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January 30, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Windstar Cruises will offer South Pacific sailings in 2014
    Windstar Cruises has announced that it will send the newly renovated Wind Spirit to Tahiti in 2014 for a series of seven-day voyages. "Windstar's return to Tahiti has always been the number one request from our guests and travel partners, even more than a decade later," said Hans Birkholz, CEO of Windstar Cruises. TravelPulse (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Variety Cruises will offer 2 LGBT cruises this year
    Variety Cruises announced that its schedule this year will include two voyages aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers. The 50-passenger Harmony V will launch from Athens, Greece, on Aug. 9 and Aug. 23 for the seven-night Rainbow Spirit Cruises, which will include six stops in the Aegean Islands. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  Trends and Technology 
  • UNWTO: Emerging markets are driving global tourism growth
    International tourist arrivals reached 1.035 billion in 2012, rising 4% from the previous year, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows. Tourism growth in emerging countries was 4.1% during 2012, overtaking advanced economies, which grew 3.6%. The group predicts growth of 3% to 4% in international tourist arrivals this year. TravelPulse (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • River cruises are expected to thrive in 2013
    Ship numbers, destinations and offerings in the river cruise industry continue to grow as the segment's popularity among travelers shows no signs of abating, this feature says. "They're more intimate, it's easier getting on and off, there's not much nickel-and-diming and there's something different to see every few minutes," said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Japan's medieval culture lives on in its hiking trails
    A number of towns and hiking trails in central Japan offer a taste of the country's bygone medieval society and its traditional class system, this feature says. The small town of Hirasawa, well-known for its crafts, offers traditional lacquerware, while a night in one of Magome's traditional inns lets travelers imagine life as a noble samurai. San Francisco Chronicle (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • Rights for disgruntled air travelers are murky
    The shortage of Federal Aviation Administration rules on what rights passengers have in the air when it comes to complaining about restrictions on cabin movement, electronic devices or carry-on luggage have left some travelers feeling like victims of overreacting flight attendants, this feature says. The Transportation Security Administration lodged 7,524 complaints about carriers in the first nine months of last year, a significant increase over the same time the previous year. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: In serving others, agents also help themselves
    Engaging in charity work not only gives agents a sense of fulfillment that will reflect in their performance, but it will also mark them as models of society who are likely trustworthy associates, Richard Earls writes. "When your business ethic is expressed in terms of the benefits others derive from your company, you engage the desire of others to do business with you," Earls writes. Travel Research Online (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Audit your way to a better social-media strategy
    Small businesses should use careful auditing to evaluate their customers' needs and their own capabilities when crafting their online marketing strategy, writes Beth Longware Duff. Audits are useful when embracing a new tool, such as a social network, but should also be conducted periodically to keep the brand's marketing strategy on track. "Internal and external audits should provide you with a list of actionable items that will help you achieve your business and personal goals," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Treat each customer as a top priority to win them over
    See each customer as a person, and give their issue your full attention to win their loyalty, writes Flavio Martins. This will boost your company's reputation and help build relationships. Also, use social media address complaints and "find out how you can best help and serve them, and what you can do to improve their experience top to bottom when it comes to winning them over and proving your mettle to them," Martins concludes. B2C Marketing Insider (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Save time and money with resources available on
    Our members understand how important it is to stay up to date on industry news and we understand our members are busy. That is why our Industry and Consumers Affairs, Government Affairs and Research team tracks, consolidates and clarifies industry news, updates and regulations. We make it easy for you to stay up to date so you can focus on what you do best: Sell travel. Search member alerts, white papers and comprehensive guides in our E-Library and Publications sections on LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Grassroots -- contact your member of Congress
    It's never too early to begin to cultivate a relationship with the members of Congress who represent you. The more they understand your business and your industry, the more they can be an effective, responsive representative of your needs in Washington. Check out to find your member of Congress, as well as the latest on federal and state legislation affecting agents. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
--Malachy McCourt,
Irish-American actor, writer and politician

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