Why Is Professional Development So Important?

I want to talk about something very important: personal growth and professional development. Both of these go hand in hand since everything that we learn professionally affects us personally and vice versa. The bonus is that each can help our lives run better.

As a business owner you want to be able to be the best version of yourself all of the time and you cannot do this by being stagnant.  Learning new things about your industry or new products or services that are available will not only help your clients and keep then coming back, but it will help you stand out as a knowledgeable and up to date professional.

Development is an ongoing process in everyone’s life

Many people hold the principle that they should take at least 2 new classes/workshops, training or teachings a year and they will stop only when they cease to exist.  It sounds a little dramatic, but if we stop going forward in life where else is there to go?  Our self-growth is so important as individuals and also as a society so that we don’t backslide. On that note, here are some of my reasons for why professional development IS so important….
•It Helps You Understand Yourself Better

With any type of learning, we always learn something about ourselves in the process.  Our learning style, our team work abilities, our communication style.  Taking the time to learn can also expose you to ideas or opportunities that will not…continue reading.

Author: Tree Ryde.  Article Source

Tourism Cares Announces Nepal Recovery Fund Efforts

The rescue and recovery process has just begun in Nepal after Saturday’s devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake. More than 3,700 have been reported dead and another 6,500 injured. The force of the quake has turned centuries-old cultural landmarks to rubble and crippled the local tourism community.

Already, the people of Nepal have shown great resolve and shown they will rebuild and thrive again. The worldwide tourism community is reacting in kind, and Tourism Cares is leading the charge. The organization announced a large-scale relief and recovery effort today and is calling on every corner of the travel industry to assist in the cause.

travAlliancemedia, the parent company of TravelPulse, is partnering with Tourism Cares to build a large-scale sustained effort across the travel industry to aid in the recovery of the region.

Tourism Cares CEO Mike Rea said he is proud to see how quickly those in the industry have mobilized efforts to help lessen the short-term devastation of this natural disaster. But he stressed that the needs of the region will stretch far into the future.

Read entire article here.
Author: Tim Wood.  Article Source.

ASTA Global Convention 2015

ASTA CEO, Zane Kerby, shares his favorite place in Washington D.C. home of the 2015 ASTA Global Convention. Register for ASTA Global Convention by May 1 and Save! www.ASTAGlobalConvention.org

Is Periscope The Next Big Thing?

It’s no secret that social media should be playing an important role in your marketing tactics. With the fast-paced landscape and constant emergence of new channels, it’s important to always keep an eye on what might be the next big thing.

It’s worth taking a look at Periscope, a new social channel that is quickly catching fire.

What is Periscope? It’s a new live-streaming video app that launched about a year ago. It was recently purchased by Twitter for $100 million.

How does it work? Periscope is a mobile application, so that means there’s not desktop version of it. You access it from your mobile device or tablet.

Why would people use it? For users, it allows them to share an experience live with the push of a button.  You can witness a baby’s first steps through the eyes of the mother, the tension of a protest through the eyes of a bystander, or the look of a bride through her father’s eyes on her wedding day.

It allows users to travel the world without leaving their couch. Viewers can send messages or express their love for the video by tapping the screen to send hearts to the poster.

Should your brand use Periscope? If you have a robust Twitter following, having a Periscope account might be a good idea. After all, the integration of Periscope videos into Twitter is rather seamless and creates a unique user experience. If you don’t have a strong Twitter presence, that isn’t to say that Periscope won’t work for you. Intent, strategy, and content all play an important role in any new social channel launch.

Bottom Line: It’s always tough to tell what will be the next big thing in social media. It depends on early adaptation, integration into existing platforms, user ease, and the ability for brands to somehow create a voice or presence in the channel. It never hurts to “squat” on a new channel. In other words, claim your brand’s user name and don’t deploy content right away. See how the community is using the app and then create a strategy as to how your social presence can benefit from this channel and start posting when the time is right.

Author: Dilara Casey.  Article Source

U.S. Government Will Investigate Open Skies

The three big airlines are getting their wish.

The Obama Administration said Friday it will investigate claims made by American, Delta and United airlines that the three major Middle East Gulf carriers receive subsidies from their respective governments that have skewed the marketplace.

The domestic carriers have asked the government to review the Open Skies Agreement after providing the U.S. Transportation, Commerce and State departments with a 55-page report earlier this year that alleges Emirates, Etihad and Qatar airlines have received $42 billion in subsidies over a 10-year period from their respective governments in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The debate has become contentious between the U.S. airlines and its several union supporters, who claim that American jobs are being lost by the growth of the Gulf carriers, and travel advocates such as the U.S. Travel Association and the Business Travel Coalition, which claim that the Open Skies Agreement has fostered fair competition and that U.S. airlines have also received subsidies from the government.  Read entire article here.
Author: Rich Tomaselli.  Article Source.

