterest," Odden writes. ClickZ (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why bosses should stop trying to be right
    Good leaders care less about being right than about figuring out what actually is right in any given situation, writes Art Petty. That implies a less- authoritative approach to leadership, with bosses focusing less on imposing their will and more on soliciting opinions and perspectives before making decisions. "Effective leaders bite their tongues and ask before they tell," Petty writes. (11/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Hurricane Sandy Facebook updates
    Travel professionals affected by Sandy are asked to share their experiences on ASTA's Facebook page. A few examples can be found on We also encourage members with businesses in affected areas to update their status and share their experiences on our page. We know that many are still without telephone and Internet service. As a result, we are also asking anyone in contact with members in these areas to advise us on the status of their recovery efforts. Go here to share your hurricane stories and/or pictures with ASTA members or e-mail them to ASTA. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Travel agents assist clients during Hurricane Sandy
    During the harsh impact of Hurricane Sandy, travel agents worked diligently to assist clients who were affected by numerous travel delays. "We're proud of what our members do for their clients in good times and bad," said Nina Meyer, president and chair of the board of ASTA. "The storm caused thousands of domestic and international flight cancellations and delays, so travel agents made extensive efforts to ensure the well-being of their travelers." ASTA members shared a few of their experiences in helping stranded clients, showing the importance of using a trusted travel agent. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

Leave other people's mistakes where they lie."
--Marcus Aurelius,
Roman emperor

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