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January 25, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Norwegian Cruise Line unveils 2014 country-music cruise
    Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it will launch another country music-themed cruise, in 2014. The seven-night voyage will depart from Miami aboard the Norwegian Pearl and will include 24-hour music events, including performances by Trace Adkins, Wynonna and other musicians; meet-ups with artists; and songwriter workshops. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • United Continental CEO remains upbeat about Dreamliner
    Jeff Smisek, CEO of United Continental Holdings, is expressing his continued confidence in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and its popularity with fliers. The Federal Aviation Administration grounded the aircraft last week over safety concerns regarding its batteries. "The aircraft is a terrific aircraft, and customers love the aircraft, and I have no doubt that customers will flock back to that airplane once we're able to get it back up again," Smisek said. CNNMoney (1/24), USA Today (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Outdated Payment Processes Hinder Travel Company Growth
This American Express whitepaper explores how outdated payment processes are impeding travel company growth, while more sophisticated payment processes can help reduce waste, errors and fraud risk to help gain a competitive advantage. Download the free whitepaper now.

  Trends and Technology 
 
  • National Tour Association conference notes shift in tourism market
    Those who use travel agents are getting younger and have a greater desire for diverse travel experiences, said some attendees of the National Tour Association's Travel Exchange this week. "We're also seeing a continuing reduction in group size and length of tours, as well as a lot more customizing of tour products," said Lisa Simon, president of the NTA. Speakers discussed the continued growth of the family leisure market and adding less physically demanding activities to adventure travel options. TravelMarketReport.com (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Health, travel merge for gluten-free cruise
    When the Ama Waterways' AmaPrima sets sail on May 22 for a seven-day cruise down the Danube River from Budapest to Vilshofen, Germany, it will leave one thing behind -- gluten. Working together on the menu are: Lynda McHenry, owner of Willamette Tours and Cruises; registered nurse Nadine Grzeskowiak; baker/consultant Jules Shepard of Jules Gluten Free; and Anne Roland Lee, director of nutrition at gluten-free-food producer Schar. Travel Weekly (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Cellphone lots have grown in popularity at airports
    Airports have added amenities such as the cellphone lot for people waiting to pick up passengers. Los Angeles International and Seattle-Tacoma International airports were the first to introduce the lots in 2004. "Security concerns and technology have definitely driven the rise of this airport amenity," said Debbie McElroy, spokeswoman for Airports Council International-North America. USA Today (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Whitepaper: SDN: How do you get there from here?
Are the growing data needs of mobile, cloud, big data and social threatening today's enterprise networks? Scalable processes, a phased integration approach and the appetite to optimize over time are key components of a modern network. It's how agile organizations prepare for the data needs of tomorrow.
Explore the whitepaper to start down the path toward SDN.

  Consumer Travel News 
 
  • Acapulco, Mexico, is recovering its travel appeal
    Tourists are returning to Acapulco, Mexico, thanks to marketing efforts and security measures implemented to ease fears of drug-related crime. The city's lively beach party scene remains its main draw, with efforts being made to target students during spring break. TravelAge West (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The ROI of Privacy with TRUSTe Solutions
Investment in a Data Privacy Management Platform can deliver significant, positive financial returns for corporate bottom lines. The "Total Economic Impact (TEI) of TRUSTe" Study explains how Forrester Analysts calculated a 151% ROI for TRUSTe customers. Download the study now.

  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • Hilton, Marriott execs: Countries need Smart Visa rules
    At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week, Hilton and Marriott executives urged governments to enact Smart Visa regulations. These policies have enabled governments to collect and share more data, bolster security, boost efficiency and lower government spending -- all while offering a better customer experience, this feature says. "Smart governments are thinking about international travel and tourism as trade, and they are doing everything they can to remove barriers and be more strategic in addressing visas and other access issues that discourage people from traveling and doing business," said Marriott's president and CEO, Arne Sorenson. TravelPulse (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Value, not rewards, generates loyalty
    Providing impressive value and a superior experience does more to secure customer loyalty than offering reward points does, writes Mark Murphy, president and CEO of travAlliancemedia. "In my book, loyalty is defined by value, not by convoluted rewards programs. And if you can provide value in the process of booking travel, you will be rewarded!" Murphy writes. TravelPulse (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Tips for marketing to baby boomers and older buyers
    When marketing to older Americans, you should avoid contradicting their beliefs or criticizing the people they admire, write Dan Kennedy and Chip Kessler, authors of the "No B.S. Guide to Marketing to Leading-Edge Boomers and Seniors." You should also make an effort to understand the cultural context in which these individuals grew up, they write. Entrepreneur online (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Times when technology isn't the answer
    Technology can be an important part of doing business, but it can't fix every issue you encounter, writes Chris Brahm of Bain & Company. There may be underlying problems with your organization if meetings frequently fail to produce results or if it takes a long time to make decisions, he writes. "If your company's critical decisions have stalled amid an endless cycle of data collection and debate, overly complex processes may be to blame." Forbes (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Agencies, keep an eye out for your Research Family invitation
    Consider joining the 2013 ASTA Research Family. Not only do you earn a $75 credit for your agency dues, but you help ASTA gather the information we need to support our advocacy role as the "Voice of U.S. Travel Agents." Additionally, the Travel Agency Benchmarking Report Series developed from the survey data provides benchmarking data for agencies on service fees, GDS contracts, booking channels, marketing options and technology usage. Please contact Melissa Teates, director of research, if you have any questions. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Attention, U.S. Travel Agency Members: Extend ASTA benefits to your employees
    If you haven't already heard the news, ASTA's Travel Agent membership has transitioned to a company membership. This means that ASTA's valuable and critical industry resources are available for all of your travel agent employees! Now ASTA can serve a broader travel agent population while strengthening our representation on Capitol Hill. Travel agency member owners and their employees will have access to our member-exclusive educational resources, professional networking opportunities and critical industry updates. To ensure a smooth transition for our valued Travel Agent members, we've created resources to answer all of your questions. Learn more or contact us to renew your membership or sign up your employees. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

  Sponsored Poll 
  • What would you see as the primary advantage of an intelligent system for your business?
    Improved customer service  55.16%
    Finding cost savings  34.53%
    Addressing privacy or security concerns  10.32%
  SmartQuote 
In youth we learn; in age we understand."
--Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach,
Austrian writer


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