Top 30 Under 30 in 2014

YPS congratulates two of its own (Sarah Bush of D Tours Travel and Jessica Siregar of Largay Travel) for making Travel Agent Central’s 30 Under 30 2014 list.

Click here for the full article.  Here they are: The future of the travel industry, the next generation of agents who will discover new places to go and new ways to connect with travelers. They exist in a 24/7 world of nonstop information, and communicate with each other, with other industry professionals and with clients through multiple platforms. They tweet. They share. They snap pictures and chat about their experiences. And they sell travel in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. They are Travel Agent’s top 30Under30 for 2014. Over the past several years this feature has created a buzz in the industry and also helped fuel a community of young professionals who enjoy being a part of a special growing niche in the travel industry. This year’s list of young agents, all of whom were under 30 when the year began, is a testament to our combined success.

Author: Travel Agent Central.  Article Source

5 Top Apps for Travel Agents

Travel apps, just like travel agents, are essential for travelers in today’s world.

That’s why it’s only natural to highlight top apps for agents and their clients.

Being an agent is tough work. You have to constantly tap into the pulse of your clients to ensure they are being served excellently, while also dealing with making reservations and ensuring yours truly is accounted for, too.

But thanks to the work of companies like Sabre and other prominent technology providers for the travel industry, the complications of yesteryear are beginning to evaporate into thin air (literally, if you catch my drift).

If you are a tech-savvy agent looking for an app to make your life easier, you’ve come to the right place. And if you aren’t a tech-savvy agent, it’s time to make friends with technology (it will love you back).

Here are five top apps travel agents must check out.

refund.me(iPhone, Android, free)

You may have heard of refund.me already.

It ensures passengers are able to claim their rightful compensation for flight delays, cancellations, missed connections and overbooking.

Now, refund.me is able through Sabre’s Red App Center for travel agents.

The app monitors thousands of bookings, detecting delays and cancellations that can net passengers up to $800 via EU law. And if you aren’t flying from Europe, the app also covers flights from the United States to Europe.

Specifically designed by the international passenger rights specialist, the refund.me Red App will monitor flights booked by travel agents and flag those eligible for up to $800 in compensation

According to refund.me, only 2 percent of eligible passengers have successfully claimed eligible compensations in the last decade, leaving more than $5.5 billion in compensation on the table. Last year, an estimated $400 million was left unclaimed, which was actually an improvement from previous years.

This not only accounts for agents, but it also gives agents the information they need to take care of their clients.

Since its birth in 2012, refund.mehas recorded a 94 percent success rate.

Good news for the more than 220,000 agents who work with Sabre.  Read full details.

Author: Ryan Rudnansky.  Article Source

Golf, Tennis, Global Entry Anyone? Here’s What’s New on Global Convention Agenda

Golf, Tennis, Global Entry Anyone? Here’s What’s New on Global Convention Agenda

The agenda for the ASTA Global Convention (AGC) is updated on a near-daily basis. What you need to know this week is that if you are tired of being stuck in long airport security lines, ASTA has arranged for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to be on-site in New York City on the first day of the ASTA Global Convention to conduct “mobile enrollments” into CBP’s Global Entry trusted traveler program. The enrollments will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 14, as convention attendees are boarding the Norwegian Breakaway.

Once approved as a Global Entry trusted traveler, enrollees can use the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) dedicated PreCheck lanes when traveling domestically, which means shorter lines, no taking off shoes/belt, no pulling out your “3-1-1” bag and no separate laptop bin. And when flying internationally, it means you can head straight for the Global Entry kiosk and onto baggage claim – no waiting in the Customs and immigration line.

To take advantage, you must submit the proper forms , receive your conditional CBP approval and schedule your interview by Aug. 29. Registered delegates may find complete details on how to schedule the interview here.

A recent Reuters article about Global Entry asked the question “Is it worth $100 to skip airport security lines?” The answer was a resounding “yes” in the opinion of two frequent travelers – “It’s a beautiful thing,” said one, while the other said “This is one of the best $100 I’ve spent on travel.”

