Reading this on a mobile device? Try our optimized mobile version here:

March 28, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Oasis of the Seas to operate European sailings in 2014
    Royal Caribbean International announced that the Oasis of the Seas will sail across European waters and the Atlantic for the 2014 cruise season. Scheduled sailings will include a 12-night trans-Atlantic voyage to Barcelona, Spain, and a seven-night cruise from Barcelona to Rotterdam, Netherlands. Bookings are scheduled to open April 11. TravelPulse (3/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends and Technology 
  • Is first class fading away?
    First-class cabins are becoming obsolete on some routes, with many of the same perks available for thousands of dollars less when fliers sit in business class. "There is still a market segment willing to pay for first class. The demand is still there, but not everywhere," said Don Buckenburg, managing director of sales for Lufthansa. CNN (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels catering to new breed of luxury traveler
    Luxury hotels are widening their scope of the ideal customer -- not all are super wealthy, but many professionals on the road want a higher-end hotel experience. "We raised the concept here of the mega traveler, and the idea that it's not just the wealthy and the super wealthy who are traveling and staying in high-end and luxury hotels; it's, in fact, many professionals who are spending 50, 100, 150 days a year on the road," said Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen, who says luxury is more about comfort than formality. (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The New Jersey Shore welcomes guests for 2013 season
    Shoreside amusement parks in New Jersey welcomed guests for the 2013 season after spending months repairing damages from Hurricane Sandy. "This weekend, for Palm Sunday weekend, is when we open our ride park, and this is in line with our opening every year. So our timing on that wasn't set off by Sandy. We were able to keep things on schedule," said Toby Wolf, spokeswoman for Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach. Meanwhile, the state plans to spend $30 million on an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging guests to visit the Jersey Shore. (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Destination of the Week 
  • Celebrating 50 years of The Beatles
    To mark the 50th anniversary of the birth of The Beatles, Liverpool has planned a year of celebrations and activities, all centered on its most famous residents. This year more than ever, a visit to Liverpool is a must-do for Beatles fans traveling to London.

  Home-Based Agent Update 
  • Cloud technology boosts travel managers' efficiency, expert says
    Travel-management firms should transfer all IT-related functions to a cloud-based system to reduce operational costs and put their focus back on serving their clients, says Norm Rose, a corporate market analyst for PhoCusWright. Shifting to cloud storage allows travel managers to better integrate and analyze client information to assess their profitability, he says. "Looking at the total cost and value of companies and client sectors, you can better understand and better manage your client base," Rose said. (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Mérida, Mexico, showcases authentic Mexican culture
    Visitors to Mérida, Mexico, will find themselves drawn into the city's authentic Mexican atmosphere -- crowded markets with all sorts of baubles for sale, pastel-colored historic houses and lively evening music at the central plaza, this feature says. Many Americans attracted by the city's charms have decided to stay, as Mérida's old-style cultural vibe shows no signs of fading. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • Female business travelers support new TSA rule on small knives
    While some are outraged about the Transportation Security Administration's choice to allow small knives on planes, others support it. When writer Joe Sharkey collected comments about the move, he noted several female business travelers said they carry pen knives, which will be allowed when the new rule goes into effect in April. "People who don't understand why anyone would want a small knife on a plane are missing the point. Many people like to carry around a pen knife in their pocket or purse for the small tasks of everyday living for which such a knife is so useful. And these people don't want to have to remember to take the knife out of their pocket or purse every time they fly," one female reader said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
 Go Green and Save Money
Going green doesn't cost a lot. Quite the opposite. Whether you're saving money by outfitting your office with energy-efficient appliances and computers, or gaining new business from the more than 60 million Americans who prefer to work with green companies, ASTA's Green Member Program can put more green in your wallet. Click to get started.

  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Answer the phone already -- and other service tips
    A business can improve its customer service in pretty simple ways -- such as just picking up the telephone promptly, writes business expert Nancy Perkins. "Isn't it frustrating when you call a business hotline and you end up having to endure several minutes of listening to the music on hold because your call can't get through? Well, your customers feel the same way," she writes. Other tips: Smile and greet customers warmly when they enter the business, be flexible about meeting their requests, and reply to e-mails with prompt, typo-free responses. B2C Marketing Insider (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to build your business through cross-selling
    Cross-selling, which involves telling your customers about other products that might interest them, can be a good way to generate more sales, Lee Polevoi writes. It's a good idea to use your website and e-mail messages to suggest products to your customers, he writes. However, it's also important to ensure your cross-selling efforts don't seem pushy. "Train your staff to be ready to explain how other products and services can help to solve a customer's problem -- framed as a suggestion, not as a mandate," he writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (3/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • DOT raises minimum limits for airline baggage liability
    Effective June 6, the limit on airlines' minimum domestic baggage liability will increase to $3,400, an addition of $100 over the current limit. The change is an adjustment for inflation resulting from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) biennial review. For DOT consumer tips on air travel, including baggage liability information, see the DOT's Consumer Guide to Air Travel. ASTA provides members with links to U.S. domestic airlines' contracts of carriage in the E-Library on LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Register now for ASTA's International Destination Expo (IDE) Dubai 2013
    ASTA's IDE is only days away. Don't miss the opportunity to participate in an intensive on-site education program designed to provide you with the tools you need to become a Dubai Destination Specialist. Meet with local suppliers and experience firsthand the mystical adventures of Dubai. Explore much of the region around Dubai by participating in a selection of pre- and post-tours. Experience for yourself how mystical desert adventures, sumptuous luxury, bustling markets, ancient culture and modern accommodations will take your clients' breath away and far exceed their expectations. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

We owe something to extravagance, for thrift and adventure seldom go hand in hand."
--Jennie Jerome Churchill,
American-born British society figure

LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Subscriber Tools
Print friendly format | Web version | Search past news | Archive | Privacy policy

Account Director:  Candace Donlin (202) 407-7861
A powerful website for SmartBrief readers including:
 Recent ASTA SmartBrief Issues:   Lead Editor:  Katie Parks
Mailing Address:
SmartBrief, Inc.®, 555 11th ST NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004
© 1999-2013 SmartBrief, Inc.® Legal Information