How To Become A Confident Networker

We all know that networking is an important aspect of promoting ourselves professionally. Not only is it a good way to hear about new opportunities, but it also increases the chances of somebody referring you for a job that interests you. In fact, according to Elizabeth Garone in her BBC article “Take the scary out of networking,” a study from Millennial Branding shows that 71 percent of human resource professionals place a high priority on referral candidates when searching for new employees.


However, the truth is not all of us feel confident walking into a room full of strangers, let alone trying to make conversation with people we’ve only just met. Yet this is precisely what you need to do in order to build your professional network. Fortunately, if the thought of introducing yourself makes you break into a cold sweat, the following seven tips can help you become more confident so you can make the most of your next networking opportunity.
1.Practice makes perfect. Before you attend your first networking event, it’s important to understand that networking is a skill you can hone over time. Don’t place too much pressure on yourself; instead, allow yourself to gradually grow accustomed to introducing yourself to others and striking up conversations. The more often you put yourself into a networking situation, the easier it becomes.

Click here to read the entire article.

Author: Angelia Gambinol.  Article Source

Travel Ranks Third In Mobile Commerce

Mobile accounts for 29 percent of e-commerce transactions in the U.S. and 34 percent globally, according to Criteo’s “State of Mobile Commerce” report on the first quarter of 2015. Mobile transactions are anticipated to reach 33 percent in the U.S. and 40 percent globally by year’s end.

Why It Matters:
The findings expose the unyielding clout of mobile; wise travel agents will acclimate quickly to the trend and fortify their digital strategies. In a chart ranking the categories of mobile shopping, travel placed third, behind the categories of Fashion & Luxury and Mass Merchants, but ahead of Sporting Goods; Health & Beauty; and Home. Smartphones are unsurprisingly responsible for most of U.S. mobile sales; however, travel sales are higher on tablets ($85 to every $100 spent on a desk-top computer) than smartphones ($36 to every $100 via desktop).

Fast Facts:
- Majority of U.S. mobile transactions are via smartphone. When compared to conversion rates on desktop or tablet, rates via smartphone are lower; however, smartphones generate more transactions due to much higher traffic.

- iPhones hold 9.2 percent of e-commerce transactions in travel, while Android smartphones account for 8.2 percent of e-commerce transactions in travel.

- New segment of “same night” hotel booking has increased booking travel via smartphone.

What They Are Saying:
“Mobile commerce is growing like a weed,” said Jonathan Wolf, chief product officer for Criteo. “In just the last three months, there was a 10 percent increase in mobile transactions here in the U.S. Smartphones are now the majority of mobile transactions, and the growth of larger screen sizes and better mobile sites is only going to accelerate this trend.”

Author: Valerie Chen.  Article Source.

Webinar: ASTAPAC Political Influence For Travel Agents

To many people, the term “PAC” conjures up images of smoke-filled rooms, suitcases full of cash and corrupt politicians. But the reality is more complicated. When it comes to influencing public policy, ASTA faces a choice – rely on the strength of our policy arguments, or supercharging that policy work by engaging in the political process.

Decisions are being made every day in Washington, D.C. and in state legislatures that will have an immediate and tangible impact on ASTA members’ bottom lines and the way they run their businesses.

Join Erika Richter to learn about why and how ASTA has chosen to engage in politics through ASTAPAC, and the works helps travel agents.

Thu, Apr 16, 2015 2:00 PM3:00 PM EDT

What Are The Best Times To Post Social Media?

Have you ever wondered when you should be sharing your content on the social web?

Your visitors and followers prefer using social media sites during specific hours. So if you start sharing your content when your users are on these social sites, you’ll not only gain more shares, but you’ll also notice an increase in traffic.

So, when should you be sharing your content? Well, just follow the times in the infographic below.

Click here to read the entire article.

Author: Neil Patel.  Article Source

TSA To Market PreCheck

Aiming to increase the number of travelers authorized to use expedited TSA PreCheck lanes at airports from the current 4.6 million to 25 million, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is targeting the 36 million U.S. travelers who take three or more airline trips per year with a marketing initiative to enhance the PreCheck brand.

At the same time, the agency, a division of Homeland Security, said last month it will be scaling back on an airline-based program under which carriers have been allowed to qualify some members of their frequent flyer programs for PreCheck. Over time, airline-qualified travelers will find that they are approved for the expedited PreCheck security lanes less and less frequently, according to a TSA blog post in late March.


However, travelers who have “known-traveler numbers” through Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Entry, Nexus or Sentri programs or as a result of TSA’s own PreCheck authorization process will continue to get expedited screening with the same frequency as in the past.  Continue reading here.

Author: Kate Rice.  Article Source.

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