Time and again in interviews we conduct with successful agents, they tell us that attentive customer service is a major component of their success. What does that entail? It requires listening to clients about what types of vacations they are envisioning and not only making their dreams realities but also exceeding their expectations.
The story we have in this issue ("Being There") on traveling for big events started me reminiscing about all the exciting happenings I've been lucky enough to be a part of. The most historic and spectacular was the millennium celebration in Giza. There were all sorts of security concerns leading up to it, but the thousands of people from all over the world in banquet tents dotting the desert around the Sphinx and the pyramids danced and mingled and marveled in unison as fireworks illuminated the ancient landscape.
Last month, Home-Based Travel Agent polled readers to find out about your businesses; we cover many of the results on this issue ("Survey Says"). Since the vast majority of cruises are booked by travel agents, it should come as no surprise that 74 percent of respondents reported that they specialized in cruises, while a full half said they sell more cruises than tours/packages and hotels/resorts.
What a thrill to be part of such a successful industry event as we had in December—the first-ever Home-Based Travel Agent Expo & Conference. I witnessed hundreds of agents meeting face to face with suppliers on the trade show floor, packing conference sessions for tips from industry experts and making connections with each other.