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March 22, 2013News for travel agents

  Business and Industry Watch 
  • Viking's Hagen says river cruising is poised to soar
    The river cruise industry is on track to receive stronger and stronger demand as more older consumers are drawn to river cruising, says Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises. "It's about people who have earned some money and haven't had time to see these things on Earth," Hagen said. Viking made history Wednesday by christening 10 new river cruise ships during a single event. USA Today/Cruise Log blog (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Trends and Technology 
  • American carriers compete with fold-flat seats on domestic trips
    By the end of this year, United, Delta and American Airlines will all have lie-flat seats in business-class sections. The move comes as a way to compete for corporate fliers who take transcontinental flights. "There are a couple of groups that represent a disproportionately large number of premium business travelers. Financial services, consultants, independent business executives and a few other industries like entertainment," said airline analyst Henry Harteveldt. "Those industries pay for premium cabin seats. That is the battle. That is where the profit is and that is [where] the big three airlines, United, Delta and American, are battling it out to win." CNBC (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Middle East is new luxury travel hot spot
    Fairmont, Starwood, Hilton and The Ritz-Carlton have either opened or plan to open luxury hotels in the Middle East, making it a premier luxury travel destination. St. Regis hotels will open locations in Abu Dhabi and Cairo, and Hilton Hotel’s Waldorf Astoria will open in Qatar. Luxury Daily (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tourism, hotels soar as economy grows in Africa
    Hotels are springing up throughout Africa despite political and infrastructure issues. According to the International Monetary Fund, sub-Saharan Africa will experience 5.8% economic growth this year. Tourism increased in the country by 6% last year to 52 million visitors. Reuters (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Consumer Travel News 
  • Take your pick of wineries in Israel
    Wine enthusiasts may want to check out wineries throughout Israel, as there are six major wine regions in the country. Tishbi Vineyards in the Carmel Mountains makes French-style kosher wines under a fifth-generation winemaker. Travel Weekly (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory and Legislative 
  • Revived JOLT Act draws praise from travel groups
    The reintroduction of the JOLT (Jobs Originated through Launching Travel) Act in the House of Representatives has been met with approval from travel groups including the U.S. Travel Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. The bill seeks the growth of foreign travel into the U.S. -- and its benefits on the economy -- by expanding the country's Visa Waiver Program and easing visa-application procedures. "Increasing travel to the United States is the most effective form of economic stimulus -- creating millions of new American jobs, adding billions to the U.S. economy, and benefitting every community around the country. We need to pass the JOLT Act this Congress," said Marlene Colucci, AH&LA's executive vice president for public policy. TravelPulse (3/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Best Practices 
 
  • Column: 8 steps to rise out of a business slump
    Travel agents worrying about declining profits could try to shake up their business practices to jump-start sales, Mike Marchev writes. He recommends reaching out to clients on a regular basis, making an effort to acquire one new client every week and forging relationships with people in the community. Travel Research Online (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Through the use of the ASTA logo and photo identification card, ASTA international members have the opportunity to be recognized worldwide by agencies, suppliers and consumers as a reputable company. Join today as an international member.
 

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  Small-Business Strategies 
  • Let customers drive your customer service
    Customers know what they want out of an experience with a company, and it's consistency among the service channels, attention after their business is initially won, and respect for their privacy and preferences, writes direct marketing and customer service expert Ernan Roman. Customers don't want to be manipulated, he writes. Instead, the "goal of customer experience marketing must be to improve the customer experience through engagement." DMNews (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASTA Spotlight 
  • ASTA Hot Spots results available for download
    ASTA's annual Hot Spots survey results are available for download on the ASTA research page. The Hot Spots survey looks at the top destinations being booked for summer domestically and internationally. For further information about the Hot Spots survey, please contact Melissa Teates, ASTA's director of research. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Connect with consumers directly
    Join ASTA and receive a profile on ASTA's consumer-driven website, TravelSense.org. With more than 60,000 unique visitors a month, our site is the perfect place to promote your agency to future clients. These prospects are looking for travel agents who are well-informed, professional and most important, trustworthy. Expand your agency's exposure by extending ASTA benefits to your front line travel agents at no additional cost. Each of your employees will also receive their own profile on TravelSense.org. No one can connect you to consumers as efficiently as ASTA. Join ASTA today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Learn more about ASTA ->Resources  |  Conferences  |  Consumer Travel Information  |  Join ASTA

  SmartQuote 
If we were all given by magic the power to read each other's thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships."
--Bertrand Russell,
British philosopher, mathematician and historian


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