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December 12, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Agents react positively to Delta-Virgin Atlantic deal
    Delta Air Lines' announcement this week of its acquiring a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic has been met with approval by many in the travel agent industry. Agents point out the partnership's benefits for fliers who need to transition from domestic Delta flights to Virgin Atlantic. The joint venture will also widen options for business travelers, says Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg, co-owner of Valerie Wilson Travel in New York. "Delta has huge hubs and has been investing a lot at New York airports. It gives more flight lift into a variety of places," Wilson-Buttigieg said. (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Windstar Cruises launches 2-for-1 sale on December bookings
    Windstar Cruises is offering two-for-one cruise fares for its Costa Rican and Caribbean voyages in 2013 and 2014 when booked by Dec. 29. The cruises on offer include Jewels of the Windward Islands, Flavors of the Caribbean and Passage Through Panama seven-day voyages. TravelAge West (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Agents pick suppliers based on product quality, ASTA survey finds
    ASTA's 2012 Supplier-Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Report has found that travel agents prioritize suppliers' product quality and reputation when considering them as preferred supplier partners. Ninety-two percent of respondents said "reputation/quality of product" was the most vital consideration when looking for preferred suppliers. TravelPulse (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Impending "fiscal cliff" doesn't stir concern among agents
    Most travel agents regard the looming "fiscal cliff" as a mild concern, predicting that President Barack Obama and Congress will likely reach some sort of agreement before the deadline, this feature says. "I can't really believe that even a gridlocked Congress will allow such collective suicide. They'll either kick something down the road or come up with some sort of grand bargain," John Andrews, consulting editor at The Economist, said during his keynote speech at last week's International Luxury Travel Market conference in France. Travel Weekly (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Travelers at airports shop till they fly
    Airports are expanding their retail offerings and travelers are beginning to consider their local travel hubs as a good source for merchandise, this feature says. Retailers face the challenge of letting consumers know where they are located so fliers don't wind up lost or miss their flight, says Tyler Craig, vice president and general manager of the airport retail company NCR Travel. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • The Wave in Ariz. tempers danger with beauty
    Many hikers and photographers the world over place a remarkable sandstone formation in Arizona high on their bucket lists. Known as the Wave, it offers grand views of multicolored layers of sandstone that developed over thousands of years. The fact that visits to the site are tightly regulated by the Bureau of Land Management and that hiking the trail-less path to the formation is dangerous for the unprepared adds to its appeal for many people. San Francisco Chronicle (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • TSA to give more advice, follow up on private screening
    The Transportation Security Administration says it will give airports more guidance on how to implement private screeners as part of its Screening Partnership Program. The TSA also will generate semi-annual reports starting in 2013 to assess the performance of airports in the SPP compared to other airports. Homeland Security Today (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Pruning client list could lead to a more profitable 2013
    Travel agents can potentially increase their bottom line next year by segregating clients in terms of their value, John Frenaye writes. Unreasonable or unprofitable clients should be reserved for only the most desperate situations, or let go entirely. "Every client or prospect has some value. But for those whose value is diminished, it is not necessary, recommended, or desired to waste efforts on them until something changes," Frenaye writes. Travel Research Online (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Preparing a business plan that works
    To craft a successful business plan, set goals but be willing to change the way you reach them when circumstances are less than ideal, writes business author Steve Wilkinghoff. He advises business owners to plan their big, overarching goal, craft a rough outline of how to achieve it, and then adopt a stance of flexibility in order to adapt to unexpected events. Small Business Trends (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to woo your customers before someone else does
    The way to keep good customers is to first provide them with value -- but then to stay in touch, writes motivational sales speaker Alan Fairweather. "Overall, customers just want to feel good. They want to feel better after they've dealt with you or anyone in your business, than they did before," he writes. 4Hoteliers (12/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • ASTA's Young Professional Society
    To ensure the future of the travel agent profession and provide professional development and networking opportunities for young travel agents, ASTA introduced YPS in 2002. This exciting and free program is for ASTA members and employees of premium agencies under the age of 40. Young travel professionals gather to learn about the industry and make connections with experienced peers who can act as mentors. Join YPS today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ASTA's Research Program
    ASTA's Research Program is designed to answer the questions an agency needs to be competitive and be productive. Our Travel Agency Benchmarking series answers important questions on how agencies book travel, what agencies charge for fees, typical GDS contracts, technology used by agencies, and more. ASTA also tracks changes in agency demographics and revenue and sales trends. Understanding our members' current and future needs is crucial to developing new programs and services. As the primary advocate for the industry, our research program also allows us to understand how new legislation and regulations will affect agencies so we can pass along relevant information. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

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Thinking is like loving and dying. Each of us must do it for himself."
--Josiah Royce,
American philosopher

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