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November 30, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Viking River Cruises will launch 2 more vessels in 2013
    Viking River Cruises says on its website that it has added two more ships to its lineup of new river vessels set to launch in 2013. The new Viking Longships -- the Viking Baldur and the Viking Magni -- are scheduled to begin sailing on Aug. 27 and Sept. 10, respectively. Travel Weekly (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Renewed unrest in Egypt causes concerns over tourism recovery
    A number of tour operators report that the new round of civilian protests in Egypt has not led to significant declines in bookings to the country. However, the overall mood toward Egypt remains cautious as the unrest could still hamper the country's tourism recovery. "Let's wait awhile and see what's going to happen. But I'm afraid this will be more of a damper on people going to Egypt now," said Will Weber, director of Journeys International. (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Washington's hotel scene is new for Inauguration Day
    As Inauguration Day approaches, hotel deals are available but will likely be costly. In 2009, guests paid an average daily hotel rate of $605 to stay over -- those costs could be higher because many properties have upgraded since then. "Most of these hotels are unrecognizable from what they looked like four years ago," said Kate Gibbs, a spokeswoman for Destination DC. (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels encourage guests to curb their digital dependence
    A number of hotels such as The Westin Dublin and the Hotel Monaco Chicago are offering special packages that allow guests to control their "addiction" to their mobile devices, this feature says. The trend among travelers is growing slowly as recent surveys show an increasing dependence by consumers on their gadgets. CNN (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • FTC says hotel resort fees should be fully disclosed
    The Federal Trade Commission has sent a letter to 22 hotel operators over the use of undisclosed resort fees, which may be considered as misleading to consumers. "We believe that online hotel reservation sites should include in the quoted total price any unavoidable or mandatory fees, such as resort fees, that consumers will be charged to stay at the hotel," the commission said in the letter. AH&LA CEO Joe McInerney says the association advises that members who receive an FTC letter to contact their legal counsel. CNN (11/28), USA Today/Hotel Check-in blog (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Using luxury knowledge to bolster cruise sales
    Cruise lines can boost sales if they define luxury and understand what their customers expect from a luxury cruise. That was the sentiment echoed at the Luxury Travel Exchange International's general session this week in Las Vegas. "People like to buy things from people who know more than they do about the product," said Rick Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises. "Familiarize yourself so that it makes it impossible for someone to say 'I'm not sure.' Hone your selling skills and product knowledge and increase your sales." Travel Agent Central (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Generate positive publicity without spending a dime
    You can build awareness for your business without spending a fortune on marketing initiatives by writing articles for trade publications or pitching story ideas to media organizations, Sarah Johnson writes. "To boost the odds that an editor will accept your pitch, your information should be accurate, compelling, and new," she recommends. Intuit Small Business Blog (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to save money by cutting out waste
    "Lean" principles, which focus on removing waste from business processes, are becoming popular at all sorts of organizations, Stephanie Faris writes. You can incorporate such principles into your company by optimizing your use of space and determining whether there is any unnecessary equipment around the office, she writes. Intuit Small Business Blog (11/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • ASTA's Airline Exchange Policy Chart has been updated
    ASTA's Airline Exchange Policy Chart has recently been updated. This grid summarizes the general ticket exchange policies for major U.S. and Canadian air carriers. ASTA members can obtain a copy by visiting ASTA's E-Library. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Discounts from tour operators
    ASTA's offers travel-agent members specials directly from the participants of ASTA's Tour Operator Program (TOP) to help you save money. Have peace of mind when working with a TOP member since all participants pledge to conduct their business with integrity, treat travel agents in a courteous and professional manner, and strive to perform to the travel agent's expectations. To view the current TOP specials, please read more here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief."
--William Shakespeare,
British playwright

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