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Staying Up to DateOctober 1, 2006 By: Stasha Mills Home-Based Travel Agent
Although some clients might stick with the same destination, what happens when the destination changes?
Some people find comfort in going back to the same destination year after year.
They know exactly which room works the best for them, the staff calls them by name, they don't have to worry about getting lost on the local roads. These clients have their favorite restaurants and probably order the same things each time they go. Sometimes it's the easy access that encourages repeat travel, but often it's a combination of contributing factors. Perhaps everything they need is there—golf, warm weather, top-level service. Maybe they're price sensitive or brand loyal. And some people simply aren't as adventurous as others—they wonder why they should take a risk on a new place when they know exactly what they'll be getting at their old standby.
But what happens when a destination changes? Some repeat clients might be thrilled if the changes are for the better: New attractions mean more to do and upgraded hotels mean a higher level of comfort. But senior travelers might not like the congestion and the number of children drawn by a new water park, and a family on a budget might be priced out of a newly revamped hotel. These scenarios create many opportunities: Suggest an alternative destination for your seniors, a different hotel for your family and think of more clients this destination would now attract.
This month, we look at three destinations in flux: Cancun, the Dominican Republic and Las Vegas. Cancun is rebuilding more upscale after Hurricane Wilma; there are new beaches, attractions and golf courses in the Dominican Republic. And Vegas, well... There literally is something for everyone here; our story shows you that non-gamblers of all stripes will have no trouble staying occupied.
To keep up with all the changes in products and destinations, it's necessary to stay informed so you can pass the information on to your clients. Reading publications such as this one is a great place to start, but you should also explore your training options and attend expos such as ours.
A product that is noticeably morphing is the all-inclusive. There certainly is clientele for bargain holidays in the sun, but at these new upscale all-inclusives, even your most persnickety clients will be pleased by the attentive butler service, 400-thread-count bedding and private plunge pools.
As for me, I'm not a repeater. I've been to 39 countries on five continents and all 50 U.S. states. There is so much that drives my passion for travel, but mostly it's the thrill of discovery—seeing new topography and architecture, eating local specialties, immersing myself in an unfamiliar culture. Of course, I have my favorite destinations, but I embrace their evolutions—after all, I live in one of the most changeable places in the world, New York City!
Anastasia (Stasha) Mills Managing Editor