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November 12, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Travel-industry groups outline benefits, challenges of Obama win
    The travel industry is generally optimistic about the future because of the reelection of President Barack Obama, who has established himself as being supportive to the industry's needs, say representatives of various major industry groups. However, a number of vital regulatory issues remain that the industry must focus on, they said. "No. 1 is the airline ancillary-fee-transparency issue under consideration by the DOT. ASTA's position is that airlines should be required to share ancillary- fee data in a transactional format through any of their sales channels," said Eben Peck, ASTA's vice president of government affairs. (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Carnival Sunshine makeover will add water park, Havana Bar
    Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Sunshine will add a racing-themed water park and a Havana Bar to its list of offerings as part of its $155 million upgrade, the cruise line says. The 49-day renovation will also include the addition of a full-service Asian restaurant and several other new dining options under the line's Fun Ship 2.0 program. TravelPulse (11/11), Travel Weekly (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Silversea Cruises completes renovations on Silver Cloud
    A three-week makeover on Silversea Cruises' 296-passenger Silver Cloud has concluded, revealing redesigned cabins and public areas. The ship's upscale Le Champagne restaurant also was upgraded and now has a new entrance and room layout, while the outdoor Pool Bar and Grill area has been transformed into The Grill, an interactive dining area where passengers can cook their own food. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Air-travel experience isn't likely to change soon, DOT study says
    Measures taken by airlines to remain profitable amid economic volatility and high fuel prices will likely become the norm, the Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General says in its report, "Aviation Industry Performance: A Review of the Aviation Industry, 2008-2011." "Although the industry is still in transition, the data in this report suggest that some of the most significant trends of recent years -- including but not limited to a more consolidated industry with less competition, fewer flight options for small communities, and revenue-enhancing baggage and other fees -- may continue for the foreseeable future as airlines further improve their adaptability to changing market forces," the agency report says. Tulsa World (Okla.) (11/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • DOT: September had no domestic flight tarmac delays over 3 hours
    The Transportation Department's Air Travel Consumer Report shows no tarmac delays of more than three hours for domestic flights or four hours for international flights were reported for the month of September. The report says major U.S. carriers posted an on-time arrival average of 83.3%, up from August's 79.1%. TravelPulse (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Number of visitors to Las Vegas in September was up 1.8%
    The number of visitors to Las Vegas rose 1.8%, to 3.35 million, in September, compared with 3.29 million in the same month last year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says. Scott Russell, senior manager of research for the authority, says the city is on track to exceed its previous record of 39.2 million visitors in 2007. "We'll definitely make 2012 a record year," Russell said. Las Vegas Review-Journal (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Atlantic City looks to improve Boardwalk experience with public art
    Atlantic City, N.J., officials are hoping to bring in more tourists and enhance the experience of walking along the Boardwalk by adding more attractions such as public art and displays. "We do think it will create interest in people who maybe had never thought of coming to Atlantic City. It really does appeal to the creative class," said Liza Cartmell, president and CEO of the Atlantic City Alliance. The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Aspen, Colo., draws jet-setters, families and budget skiers alike
    The sleek slopes of Aspen, Colo., offer something for everyone -- from high-class travelers to penny-pinching ski enthusiasts and families with children in tow, this feature says. Visitors can go star-spotting at Aspen's fanciest hotels and restaurants or blast through the mountain's many challenging slopes on skis or snowboards. Children can be safely deposited at one of many daycare centers that offer activities for all ages. San Francisco Chronicle (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • TSA adds 4 airlines to PreCheck at Orlando, Fla., airport
    The Transportation Security Administration has announced the inclusion of four carriers to its PreCheck program at Orlando International Airport in Florida. On Friday, qualified passengers on American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and US Airways began bypassing security checkpoints at the airport. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • To market romance travel, set the right mood, expert says
    Selling romance travel works best if the agent places him- or herself in an appropriately sentimental mindset, says Jennifer Doncsecz, owner and president of VIP Vacations, during a session at Travel Weekly's CruiseWorld and Home Based Agent Show this month. For romantic events such as weddings, agents should make sure to get input from the clients, Doncsecz says. "Ask them what they envision. You're going to save a lot of time if you ask them where they want to go -- and where they don't want to go," Doncsecz says. Travel Weekly (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Partner with local charities to give small business a boost
    Small businesses can create good will locally by helping out charities that their customers care about, writes Maria Valdez Haubrich. Choose a local cause that complements your business, get employees involved and make sure to publicize your efforts. "Show customers how they can get involved and help too, whether by purchasing a product that supports the cause, donating money or shopping on a certain day," she advises. Grow Smart Biz (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • It might be time to update your leadership style
    The nature of business leadership is in a state of flux and companies are moving toward "a trust-and-track method, in which people are not just told what to do, but why they are doing it," Paul Spiegelman of BerylHealth writes. You can avoid being left behind by recruiting top talent, abandoning micromanagement and admitting that you don't know everything. "Choose great people who have the right skills and fit the culture," Spiegelman recommends. "And get out of the way." Inc. online/The Culture Gap blog (free registration) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Hazardous Materials Disclosure Rule compliance date delayed
    The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has communicated plans to delay the compliance date of revisions to the Hazardous Materials Notification Rule (49 CFR 175.25) by at least one year. This delay will move the compliance date from Jan. 1, 2013, to Jan. 1, 2014, or possibly longer, which will give the FAA time to address industry stakeholders' concerns through the rule-making process. More information is available on ASTA's member alert. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease."
--John Donne,
British poet, satirist, lawyer and cleric

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