According to ASTA member Heather Dolstra of Democracy Travel in Washington, DC, who enrolled in Global Entry in Los Angeles in 2012, having mobile enrollments in New York is “reason enough to go to Convention. We did our interviews in Los Angeles…and have enjoyed Global Entry (and TSA pre-check) ever since. It was such a benefit to have a one-stop-shop at the [convention].”

Also new to the agenda is a golf outing on Sept. 18 on Bermuda at the Port Royal Golf Course, home of the PGA Grand Slam. Cost is $200 per person or $750 for a foursome. On the same day at roughly the same time is a tennis outing to the Elbow Beach tennis facility. This is complimentary for ASTA attendees, but you must pre-register. Check out the 13 other on-island sightseeing activities scheduled for Sept. 17-19 on the agenda, such as a Dolphin Quest Dip Program, Blue Water Divers and Watersports and local tour experiences with Bermuda Explorer.

Do You Sometimes Struggle to Find New Ideas?

Back in 1866, a 19-year-old man in Louisville, Kentucky purposely requested the overnight shift when he accepted a new job working on the Associated Press news wire. The typically quiet wee hours of the morning allowed him plenty of time to do what he truly enjoyed: reading, imagining and testing his new ideas.

One evening he got a little carried away. The curious young man was working with a lead-acid battery when he spilled sulfuric acid onto the floor. It ran between the floorboards and onto the boss’s desk downstairs. The next morning he was promptly terminated.[1]

In retrospect, the whole world should be thankful he was fired, for that young man was Thomas Edison, who would go on to become one of the world’s most prolific inventors. Few people in history have done more to improve the human condition.

Edison’s creativity earned him a personal fortune and helped turn the United States into a major industrial power.

You never know when and where inspiration will come.

The legendary businessman Henry Ford, continue reading.

Author: Jeff B.  Article Source

My Travel Agent Rocks!

“My Travel Agent Rocks!” blog launched this week as part of a consumer awareness campaign. The blog will be featured on ASTA’s consumer-facing website, TravelSense.org.

“The new blog will regularly showcase what an ASTA member did to help one of their clients experience the trip of a lifetime, or to save that dream vacation from disaster,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. “This website both reminds the traveling public of what agents do for them every day, and brings new clients directly to our members,” he said. The TravelSense.org website connects consumers with professional travel agents, either based on geographical location, or by expertise, such as agents who are specialists in European river cruises or Caribbean honeymoons.

TravelSense.org brought $1.3 million in sales leads directly to ASTA members in the first six months of this year alone from travelers searching for a vetted travel counselor. The first several blogs will be culled from the dozens of nominations made for this year’s Extra Mile Award that will be announced at the ASTA Global Convention on board Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Breakaway on Sept. 15, including the three finalists being voted on by the public. Voting ends today. In the future, travelers and agents can submit their own stories to the blog.Travel consultants sell more than $86 billion worth of air tickets, $15 billion in cruises and $9 billion in tour packages each year, and this blog reminds the traveling public of the many reasons why ASTA members are the best resource for planning a trip.“These inspiring stories that flooded in for our Extra Mile Award remind us again and again that, without an agent, you’re on your own,” said Kerby.

Author: Jennifer Michels.  Article Source

Last Chance to Register for Global Convention!

Join ASTA YPS aboard the Norwegian Breakaway September 14-21!

It’s much more than a cruise – it’s a networking, educational and powerhouse of an industry event that will help you move your business forward. As magnificent as the Norwegian Breakaway is, think of it as the canvas for what lies ahead. This event will bring you together with the industry’s top travel professionals, travel suppliers and industry experts in a relaxed and fun environment that will help you “SEAS the Future.”

What’s in it for you as a young travel professional?

  • Set yourself above your competitors. Earn up to three highly valued and marketable New York,      Bermuda and Norwegian Cruise Line specialist certificates.
  • Boost your profitability. Develop strong lasting personal relationships with key suppliers that will help drive up your bottom line. This event offers an innovative and intimate trade show with ample one-on-one networking time with industry executives.
  • Enhance your business and develop long lasting strategic goals. Participate in interactive educational sessions offered by inspiring subject matter experts that will help you learn, set your strategic goals and move your business forward.
  • Experience one of the most exciting ships in the industry – one recently named Best New Ship by Cruise Critic editors – the Norwegian Breakaway combines the best of New York City with the most magnificent amenities at sea.
  •  Fun! Yes, fun. All work and no play makes for a dull existence. Get your mojo back. Join ASTA and suppliers at inspiring networking events and parties. Enjoy the excitement and energy of New York, the magic of Bermuda and the thrill of the new Norwegian Breakaway.

