This comprehensive guide begins at Alfava Metraxis and ends at Doctor Who Magazine wins the ACE Press Award 0 Following its record breaking ABC figure earlier this year, Doctor Who Magazine had cause for further celebration at the 2014 ACE Press Awards held https://www.levitradosageus24.com/ viagra bedeutung online apotheke at the Museum of London. This may take a second or two.
From Tour Operator to Travel AgentJanuary 8, 2007 By: Mark Rogers Travel Agent
Rick Etherson successfully capitalizes on opportunities
Veteran industry professional Rick Etherson sums up his view
of the travel business in one pithy comment: "This whole business is
nothing but change—change is constant." Etherson, co-owner with his wife
Linda, of Etherson Travel in
for more than five decades.
"I'm not going to tell you how old I am," says
Etherson. "But I was drawn to travel back in 1949." At that time
Etherson was living in
"I wrote to a concessionaire and asked for a job, and
he told me to come on out," he says. "My second year at
In years to come, he shifted into working for the government and traveling
becoming a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and the National
"In 1968 my good friend Arthur Tauck encouraged me to
become a tour broker," says Etherson. "There was a dormant tour
20 years, Etherson designed, advertised and operated escorted tours throughout
the largest single commercial movement in Greyhound history when it ran 100
buses to the Billy Graham Campus Crusade in
"In 1985 we opened our agency, Etherson Travel, in
order to serve Roger Q Tours," says Etherson. "Then I saw the
handwriting on the wall when they deregulated the tour industry, making the
distinction of being a licensed tour broker non-existent." In 1988, Etherson
closed Roger Q Tours.
In the beginning, Etherson's agency was split equally
between leisure and corporate business. "But as airlines began cutting
commissions, it was a no-brainer to make the change towards more leisure, which
is now 100 percent of our business," he says. "We began to specialize
in selling all-inclusive vacation packages, especially Air Jamaica Vacations
and Sandals Resorts." The company rounds things out with high-end cruises
and vacations to such destinations as
"You can't clean off the rack any faster than that, baby." He adds,
"I don't mind telling you, we do $1.7 million a year."
Etherson works out of a brick-and-mortar office with a
two-person staff: himself and his wife. He's skeptical about working from a
home office: "You have to make it easy for them to come in and see
Etherson is a Platinum Sandals agent and one of the
company's top producers. When Sandals announced its Sandals-ized vehicles in
the fall of 2005, Etherson jumped in, and since receiving his car in December
2005, business increased 22 percent. He describes the vehicle as a rolling
billboard: "It's helped establish us as the area's Sandals expert,"
he says. The custom Honda Element is silver and plastered with Sandals decals,
as well as Etherson's contact information.
"It was a significant investment, but you get your
money back from Sandals if you make your sale," says Etherson. "When
you take on a debt like this, you better think outside the box," says
Etherson. "We make house calls—some of our clients are 25 to 30 miles
outside of town. When you pull into their driveway in a Sandals-ized vehicle,
it validates you right away." In a three-week period last year, Etherson
made eight house calls, and sold all eight.
Etherson keeps up with the business by reading travel
trades, and says he has a lot of interplay with agents and tour ops via phone,
e-mail and at events. He attends the Knoxville Premiere Bridal Show twice a
year: "We rent two booth spaces and drive the car right onto the show
One of Etherson's famous clients was Alex Haley, the author
of "Roots." "He used to come in and we'd book him travel on
tramp steamers to the Orient," he remembers. "He was a very quiet
Etherson himself is of Irish heritage, and one of his
favorite destinations is
he's visited five times. But when he does have time to get away, he tells his
wife, "Let's do different."