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Fliers face higher airfares this summer | Tourism demand in the Caribbean is likely to rise, experts say | Carnival Glory's extended Boston sailings will continue in 2013
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April 27, 2012
ASTA SmartBrief
News for travel agents
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Business and Industry Watch
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Business and Industry Watch
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Fliers face higher airfares this summer
Airfares have risen 3% on average over 2011 prices and are likely to rise further as carriers try to offset higher fuel costs, observers say. "I would expect about a hike attempt a month, with about half being successful," said Rick Seaney of Farecompare.com.
USA Today (4/26) 
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Tourism demand in the Caribbean is likely to rise, experts say
Panelists at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference presented data signifying a strong potential for tourism demand growth in the region. STR also highlighted the region's low supply growth -- 231,278 rooms in the pipeline. "We're at a point now where we have much higher demand growth, very low supply growth, which we think puts hotels at a great position to drive revenue," said Amanda Hite, president of STR.
Hotel News Now (4/26) 
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Carnival Glory's extended Boston sailings will continue in 2013
Carnival has unveiled plans to extend a series of sailings from Boston for the summer 2013 season. The schedule this summer will comprise four- and five-night voyages to Canada aboard the Carnival Glory. Starting June 2013, the Glory will undertake three seven-night cruises.
USA Today/The Cruise Log blog (4/26) 
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Other News
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Energy Observer
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Cruise lines continue to push for sustainability
Travel agents faced with environmental questions from clients can point out the great strides the cruise industry has made in promoting environmental sustainability, this feature says. "Examples of this leadership include advanced exhaust emission control systems, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment technology, and energy efficiency measures that are on the forefront of the entire maritime industry," said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association.
Travel Agent Central (4/25) 
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Trends and Technology
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Las Vegas airport posts 2.5% jump in passenger count
Strong growth from carriers such as JetBlue, Spirit and Virgin America fueled a 2.5% increase in passenger numbers at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport in March over last year. Separately, legacy carriers except American Airlines showed a decline in numbers for the month.
Las Vegas Review-Journal (4/27) 
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Airlines fight higher cost of fuel with additional fees
Airlines are turning to luggage fees and change fees to offset the high cost of fuel. "As with other corporations, airlines are like other companies: They have responsibilities to their shareholders to make a profit and some [companies] have had to make individual decisions how to reach that goal," said Steve Lott, vice president of communications for Airlines for America.
Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (tiered subscription model) (4/25) 
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Consumer Travel News
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Streets of La Paz, Mexico, offer a leisurely stroll
The small city of La Paz in Mexico's Baja Peninsula invites travelers with its laid-back atmosphere and inviting seascape. Visitors can also take an enjoyable stroll along the city's sidewalks, though they might need to watch their step.
San Francisco Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (4/22) 
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Regulatory and Legislative
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Regulatory and Legislative
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N.Y. lawmaker unveils legislation in bid to cut bird strikes
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has proposed legislation that would speed up removal of Canada geese from a wildlife refuge near a New York airport in a bid to reduce the number of bird strikes on planes. The Federal Aviation Administration this year has received reports of 1,090 bird strikes through March 31.
USA Today/The Associated Press (4/26) 
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Best Practices
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Column: Youth programs can help pass on the travel torch
Travel agents, particularly those older than 55, should consider working with local schools to set up youth programs related to travel, writes Charlie Funk, co-owner of Just Cruisin' Plus. The move could help spark interest in the business among younger people and impart precious travel knowledge to a new generation. "All those agents over age 55 who will soon be retiring are taking with them a wealth of knowledge, an institutional memory that can and should be communicated to a new generation before walking out the door for the last time," Funk writes.
Travel Weekly (4/26) 
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Small-Business Strategies
4 steps to a smarter social media strategy
You should perform social media audits on a quarterly basis to make sure you are taking the right approach to using social sites, writes Josh Peters of The Search Agency. Also pick one profile image to use across every social media site and be sure to completely fill out all important pages on social sites.
Mashable (4/25) 
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Save money by paying early
You are leaving money on the table if you fail to take advantage of the discounts that some vendors offer for making payments early, writes Chris Griffiths of fine tune consulting. "Ideally you have the cash to pay your bills early, but even if you have to dip into your line of credit or incur debt some other way, it is still cheaper than letting the invoice slide past the prompt-pay date," he writes.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model) (4/24) 
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Business Tips and Advice
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ASTA Spotlight
Attention, Calif. agents: Travel insurance bill passes; more work to be done
Thanks to California member e-mails to the California Assembly Committee on Insurance, the travel insurance deregulation bill (AB 2354) was unanimously approved by the committee last week. However, more work needs to be done. The next steps are for this bill to be considered by the full Assembly and then sent to the California Senate. To ensure that AB 2354 passes both the full Assembly and the Senate, ASTA is urging California members to contact their legislators. Every constituent contact is recorded and will help move this initiative forward. Find more information here.
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Webinar update: Microsoft tools series
Learn how to make the most of Microsoft tools already at your disposal and maximize your time and efficiency thanks to this series of webinars from Microsoft. Reserve your seat now.

* 9 am PT May 16 -- PowerPoint 2010: Distribute and Integrate Presentations
* 11 am PT May 16 -- Word 2010: Control Content and Layout for Your Documents
* 11 am PT June 13 -- Outlook 2010: Customize the Appearance of Your Email Messages, and Share Outlook Content with Others

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Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
John Steinbeck,
American writer
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