Digital Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

Is digital marketing going to surpass traditional marketing? Will it completely take over classic marketing strategies? The debate continues as technology moves fast and companies can no longer ignore the importance of not only having, but monitoring, their online presence.

Let us start by clarifying the difference between these two varieties of marketing. While traditional marketing includes all the advertising methods like print ads, TV commercials, brochures and billboards; digital marketing means promoting a brand/company via the Internet, thus it refers to social networking presence, online advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Youtube videos, etc.), blogs and websites.

With traditional marketing companies directly target and find customers, while through online marketing their objective is to have people find them.

Obviously, the success of a digital marketing campaign highly depends on the potential customers having access to the Internet and being familiar with the channels used to target them, be those social networks or websites. On the other hand, traditional campaigns on newspapers, magazines, TV or radio or street marketing campaigns are accessible for the large majority of people.

That being said, the level of segmentation you can reach with Internet marketing campaigns cannot be equalled by traditional promotional activities, as they usually reach a local audience and tend to be static. This is also valid when it comes to budget. If we consider the case of Facebook Ads, for example, you can create multiple campaigns at the same time targeting different countries, ages, genders, interests or even education levels and allocate the budget you consider reasonable for each, running a sort of A/B testing and monitoring the campaigns’ performance on a daily basis. This will allow you to take decisions quickly and refine your strategy in case you need to do so.  Continue reading

Author: Gessica Lomonte.  Article Source

ASTA Extra Miles Award Nominees – VOTE TODAY!!

Thousands of travel agents have a multitude of stories to share about the extraordinary level of service they or a colleague has provided a client in times of need.

ASTA wants to recognize those agents who have gone above and beyond by providing exceptional service to their clients. ASTA’s Extra Mile Award is our way to highlight and show appreciation to an agent who has awakened at 3 a.m. to resolve a hotel problem, had to re-plan an entire trip after a travel advisory was issued or simply went that extra step to make a customer’s trip perfect.

We have received hundreds of nominations for ASTA’s Extra Mile Award and we are truly impressed with the hard work travel agents do every day. We think that every nomination could have been a winner. But there can only be one. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Please read these stories and vote for your favorite today!  Voting closes Thursday, August 14th.

Story #1: Without a Travel Genie, You’re on Your Own (Click here to read the full story)

Story #2: Have Bus, Will Travel (with my entire wedding party) (Click here to read the full story)

Story #3:  Just a Place to Lay Me Poor Head (Click here to read the full story)

Handy Resources for You to Promote ASTA’s Advocacy Efforts

Whenever you need to explain what ASTA does for the profession, please keep these resources handy. The first is a press release we issued on July 17 that lists our many efforts in the first half of this year to promote and defend the travel agency community. The second is a video of ASTA VP of Government Affairs Eben Peck explaining the highlights of how we fight every day at the state and federal levels. This video can be found on ASTA’s YouTube page and can be shared on your website or through any of your social media channels.

Why the Most Successful Organizations Have Women and Millennials In Charge

Gender and generational gaps have recently become big buzz words in the business world. According to a new study, it’s not a passing trend: Having millennials and women in leadership positions directly correlates with the success of a company.

The Global Leadership Forecast looked at the workforce issues affecting 13,124 leaders from around the world, representing 48 countries and 32 major industries.

Millennials present a unique catch-22: Their presence in leadership positions related to the company’s growth rate. Companies with a 30% proportion of young people in higher roles saw “aggressive growth,” according to the study. When it’s more like 20%, they saw “little to low growth” rates. At the same time, they were the least engaged of all the age groups studied, and the most likely to leave within a year.

The researcher suggest strategies to keep this catalyst-generation engaged and loyal, including social learning opportunities, virtual workshops, and ways to connect in person with mentors. See the millennial breakout section of the study.

Author: Samantha Cole.  Article Source


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