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,

“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 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. 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

Out of Office: How Not to Get Jet Lag. Ever.

I’m constantly asked about whether the jet lag bothers me, but the truth is that I don’t get jet lag anymore. Jet lag bounces off me like bullets off Superman’s chest. Yes, I know this sounds incredibly self-congratulatory (over the top, really!), but I now have a system involving some very simple, highly disciplined steps to avoid jet lag. I’m not positive my system will work for everyone, but it definitely works for me, and since a lot of people ask me about it, I thought I’d share my advice with you.

To adjust as painlessly as possible to a disruptive time zone, whether you’re going to be there for two days or for two weeks, try following these steps:

If you travel with a laptop, then two or three days ahead of your trip you should open your Outlook calendar, right-click on the vertical bar showing the hour of the day for all your appointments, and choose “Show an additional time zone.” Use the menu to add the time zone for your international destination to your Outlook calendar, where it will now show right alongside your home time zone.

On the day of departure, as soon as you step onto the plane, set your watch to the new time zone. When you open your laptop, right-click on the same Outlook bar and choose “Swap time zones.” This will reset the time stamps on all your inbound and outbound emails to the new time zone, and it should also change the time that’s shown on your computer, as well. You can still see what time it is at home whenever you want just by viewing the “additional time zone” shown in Outlook, but you really need to begin thinking in terms of the new time. Try not to let yourself mentally translate it to your home time zone very often.  Continue reading.

Author: Don Peppers.  Article Source

ASTA Statement on House Passage of Anti-Consumer Airline Bill

“ASTA is disappointed by House passage of this anti-consumer legislation that will make airfares less transparent, not more. But we are undeterred in our resolve to resist H.R. 4156, and with the support of our members, turn now to the Senate to make our case and prevent this bill from going further.

“The bill seeks to overturn the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) full-fare advertising rule, put in place to make the total cost of a ticket more transparent by requiring airlines to prominently state the full and final price to be paid by the consumer. Here’s what the airlines don’t want consumers and lawmakers to understand—DOT already made this process transparent by allowing the airlines to list all the government fees and taxes in their advertising, as long as the full and final price is most prominently displayed.

“The airlines challenged the rule in the Court of Appeals and lost, then tried the United States Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. In upholding the rule, the Appeals Court said, ‘Based on common sense and over three decades of experience and complaints, DOT concluded that it was deceitful and misleading when the most prominent price listed by an airline is anything other than the total, final price of air travel.’

“On behalf of the traveling public, ASTA will now redouble efforts in the Senate to fight this deceptive legislation through continued mobilization of our members, nearly 700 of whom have already written or called their legislators in opposition, and by working with our allies in this fight, including Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, the Travel Technology Association, the Business Travel Coalition and consumer groups such as Travelers United. Consumers should be given nothing less than the right to see and compare the full cost of a fare before they are deep into the ticketing process.”

Author: Jennifer Michels.  Article Source

How to Lead and Motivate Millenials

The millennials comprise nearly half of the new employee population in the US and in some corporate sectors such as high tech, they make up the majority.  In an article ”Mentoring Millennials” written by Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd they explore this topic using statistical data.  The reality is that the boomer generation will soon retire leaving the generation X’ers to shoulder the responsibility of developing this fast moving, instant gratification, adaptable generation.

I am technically a generation X’er myself and have had success developing members of this new workforce.  It’s tempting to over generalize a population of people.  But some of the research shown from the article above has highlighted a few key areas that will help us to stay connected to this new generation.  They do not remember a time without cell phones, email, texting or the Internet.  We are so connected that we are disconnected and find that the younger generation (Ages 21-30) have a different expectation, work ethic, and communication abilities. Everything is either text or email. I will attempt to offer a combination of commentary, sentiment and statistics shared by Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd.

What do millennials want?  Here is what some of the research has uncovered:

Millennials view work as a key part of life, not a separate activity that needs to be “balanced” by it. For that reason, they place a strong emphasis on finding work that’s personally fulfilling.  Click here to read the full article.

Author: Tad Carter.  Article Source

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