Tuesday, June 22, 2010


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New firm offers agencies help landing new business accounts
The American Marketing Group introduced a new company at its recent global conference that strives to help travel agencies pursue and service new business-travel accounts. Forte Business Travel Solutions offers agencies resources and support, according to its executives. "This initiative was created to help agencies in the business travel marketplace maximize profitability through a variety of solutions that include fulfillment, staffing and consulting components," said Don Kennedy, senior vice president of business development. TravelMarketReport.com (6/18)
London hotel rates are expected to be high for the 2012 Olympics
London's hotel-room rates during the 2012 Olympics, which take place July 27 through Aug. 12, are expected to be extraordinarily high and in short supply, according to a recently published white paper by Hotelscene, a U.K. hotel booking agency. Travel buyers are advised to start supplier negotiations now. BTNOnline.com (6/18)
AMResorts CEO discusses expansion plans
Alex Zoyaya, president and CEO at AMResorts, explains the company has aggressive expansion plans targeting Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. A new Dreams Resort in Costa Rica is first, with groundbreaking soon and the resort open before 2012, Zoyaya said. Travel Agent (6/18)
Other News
ARC CEO Collins to resign in June 2011
Travel Weekly (6/18)
AcceptPay Helps Businesses Invoice and Get Paid Faster
Online invoicing with AcceptPay can help maintain healthy cash flow for your company. Download the American Express OPEN Insight Guide to learn how AcceptPay's electronic invoicing and direct payments can help simplify payment processes and make it easier for your customers to pay you.

Trends and Technology

Airline alliances become key component, insider says
Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam, which originally were developed around key trans-Atlantic routes, now include dozens of carriers, flying millions of passengers around the world. The airline alliances are proving their worth as the industry struggles with the economic downturn and other challenges. "Over the last decade, the alliance system has developed into a critical component of the industry," said Giovanni Bisignani, head of the International Air Transport Association. "Today, alliances cover over half of global travel." Google/Agence France-Presse (6/19)
Column: Business ethics are vital for travel agencies
Mary Stephan, president of Powell, Ohio-based Allons Travel, discusses "business ethics" and why the concept is important for travel agencies. "It starts with how we treat our customers and up. People want to do business with a company or person they trust," Stephan writes. "And, companies that practice sound ethics and professionalism are rewarded financially as well." Travel Research Online (6/18)
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Consumer Travel News

Exotic Maldives is relatively unknown among Americans
The Maldives is an exotic chain of coral islands located in the Indian Ocean southeast of India. Few U.S. travelers are familiar with the Maldives despite their white-sand beaches, famed surfing, coral reef diving and other amenities. The islands also feature luxurious resort hotels, including villas situated over the water and beach bungalows. TravelAge West (6/20)
Monasteries in Romanian valley feature stunning works of art
Stephen the Great, a Moldavian prince, won dozens of victories and celebrated by building new monasteries or churches and adorning their walls with the work of artisans. His son and his successor embraced the tradition and despite the summer heat and winter winds, many of the buildings and their artwork have survived. The Monastery of Voronet and its sister sanctuaries are scattered across a valley in Romania and are recognized as a Unesco World Heritage site. The New York Times (free registration) (6/14)
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Regulatory and Legislative

Obama's high-speed passenger-rail plan faces challenges
The White House has been striving to launch more high-speed passenger-rail service across the country, but its efforts are running into challenges over the tracks. Passenger advocates are pushing for dedicated tracks, while freight railroads are concerned about sharing theirs. Bloomberg (6/18) , Herald & Review (Decatur, Ill.) (6/20)
California works toward Los Angeles-to-San Francisco high-speed train: California likely will issue a tender for a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles by late next year. Quentin Kopp, a board member of the California High Speed Rail Authority, said construction could start as early as the first six months of 2012. Bloomberg (6/18)
Rockland, Maine, considers restricting cruise ships
Some business leaders in Rockland, Maine, are frustrated with an attempt to limit the number of cruise ships entering the city's harbor. In addition to the limits, the Harbor Management Commission recommended a $600 fee for cruise ships that restrict public traffic by the public landing or parks. The city council also recently decided to raise the per-passenger fee from $1 to $6. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (6/18)
Other News
EU, U.S. to work together on civil-aviation research, development
The Wall Street Journal (6/18)
A recent survey of 120 blue-chip American companies found that a third of employees wrote poorly, a problem businesses spend more than $3 billion a year to correct. Help busy executives and employees organize their ideas and communicate them clearly and concisely with "The Harvard Business School Publishing Guide to Better Business Writing." Order here.

Best Practices
20 questions that will determine your company's fate
Whether your business will sink or swim depends on how you answer 20 key questions, write Christopher Steiner and Brett Nelson. Only by finding solid responses to tough questions about issues such as cash-flow, scalability and marketing can you guarantee the long-term health of your enterprise, they argue. Forbes (6/17)


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Interested in learning more about advertising in ASTA SmartBrief? Contact Sam Fuchs at (202) 737-5500 x227 or sfuchs@smartbrief.com.

Featured Content

How to Think Like a Bootstrapper Scott Allen
The Power of Word-of-Mouth - And How to Harness It Shira Levine
The Innovator's Paradox John Warrillow
How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation Erica Swallow
"Click": Techniques for High Performance Teaming Matthew E. May

ASTA Spotlight
Register for IDE by June 30 to win
Puerto Rico combines the exoticism of the Caribbean with proximity to the United States. Attend the International Destination Expo from April 14 to 17 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to become the Caribbean expert your clients desire. Attending will allow you to boost your sales to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean with an unparalleled educational program designed to make you a destination expert along with hands-on training that includes complimentary sightseeing of San Juan and cruise ship inspections. Register before June 30 for a chance to win a free two-night pre- or post-conference hotel stay. Limited quantities available. Limited time offer. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Read the rules and regulations.
ASTA's young professionals expand industry
Connect with travel agents younger than 40 years old on a more personal level by becoming a fan of The New Breed of Travel Agents -- ASTA's YPS fan page on Facebook. Young agents are discussing National Cruise Vacation Month and how to best communicate with clients. Bounce ideas, post information and start connecting with those interested in the industry as well as your fellow young travel agents. Click here or search The New Breed of Travel Agents to become a fan today.
Learn more about ASTA -> Resources | Conferences | Consumer Travel Information | Join ASTA

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry."
--Jewish proverb,
quoted for Father's Day, June 20, 2010

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