River cruising is a hot commodity for travel advisors desiring to increase earnings. Discover what's new in river cruising in the Focus Series!
Year after year in survey after survey, London lands in the top three of favorite European cities to visit, jockeying for position with Paris and Rome. Among the advantages the British capital has over its French and Italian counterparts, especially with first time transatlantic travelers, is a shorter flight time and, beyond some delightful differences in some word meanings, no language barrier. And, of course, there is no shortage of iconic attractions, from Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London to the Coca-Cola London Eye, shopping at Harrods, and the West End theaters, where “Hamilton“ and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” are the hottest tickets. Read more in the London 2018 Focus Series!
From the Panhandle to the Keys, Florida is dotted with a great number and variety of family-friendly hotels and resorts. In addition to amenities for all ages, they are convenient to fun activities, be it a great beach, a theme park, a wildlife reserve or other adventures. Here are some of the most recent developments on the Sunshine State’s accommodations front for you to share with your multi-generational clients.
For clients planning to take their first family vacation outside the continental United States, especially those living on or near the East Coast, the Caribbean offers many advantages. For starters, flight times are shorter; even the southernmost islands are only three hours from Miami. Read all about updates in the Caribbean in the Focus Series!
The North America version of the Switzerland Travel Academy consists of core and specialization modules.
Core modules (4 + News from Switzerland) cover what you need to know about Switzerland and inform you on the latest events and experiences in Switzerland.
Basic and practical knowledge: This module is about the country’s geography, languages and cultures, customs and traditions, and important practical information.
How to travel to and within Switzerland: In this module, you will learn about Switzerland's transportation system, also known as the Swiss Travel System, which, precise like a Swiss watch, connects even the most remote places by train, bus, and boat.
You will become familiar with how to travel to and within Switzerland, learn about the numerous means of transportation, and understand the different ticket options.
Last but not least, you will discover the best scenic routes to transform a journey through the country into a unique experience.
Switzerland in 3, 5 or 10 days: Discover Switzerland’s must-sees and learn how to combine them into packages and itineraries, creating the perfect Swiss experience that suits your clients’ needs and wants.
Must-know for North American travel professionals: This is a market-specific module that provides important information relevant for North American clients.
Learn about Switzerland Tourism contact points in North America, flights from North America to Switzerland, passport & visa regulations, tour operators (both outbound and incoming), and much more.
News from Switzerland 2018: This module presents the most important Swiss events, openings, and projects occurring in 2018 and is updated every year. Discover on what your clients cannot absolutely miss out!
Completion time for core modules: about 3 hours.
Specialization modules offer a deeper focus on different topics and provide insights in touristic experiences, knowledge on a specific topic of interest connected with Switzerland Tourism’s partners, segments or campaigns.
- Road Trip: Grand Tour of Switzerland
- Cultural attractions and city breaks
- Nature and outdoor activities
- Snow and winter activities
- Perfect accommodation
- Luxury, wellness, and lifestyle
- Family vacations
- Meetings, congresses, and incentive planners
Completion time of each module: about 40 minutes.
The process of certification is easy and free:
Pass the final exam on the core modules to graduate as a Switzerland Travel Expert.
You will receive the certificate that is valid until December of the following year.
Every year, stay informed and renew your certificate by taking the exam of the updated “News from Switzerland” module.
After passing the core modules exams, you can continue your training to receive specialization certificates: choose the specialization module you are interested in, pass the exam and receive the certificate.
- Certification upon graduation
- Option to specialize in certain segments
- Rights to use the Travel Expert logo for letters / brochures / website / email signature
- Possibility of ordering brochures
- Enter to win an amazing trip to Switzerland (including flights with Swiss International Airlines and Swiss Travel Passes for two people) by graduating by November 30.
Interest in visiting Mexico has remained steady over the last several years, with Millennials and Gen Xers — the generation most likely to be traveling with children — showing the strongest inclination. Read on for information on things for families to see and do, as well as updates on places to stay.
For the third year in a row, Las Vegas topped the 42 million visitor mark in 2017, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). That trend is expected to continue with the LVCVA forecasting a just-shy-of-the-record count of 42.7 million visitors for 2018.
The destination also continues to enjoy industry-leading occupancy rates — averaging 88 percent over the last four years — with an exceptionally large base of nearly 149,000 available rooms. That inventory always includes rooms in new properties as well as expansions and renovations of existing accommodations. Upgrades to amenities such as restaurants and spas are also part of the equation, spurred by the always desert-hot competition among the city’s hotels. Here are some of the latest developments on that front.
Besides the broad appeal of Hawaii’s natural wonders, adventure activities and cultural attractions, there are places to go and things to do that zero in on special interest and niche markets. There is more information on things for families to see and do — as well as updates on places to stay — in the pages that follow.
As engagement season (unofficially Christmas Eve through Valentine’s Day) draws to a close, be prepared for newlyweds-to-be seeking out your services to plan their destination wedding or honeymoon (or both). Better still, try to set up a cross promotion with your agency and local bridal shops, advertising each other’s services. Read on for some other tips on getting and handling this business, gleaned and distilled from conversations we have had with travel agents and wedding professionals.
Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises offers gorgeous social spaces and impeccable butler-serviced suites rivaling any land-based hotel or resort while transporting guests to idyllic harbors. Currently, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises is composed of Crystal Esprit as well as three new builds which are expected to be delivered between 2019-2021. The on board guest experience is exclusively designed for travelers who love adventure, culture and revel in the casual elegance of the Crystal Yachting Lifestyle.
The Crystal Cruises Specialist course is designed to help you understand and communicate Crystal’s commitment to offering the world’s most luxurious and acclaimed travel experiences.
This course will provide an in-depth review of the award-winning Crystal Experience at a time when the line's celebrated ocean cruises are being elevated to a new level of luxury, service and adventure. Use Crystals’ standout sales features when positioning the line to clients. The key to selling Crystal’s ocean cruises is emphasizing how Crystal goes beyond all-inclusive to ALL EXCLUSIVE.
Crystal’s all-suite, butler-serviced river ships feature the same classic elegance and luxury Crystal Experience found on board the company’s award-winning ocean ships. Sell Crystal river cruises to upscale/luxury travelers, particularly those who have stayed in five-star hotels or who have sailed on luxury and upper-premium ocean cruise lines, and to repeat Crystal guests.Take the Crystal River Cruises course to find out more!
Whatever it is that inspires your client’s wanderlust —the legendary elegance of a classic ocean voyage, the immersive discovery of a river cruise, the intimate adventures aboard a luxury yacht, or the soaring wonder of travel by chartered private jet — Crystal presents the world's most fascinating destinations to your discerning clientele with expert finesse and award-winning luxury.Take the All Things Crystal course to find out more!
Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and white sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Discover what makes this island so unique and become a St. Kitts Specialist now!
Rollings with the flow! Read all about what's trending, new ships and itineraries, target markets and tips on how to sell the product more efficiently.
River Cruising continues to expand across the globe and new options are creating demand to entice more clients. Simply put, “river cruising is hot,” says Vicky Garcia, chief operating officer and co-owner, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. “As a network, we continue to see double-digit growth in this segment, with some agents specializing in it quite successfully.” See what’s ahead.
Like the destination itself, Key Lime Academy has been designed to educate, inspire and entertain while unveiling all of what the Florida Keys has to offer. Along the way, you will meet a diverse group of local personalities who will introduce themselves through a series of short videos. As a graduate of Key Lime Academy, you will have access to our Suggested Itineraries; a series of vacation ideas written by locals offering insider tips on attractions, photo ops, restaurants and places worth discovering. But be careful — chances are these suggestions will inspire your own visit to the Florida Keys sometime very soon.
Today’s cruise travelers aren’t playing shuffleboard all day, stuffing themselves at the midnight buffet or dressing in formal attire every night. Over the decades, guests have evolved in both their personal interests and mindset. Learn more about adventure cruising today!
The Antigua & Barbuda Specialist program is designed to help you become a Specialist in selling our amazing destination. Whether you specialize in destination weddings, family getaways, luxury experiences or special interest markets like sailing or eco-adventures, this course will provide you with all the unique selling points and product information your clients may need.
Sure, your clients have been to the Caribbean and most likely, with their entire family in tow. But there is a reason why families frequent an area whose beauty is matched only by its bounty of attractions. One destination in particular, Cayman Islands, speaks directly to the prominent role that kids play in the vacation decision-making process by checking all the boxes. A range of full-service, family-friendly accommodations - check. Snorkeling, swimming and children's programs - check. Children's menus and delicious non-kid dining - check. Happy kids and even happier adults - check. Learn more to sell more.
White sand beaches, azure waters and a laid back vibe - three demands you can easily deliver upon for clients headed to the Caribbean. While knowing the basics can help you suggest the islands with gusto, it's specialized expertise that will make the sale. Remind clients why paradise isn't always found in a couple of clicks by becoming a USVI Specialist. You'll easily sell the Caribbean and earn up to $200 with every USVI booking.
Navigating through the multigenerational travel niche can be a balancing act. Investigation, negotiation and good old-fashioned legwork all come into play when family dynamics are involved. But the rewards are handsome, as well. Read about multigenerational travel trends in the pages ahead.
Fresh off a record-breaking year, Hawaii’s tourism will focus on the latest travel trends, from adventure to culinary tourism, to give visitors authentic cultural experiences with every Hawaiian vacation. Become a Hawaii Destination Specialist to stay on top of the latest tourism developments from one of the world’s most popular destinations. Both existing and new graduates will benefit from a richer understanding of the six individual islands. In addition to learning insider tips and accessing customized sales tools, you’ll benefit from consumer referrals, up-to-date and robust marketing materials and ongoing rewards.
Costa Rica is an excellent choice for all your meeting, incentive, conference and event needs. In addition to high quality hotels and venues, including a new convention center in 2018, Costa Rica is a fascinating destination that will excite meeting attendees. We are recognized for our dedication to the conservation and protection of our natural resources, of which we offer a remarkable amount of biodiversity and protected national parkland.
