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November 9, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Marriott resorts in Caribbean and Mexico will add tech-free zones
    Marriott International is instituting technology-free zones at its resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean in response to a recent survey regarding the use of devices while traveling. "The majority of respondents felt that staying connected to work added to their stress while vacationing and reported instances of being annoyed by mobile-device abuse such as loud cellphone conversations," said Michelle Bozoki, a marketing director for Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts. Hotel Management online (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Report predicts rising fares for business travel
    A recent report from American Express Global Business Travel predicts business travel spending to increase in 2012, with the increase carrying into 2013. Business travel to Latin America, India, Russia and Poland will see noticeably bigger price tags due to market growth, and business fares in North America will rise by an estimated 1% to 3%. Fox Business/FlightView Inc. (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Holiday air, hotel bookings filling fast
    Travel agents say demand for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday travel is up sharply, and that travelers who don't make plans early may face sold-out locations. "This is not a great year for procrastination," said Simon Bramley, vice president at Travelocity, where Thanksgiving ticket purchases are up 9%. The Wall Street Journal (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Cruise lines eye growing Asian markets
    Countries including China and Australia are looking to develop their cruise line industries, and Western cruise lines are taking notice, this feature says. As passenger counts have spiked, companies such as Royal Caribbean are bringing larger ships including its Mariner of the Seas, which carries 3,114 passengers. Cruise lines are selling their own cruises as well as selling charters to Asian wholesalers. Travel Weekly (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels are plugging into tech-related travel trends
    Business travelers are heading out armed with an arsenal of high-tech devices. According to one survey, the majority travel with as many as four devices. The hotel industry has shown that it is taking steps to accommodate the corporate segment's needs, this feature says. "[E]fforts include improving WiFi signals; ... adding TVs that allow users to plug in laptops or video game consoles; offering Kindles on loan; and adding plugs for international travelers," Ernie Smith writes. Associations Now (11/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • FAA reaches enhanced data-sharing agreement with NTSB, airlines
    The Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and members of the airline industry have agreed to share safety information more openly with each other in order to minimize the risk of aviation accidents. "The nation's impressive safety record is in part due to an unwavering commitment by government and industry to work together to monitor data and identify trends to prevent accidents. "More than 90% of air carriers use voluntary reporting programs and this has led to significant training, operational and maintenance program improvements," said FAA's acting administrator, Michael Huerta. (U.K.) (11/8), The Wall Street Journal (11/8), USA Today/Today In The Sky blog (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • TSA orders smaller advanced screening systems
    The Transportation Security Administration has signed a deal with L-3 Communications for new Provision 2 systems at airport security checkpoints. The deal doesn't specify the number of systems ordered or the delivery schedule. The Provision 2 system offers the same advanced imaging technology as current TSA scanners but with a smaller footprint. United Press International (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Best Practices 
  • Specialty cruises are a lucrative niche option for agents, expert says
    Travel agents looking a for a profitable niche business in cruising can find a less-crowded opening in specialty cruises, said Bernie Blomquist, director of training for the Cruise Lines International Association during a discussion at the Travel Weekly CruiseWorld and Home Based Agent Show this week. Aside from the reduced competition, specialty cruises also offer higher commissions from inclusive cruises, Blomquist says. Travel Weekly (11/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Write a blog post that will blow your readers away
    If you're looking for content ideas for an upcoming blog post, you can begin by "creating a list of everything you're passionate about or that you feel like you can write on authoritatively," Lisa Barone of Overit writes. Once you've settled on a topic, outline what you plan to say and flesh it out by including examples, evidence or relevant stories, she advises. Then edit your draft and consider adding images to make your post more interesting. Small Business Trends (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Communication, care the keys to loyal workers
    Employees will be loyal to your business if you communicate clearly with them, treat them kindly and strive to connect with them, writes human resources expert Erin Palmer. "The more input your employees have in aspects of your business, the more invested they will become in the ultimate success of the company," she writes. B2C Marketing Insider (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Get real-life experiences to share with your clients -- ASTA's International Destination Expo (IDE) Dubai 2013
    Experience for yourself how mystical desert adventures, sumptuous luxury, bustling markets, ancient culture and modern accommodations will take your clients' breath away and far exceed their expectations. At ASTA's IDE, you'll take part in top-ranked training seminars that take you beyond the classroom. Dubai's top guides will escort you through the city's ultra-modern properties and historical attractions, ensuring that you experience the real Dubai. Secure new clients upon your return home by becoming a Dubai Destination Specialist. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Follow ASTA's Tour Operator Program on Twitter
    Did you know that ASTA's Tour Operator Program is on Twitter? You can follow TOP at @ASTATOP to learn about the latest and best offers. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

A man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them."
--Mark Twain,
American writer

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