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December 28, 2012News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Royal Caribbean places order for third Oasis-class ship
    Royal Caribbean Cruises has ordered construction of a third Oasis-class ship, which it expects to receive by 2016. The cruise company has agreed to a one-year option to order construction of a fourth ship for delivery in 2018. "The Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas have fundamentally transformed the cruise experience for our guests. ... We are thrilled to be adding a sister to this extraordinary class of vessels at a compelling price," said Richard D. Fain, the company's CEO and chairman. TravelPulse (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Southwest, AirTran add daily flight between Denver and Mexico
    Southwest Airlines and subsidiary AirTran Airways will begin daily service between Denver and Baja California, Mexico, on March 10, right before the start of spring break season. "[W]e are excited to add another nonstop travel option to Mexico alongside our strong portfolio of domestic nonstop service in Denver," said Bob Jordan, AirTran president and Southwest executive vice president. The Denver Post (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • Predicting 2013's trends for passengers
    In 2013, travelers can expect more planes that offer Wi-Fi, streaming content, tablets and other high-tech perks, Scott McCartney writes. Security lines might move a little more quickly as the Transportation Security Administration expands its PreCheck program. Other expected changes include additional ancillary fees and seats with more legroom. The Wall Street Journal (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey shows rise in European cruise bookings
    According to a recent Travel Leaders Group survey, the number of cruise bookings in Europe is increasing. Rob Clabbers, president of Cruise Holidays Chicago, expects European river cruises, Europe's Adriatic Coast and Venice, Italy, departures to be popular. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Las Vegas hotel rooms are still available to ring in 2013
    Hotel rooms in Las Vegas are still available -- though at premium prices -- as 2012 winds down and party-goers travel to Sin City for a weekend of splurging. "We're looking at an occupancy rate in the high 90s, but there will be rooms. One of the great things about Las Vegas is, you always can find rooms." said Dawn Christensen of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Las Vegas Sun (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Consumer Travel News 
  • River Walk, the Alamo remain top tourism draws in San Antonio
    San Antonio's famed River Walk path continues to attract tourists looking for a leisurely walk or a boat ride along the San Antonio River. Other top draws in the city include the Mission San Antonio de Valero -- more commonly known as the Alamo -- and amusement parks such as Morgan's Wonderland, which was designed for people with disabilities. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (12/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • DOT decision on fee disclosure is expected this spring
    In May, the Department of Transportation is set to decide whether airlines should have to provide fee information to every outlet that sells tickets. Global-distribution systems that share flight and pricing data with offline and online travel services do not receive such information. "What other industry can you think of where a person buying a product doesn't know how much it's going to cost even after he's done at the checkout counter?" asked Simon Gros, chairman of the Travel Technology Association. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
  • Column: For success in travel, avoid a retail mentality
    The key to a successful travel-agent business lies in building a mutually dependent relationship with clients, founded on trust, Richard Earls writes. "Rather than a linear, transactional retail paradigm, modern travel sales is about establishing a relationship with the client, analyzing the customer's needs and making recommendations based on the expertise of the travel consultant," Earls writes. Travel Research Online (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Make the most of your marketing videos with social media
    Creating online videos can be a good way to spread the word about your brand and enhance your social media marketing efforts. It's important to add a call to action to your online videos and to take a customer-focused approach to marketing, Melody King of Treepodia writes. "Allow customers to upload their own videos describing experiences with your products and services, or as responses to your videos," she advises. Duct Tape Marketing (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Making customers feel heard
    Customers need to feel that a business is listening to them, treating them respectfully, and acknowledging their needs, writes Rachel Miller, customer engagement manager at Nimble. "Customers are generally not as well-versed in product or service knowledge as employees. Be sure employees use the most simple terms to describe products or services, and repeat instructions as many times as necessary to guarantee customer satisfaction," Miller writes. B2C Marketing Insider (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • Check out ASTA's latest YouTube videos
    ASTA has more than 40 videos available on its YouTube channel. You can find out more about IDE Dubai 2013, see tips about the travel industry and share consumer videos with clients. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Exhibit at ASTA's IDE and receive a complimentary ASTA membership
    ASTA's International Destination Expo (IDE) Dubai is taking place April 4-7. Exhibiting at ASTA's IDE will allow your company to connect with the most influential business leaders in the industry, including the largest and most powerful travel agencies around the world. Purchase your stand today and receive a complimentary year of membership with ASTA, valued at $579. ASTA gives you the tools to strengthen your global business, increase your customer base and form vital relationships with thousands of qualified travel agencies around the world. Purchase stand now -- space is limited and will sell out. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

  Editor's Note 
  • Clarification
    A summary in Thursday's ASTA SmartBrief about the New Distribution Capability model misrepresented its role. The NDC is a framework of messaging standards that will enable aggregators and airlines to build connections. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart."
Greek philosopher

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