|Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero|
I take the Long Island Rail Road to and from work every day and oh, do I take it for granted. If it’s not running, or off schedule, I get rather put out that my usual 40-minute excursion into Manhattan is off-kilter.
I had to rethink that attitude when I realized this week was the 100th anniversary of the Long Island Rail Road’s being extended into Manhattan. In an article from that year, The New York Times noted 35,000 people used the service on the first day it was available.
What a staggering change! I can’t imagine how exciting it must have been for my early neighbors to have their worlds open up like that.
One day they’re sitting around their homes, lamenting that the only way to get into the city was to take the train to Queens, a ferry over the East River, then an elevated train if they needed to go farther still. Now, they could come and go quite simply and not only to commute. On the first evening of service, “a throng emerged from the new [Pennsylvania] station and headed to the theater and to Broadway,” wrote The New York Times back in 1910. Some took the train ride just for fun.
New modes and routes of transportation still open up new worlds, creating opportunities that you should be ready for. It doesn’t have to be anything exotic. When new air service launches from your city, say, to Rio, Turks and Caicos, or even Philadelphia or Los Angeles, do you brush up on the new destinations now available so you can paint a picture of how exciting they are to your clientele? Seriously, the best thing you can do is hop on that flight yourself and return with a “Just Back” report for your clients. Travel can be difficult these days but if you’ve got a new nonstop flight from your hood to a new place, you should be extremely jazzed about selling it.
As I write this, I’m on a Long Island Rail Road car listening to a woman who is going on vacation next week to Greece. As I eavesdrop I hear she is traveling with Variety Cruises and that there will be only 49 passengers on the ship. She’ll start off in Athens and go from island to island. Of course the guy across from her, who has already been to Greece, is insisting she do all the things he did when he was there, but she’s not buying it. She has all her land excursions planned out, she explains, and she can’t wait. Best comment? She used a travel agent to book the trip. “She’s very good, she’s traveled all over the world,” I heard her say. I can tell from her conversation that she’s really not sure what this vacation will bring. However, she seems quite proud to be taking up this unique venture out into the world.
All of a sudden, it all tied in for me. Not only do new transportation products open the world to people, travel agents open it for them as well by making good, learned recommendations of where to travel to and ensuring clients select the right excursions along the way.