FORT LAUDERDALE-Peter Ueberroth, the current chairman of both the United States Olympic Committee and Ambassadors International, which operates Majestic America Line and Windstar Cruises, addressed travel agents and suppliers at Friday's cruise3sixty general session, stressing the importance of being competitive in both a weak, but global economy, and changing with the times.
Ueberroth, who acquired Ask Mr. Foster Travel in 1972 before selling it to Carlson Companies seven years later, imparted a selection of keys to being prosperous as an agency: 1) Be diverse. Ueberroth said that women ran 90 percent of his agencies. "We were ahead of the game," he said. 2) Compete for customers, specifically first-time cruisers, in this instance. 3) Keep promises to employees and clients alike. 4) Make sure employees learn to keep score and understand the business. 5) Look at dangers that can harmfully affect business, especially government's impact on business. "Suppliers and agents are in the same game: Powerful together, weak apart," he poignantly said.
Ueberroth also said that America should expect a clean American Olympic team, though perhaps one not as strong as China. The summer Olympics begin in five months in Beijing, a city within a country he said is growing by the day. "They are now a big player in the travel industry, and that won't change." (DE)