We don't have to tell you that today's affluent travelers are interested in authentic experiences. The more exotic and uncharted, the better. First comes fascination followed by luxury hotel developers and validated by travel editors' picturesque prose. Sri Lanka fits the "emerging luxury destination" paradigm to a tee, complete with Lonely Planet "Dream Trips" and Robb Report's "Top Destinations for 2016" write-ups and Shangri-La property openings. Become a Shangri-La Specialist to prepare for those inevitable Sri Lanka requests and for a chance to win a $100 gift card.
MSC Cruises, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is the largest privately held cruise line in the world – with a current fleet of 12 ultramodern ships – and the fastest growing, with an industry unprecedented 11 new next-generation ships planned by 2026.
In this course, we are going to discuss MSC Cruises - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. You'll learn how best to market MSC Cruises and you’ll get comprehensive marketing tools and financial incentives. You'll learn how to navigate the MSC Cruises websites and discover the advantages of using MSC Book - the online booking engine for agents - as well as be introduced to MSC’s sales and marketing structure.
Manage your Starwood booking like a pro from one easy account that monitors your profit performance. Become a StarwoodPro to learn about Starwood's nine world-class brands via five educational modules. You’ll be able to virtually visit Starwood destinations and learn the power of story-selling to help your clients visualize their next vacation – so you work smarter, not harder. Plus, you’ll qualify for Starpoints rewards, redeemable for free nights and award flights, complimentary in-room Internet for your clients when you book at spg.com and real-time online commission tracking.
Family travel to Mexico is by all accounts booming. And that’s no accident. Suppliers, tour operators and travel sellers are redoubling efforts to highlight Mexico’s vast appeal. Read all about it in the Mexico Family Focus Series.
Welcome to the Wyndham Wise training course. We didn’t grow to 8,100+ hotels across 78 countries without our valued partners—like you. In this course, you’ll gain actionable insight on how to sell more to key market segments.
You’ll graduate a Wyndham Sage, earn 2 CEU credits from the Travel Institute and be entered to win a $50 gift card.
The Silver Muse Specialist course is dedicated to educating you on all things related to Silversea’s new flagship, Silver Muse, which makes her debut in April 2017. With this ship, Silversea once again raises the bar in the ultra-luxury cruise travel market.
A small boutique ship with only 596 guests (less than 300 suites), Silver Muse boasts all-suite, all-balcony accommodations, making it the most intimate new ship in the ultra-luxury market.
The three islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique form one destination made of unspoiled natural beauty, warm friendly people and year-round tropical temperatures. Here is a place where clients can discover blue waters framed by both white and black sand beaches and inland adventures that include tropical rainforests, waterfalls, Sulphur Springs, and breathtaking views. When selling the destination, describe it to clients as PURE: Peaceful, Unadulterated, Rustic and Easy-going. Take the course today!
Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) must really care about making travel agents smarter. Becoming a GHA Specialist means gaining a wealth of knowledge on 500-plus leading hotels worldwide.
FRHI Hotels & Resorts, a leader in the global hospitality industry, is also leading the way when it comes to rewarding its travel agent partners. The hotelier’s new Famous Agents program offers the opportunity for you to earn valuable rewards and enjoy countless member-only benefits from its three brands; Raffles, Fairmont, and Swissotel Hotel & Resorts. Click here to get started.
A sun-and-fun vacation in the Caribbean is certainly a great choice for a family getaway and the resort options are seemingly endless. That’s only half the equation, however. Every island in the region has a rich culture and history that begs to be explored and enjoyed. Read all about it in the Focus Series!
Destination weddings continue to grow in popularity, with new trends emerging on a regular basis. We asked a number of destination wedding pros to share their latest observations, hot tips and sales advice about this dynamic niche. Read the focus series to learn more!
Las Vegas Welcomed 42.9 million visitors in 2016, surpassing 2015’s recordsetting 42.3 million, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). That total marks a third consecutive year of growth for the city, which got off to an even better start in 2017. January visitor volume was up 1.1 percent over January 2016, and the LVCVA is projecting another record year.
The destination also continues to enjoy industry-leading occupancy rates with an exceptionally large base of nearly 150,000 available rooms. That number keeps growing as well with new hotels and expansions to established properties. Here are some of the latest developments on that front.
With more than 56 million overnight stays in 2016, London has set a new visitation record. The milestone also means that in 2016, London drew more overnights than any other city in Europe, according to new research from the city’s destination marketing organization, London & Partners. European Cities Marketing reports there were over 41 million overnight stays from international tourists last year –– an increase of 7 percent over 2015.
London’s enduring popularity has its roots in Britain’s many centuries of rich traditions and colorful heritage — Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and all things royal are perennial must-see attractions, to be sure — but pop culture and recent history have served to enhance and broaden the city’s appeal. Here are some current and upcoming happenings that celebrate the timely and timeless aspects of London.