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Letters to the Editor

November 11, 2011 Travel Agent

We’ve received a number of comments on two recent columns by our Editorial Director Ruthanne Terrero—one about audience members openly chatting with each other while a speaker is giving a presentation, and another on real vs. perceived ways to save money while traveling. Following are some of your responses:

RE: “Will You Please Be Quiet!”

Dear Ruthanne,
I couldn’t resist! I had to write to give you kudos for the terrific article “Will You Please Be Quiet!” I read your column in every issue of Travel Agent magazine and always appreciate your thoughts, but this article was long overdue.

It never ceases to amaze me that leaders can be the chief offenders when it comes to rudeness, and yet they would never tolerate it from those they lead. My daughter is a teacher and she says that when there is a conference, her fellow teachers sit and talk through the entire presentation, which they would never tolerate from their students.

In church, I have had people coming and sitting next to me and talking during the worship time, as if it’s not a part of the service. Such rudeness also happens during travel conferences.

Thank you for addressing the issue and continue the good work.

Tami Riebel, owner,
Bluewater Destinations, Inc.

Dear Ruthanne,
Just read “Will You Please Be Quiet!” in the October 3rd issue of Travel Agent and I agree with you 100 percent! We’ve all been there, subjected to unwanted conversations or one-way comments into a cell phone by someone who is clueless. When it happens again, I am going to ask these people to stop chatting and distracting the speakers and those of us who are there to listen.

Rhea Woofter, travel consultant,
Montecito Village Travel

Dear Ruthanne,
Truer words were never spoken about how annoying it is. I’ve done the following and both worked well:

1. At WIT (then Women in Travel) meetings, when I was president, I brought one of those small Chinese gongs with me to the podium. When I was being “noised out,” I banged on it; dead silence and then I continued. It only took once and then the audience knew I meant respect to speakers (myself or others in the industry).

2. I have brought meetings to a halt by simply speaking a statement into the microphone, “I’m sorry but was there something you wished to add to my speech? We all would welcome your input as it is obviously very important to you.”

Keep up the good work.

Gwynne Balson,
All Destinations, Inc.

RE: “How ‘Saving’ Can Be Costly”

Dear Ruthanne,
One of the expenses that we can cut down is on daily breakfast. Whenever I travel to a new destination, I first search for a local Costco. My wife, Jacquelyn, and I stayed at the beautiful The Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, and there’s a Costco about two blocks from Maui airport.

Costco provided us with fresh croissants, fruits, various crackers and cheese as well as many beverages. Of course, our hotel room had a fridge to store our food and drinks.

Imagine waking up to an ocean view with fresh in-room Kona coffee, orange juice, fresh fruits, pastries and croissants while reading a local newspaper. We incorporate this breakfast-saving technique at every travel location.

Before you go, be prepared and do some research. Remember what your mom told you and don’t skip breakfast. Breakfasts are easy and inexpensive.

Kevin Nguyen,
Pinnacle Travel Counselor,
American Express Platinum Travel Service

Dear Ruthanne,
I look up restaurants on for the places being visited. That way, clients can plan beforehand where they would like to eat while saving money on their meals. On, you can usually get a $25 restaurant gift certificate for $5 or $10.

It also saves on dining out when in your own city! I have used these restaurant gift certificates personally, so I know they are a great value. I have also got gift certificates as prizes for contests winners. Clients can go to the website and choose where they would like to dine.

Brenda McMillian,
BAM 1 Travel

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