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November 2, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Norwegian, Princess Cruises will launch shortened cruises from NYC
    Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the Norwegian Gem will sail from New York on a five-day cruise to Bermuda for passengers booked on the ship's Oct. 29 sailing to the Caribbean. Princess Cruises' Caribbean Princess will also have a truncated itinerary, with its 10-day cruise shortened to eight days and three ports of call dropped. Both ships could not get into the Manhattan Cruise Terminal after the Coast Guard blocked access to New York ports because of the superstorm Sandy. TravelPulse (11/1), USA Today/Cruise Log blog (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • World's tallest hotel to open next summer in North Korea
    The world's tallest hotel is set to partially open next summer in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, part of a bid by the government of Kim Jong Un to attract foreign currency to the impoverished country. The 105-story Ryugyong Hotel, whose name means "capital of willows" in Korean, will measure about 1,083 feet tall and feature shops, restaurants and a ballroom. It will be run by German luxury-hotel operator Kempinski. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Foreign-visitor spending in the U.S. reached $13.8B in August
    The Department of Commerce reports that international visitors spent $13.8 billion in the U.S. in August, up 3% from the same period last year. Foreign-visitor spending during the first eight months of the year rose 8% from last year, to $109.2 billion, the agency reports. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Travel agents see rising demand for foreign trips
    Over half of U.S. travel agent revenue in 2011 came from trips to foreign destinations, according to an industry survey from Travel Weekly. The increase may be due to several factors, including agents who push higher-priced travel, travelers who seek out agents for more complicated international trips and pent-up demand for international travel that was put on hold during the recession. The boom in river cruises has also helped to fuel international travel, said American Society of Travel Agents President Nina Meyer. Travel Weekly (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Eco-friendly venues among top considerations for meeting planners
    Sustainability, culinary offerings and location are next year's top trends among meeting planners in considering venues, according to a survey from Destination Hotels & Resorts. Some 45% of meeting planners said environmentally friendly practices are "somewhat important" in choosing a meeting place, and 18% called it "extremely important." In culinary offerings, meeting planners said healthy eating and specialized dietary options were their top interests. (free registration) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels go extra mile with sleep-aid offerings
    As most travelers will say they prefer sleeping at home in their own beds, many luxury hotels have been working harder than ever to ensure that guests have better sheets, pillows and a bevy of sleep aids to help them get a good night's rest. The Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, Va., offers a "dream" service that includes an upper-torso wedge and a hot water bottle, while Crowne Plaza offers "quiet zones" where no room attendants or housekeeping can take place between 9 p.m. and 10 a.m. most days of the week. USA Today (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Intriguing geological formations draw travelers to Cappadocia, Turkey
    Tourism is thriving in the Turkish region of Cappadocia thanks to its surreal landscape filled with strange rock formations known as "fairy chimneys." Visitors can go on a balloon ride for a bird's-eye view of the area or explore its maze of caves, tunnels and ancient rock-hewn chapels while on the ground. Bloomberg (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • How to use TSA system for expedited security checks
    The Transportation Safety Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have joined their security databases to help expedite security pre-screening for trusted travelers at participating airports throughout the U.S. The simplified procedure involves entering the PASS ID number included on each traveler's government-issued Global Entry, Sentri or Nexus card into the "Known traveler number" space when making a flight reservation. This generates a barcode on the traveler's boarding pass that the TSA can identify to route the traveler to an expedited screening line. Forbes (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Goal-setting should include personal aspirations
    Travel agents should take care to balance their career goals with their plans for personal development, Richard Earls writes. "The reason is fairly simple -- realization of goals requires the whole person. If you give up your health, your mental well-being or your important family time then the rewards for achieving your goals in business will be diminished," Earls writes. Travel Research Online (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • A smarter strategy for managing social media
    It's easy to be overwhelmed by social media, but you can remain calm by setting aside specific blocks of time to manage your accounts, Rene Shimada Siegel of High Tech Connect writes. "For maximum productivity, set a timer or alarm to remind you to log off and get back to work," she advises. It's also wise to schedule posts in advance and to think about whether a topic is really worth your time before writing a response. Inc. online (free registration) (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stop failing at execution
    Organizations are often good at creating strategies but fail when it comes time to execute on them, Clive Keyte of Intrafocus writes. However, this problem can be avoided by identifying clear goals and metrics you can use to carry out your strategy, he writes. "The key is to be really clear about what you are trying to achieve." B2C Marketing Insider (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Delta to no longer check through bags with multiple tickets
    Effective for travel on or after Jan. 15, Delta Air Lines will no longer check bags to a final destination when multiple tickets are presented at check-in. According to Delta, "if a second ticket is presented for travel on another airline beyond the destination of the first ticket, the passenger will be advised that Delta will only check the bag to the destination on the first ticket(s). The passenger must collect the baggage at baggage claim for their first ticketed destination, and then re-check their baggage with the down-line carrier for the next flight." See the full alert. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Improving employee productivity
    The most important thing you can do to improve employee productivity is regular performance reviews. Read this how-to guide to conducting a constructive evaluation, and learn vital tips and strategies for improving individual performance and overall production for the company. Sample reviews are available online. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things."
--Ray Bradbury,
American writer

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