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February 21, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Seabourn says it will order a new ship this year
    Seabourn Cruise Line is looking to add a new ship to its fleet this year after selling three of its smallest vessels to Windstar Cruises. The sale reduces its capacity by 32%. "Seabourn is already in discussion with shipbuilders, and an order is likely to be announced within the current fiscal year. The new ship will allow Seabourn to maintain much of its current guest capacity," said Rick Meadows, president of Seabourn. Travel Weekly (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • More American travelers are choosing destinations other than Europe
    Americans are traveling more readily to other destinations besides Europe, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data. U.S. travel overseas rose 5.5% in 2012 while U.S. travel to Europe rose by 3.9%. However, as a destination Europe still beats the Caribbean and Asia, this feature says. TravelPulse (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Women see flat irons, good shampoo as hotel must-haves
    Women want to see chargers for electronics, hair-straightening irons, yoga mats and quality shampoo in their hotel rooms, a Hyatt Hotels & Resorts survey shows. Women want these items because they would have less to pack. Some hotels are offering hair-straightening irons and upgraded blow dryers upon request. Another request: better communication and ways to leave feedback. USA Today/Hotel Check-in blog (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Destination of the Week 
  • Finding luxury in Alaska
    Upscale is the new chic in Alaska wilderness lodges. Forget the historic camps of yore. These days, Alaska's lodges are focusing on luxury, comfort and pampering, as well as wilderness experiences. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Home-Based Agent Update 
  • Column: How to maximize work efficiency while on the road
    Investing in backup batteries or an energy-efficient laptop can help ease charging woes when working on the road, writes Stephanie Lee, owner of Host Agency Reviews. To maximize productivity when going to places with unreliable Internet connection, Lee recommends preparing for your social media activities, downloading Web pages and networking whenever possible. (2/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Use original images for search-engine optimization
    Google's new and much more stringent search algorithm makes it vital for travel-agent websites to feature only original images to stay on top of search lists, Kelly Monaghan writes. Monaghan recommends asking clients for photos, employing graphic artists and swapping pictures with other travel agents. Travel Research Online (2/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • How to bring your workers back from the dead
    Too many offices are filled with what small-business expert Lee Polevoi calls "zombie workers" -- unmotivated employees who plod through the day with little enthusiasm. Managers can defeat zombies, he writes, by providing vision and resources for their workers, rewarding hard work, and offering flexible schedules to boost productivity. Intuit Small Business Blog (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • ASTA launches Ohio grass roots campaign
    In the latest instance of states threatening to tax travel agency services, Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently released his Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget proposal, which calls for reducing the state's sales tax from 5.5 percent to 5 percent but to "broaden the base" of the tax by including a broader range of service industries. ASTA is asking its Ohio members to fill out a Web form telling their legislators that new taxes on travel agents is a terrible idea, especially in this economy. If you have any questions, please contact Eben Peck, ASTA's VP of Government Affairs, or Chris Seddelmeyer, ASTA Mid-America Chapter President. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Increase your exposure at ASTA's IDE 2013
    Exhibit at ASTA's International Destination Expo (IDE) Dubai (April 4-7) and reach your target market. Educate travel agents about the special features of your business during numerous networking events. Close the sale under the breathtaking Burj Al Arab, one of the tallest hotels in the world, by making direct connections with influential business leaders. More than 74% of attendees are managers/owners who represent the decision-maker for their company and more than 85% plan to use supplier contacts from IDE for future bookings. Read about Douglas Cooke's life-changing trip to Dubai in JAXFAX this month. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed."
--Maria Montessori,
Italian physician and educator

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