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February 4, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Disneyland's Fantasy Faire attraction will open in March
    The Fantasy Faire attraction at California's Disneyland is scheduled to open on March 12. The area will feature fairy-tale-inspired structures and an outdoor performance venue that will host daily shows featuring stories from a pair of Disney movies. TravelPulse (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • United adds lounge access at UK airport
    United Airline's Business First passengers and Star Alliance Gold members will have access to the No. 1 Traveller lounge at Birmingham airport in the U.K. United flies six times a week from Birmingham Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. (U.K.) (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Visitors to NYC are finding more budget-friendly accommodations
    The midscale hotel market in New York is experiencing a development boom. Lodging Econometrics projects 18 openings of midpriced hotels this year, up from four in 2012. "If you look at the broad expanse of New York, it's really upper-midscale kind of customers who were finding discounts or finding less-than-acceptable lodging. Now, there are so many different options. These midblock hotels fill a real void," said Interstate Hotels & Resorts CEO Jim Abrahamson. USA Today/Hotel Check-in blog (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Luxury hotels add high-end appeal to Puerto Rico
    Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, in Puerto Rico is the second hotel that has opened as a part of Ritz-Carlton's newly launched ultra-luxury brand. Waldorf-Astoria, W and St. Regis have also opened on the island, which boasts a convenient location and a growing number of luxury hotels. USA Today (2/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Alaska offers perfect platforms for viewing Northern Lights
    Especially in winter, Alaska draws a special segment of travelers: viewers of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. This breathtaking natural phenomenon is more reliably seen in areas such as Fairbanks, where tour operators offer several packages for viewing the lights. USA Today (2/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • Aviation law is having difficulties taking off, report says
    The Federal Aviation Administration is lagging in efforts to implement provisions of an aviation bill passed by Congress in response to a fatal airplane crash in 2009, a report by the Transportation Department's inspector general shows. The agency has yet to fully implement measures such as a database of pilots' background information due to opposition by airlines, the report says. "To effectively implement these initiatives in a timely manner, [the] FAA must balance industry concerns with a sustained commitment to oversight," the report said. The Hill/Transportation blog (2/3), Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)/The Associated Press (2/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Travel-show attendees emphasize need for specialization
    Veteran travel agents who attended The New York Times Travel Show in January offered advice for agents looking to expand their business, such as the need for specialization and a strong online presence. "You have to figure out if you're going to be a destination specialist, or a type of travel specialist. And you need to travel yourself. When you can tell someone exactly what the air smelled like or how the food tasted, you can put them in a place to want to experience the trip," said John Peters, president of USA Today's Travel Media Group. (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Maintaining your good reputation online
    It's natural to want to defend your business when upset customers post negative comments on social media. But knowing when to respond and when to walk away is key, writes Christopher Null. Sometimes responding will simply encourage stubborn commenters to continue posting. Consider a more positive approach and bury the negative comment with new posts of your own, he writes. PCWorld (1/25), CBS MoneyWatch (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Making word-of-mouth marketing work for you
    First-time customers are more likely to tell their friends about your business than longtime customers, writes Andy Sernovitz, a word-of-mouth marketing teacher. With this in mind, go out of your way to impress newcomers. He also advises finding out who is referring customers to you and thanking them. "Saying thank you to your talkers isn't just the right thing to do, it's also a fantastic way to generate more referrals," he writes. Duct Tape Marketing (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Make your voice count with ASTA's grassroots advocacy resources
    Have you wondered how activity in the U.S. House and Senate will affect your business? We recently updated our advocacy resources on to give you concise and up-to-date information on important federal and state legislative activity. also provides you with a quick and easy way to instantly make your voice heard to federal and state officials on key issues. You can also learn more about ASTAPAC, ASTA's political action committee. For more information on how to make your voice count, go to ASTA's Advocacy Page. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Chinese philosopher

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