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Brian Jewell

Looking to the Future

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on January 19, 2017

 
 

If you went to meet your maker tomorrow, what would become of your organization? No, I’m not here to sell you life insurance. But I do think it’s important to talk about the future. Because if there is value in what you do as a travel leader — and I believe there is — then…

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Brian Jewell

Get to Know America Again

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on December 09, 2016

 
 

One of the most overlooked benefits of travel is the opportunity it affords to get to know people who are unlike us in almost every way. We often think about the trips we’re planning based on the places we want to go and the things we want to do when we get there. Our itineraries…

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Brian Jewell

The Past Ten Years of Travel

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on December 02, 2016

 
 

What a difference a decade makes. I recently celebrated my 35th birthday, and the nostalgia of the occasion got me to thinking about what my life was like a decade ago. The differences are striking. I did a ton of traveling in 2006, including numerous research trips to destinations around the United States. The highlights,…

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Last month, I sat in on a presentation by a receptive tour operator who was giving travel industry representatives some advice about how they can succeed in working with tour operators. I was surprised to hear how often she emphasized the importance of returning client phone calls and emails, a best practice that some tourism…

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Brian Jewell

Boomers: Recycled Teenagers

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on October 19, 2016

 
 

“We’re not senior citizens — we’re recycled teenagers.” An experienced group travel planner shared this gem with me at an event where I spoke this spring, and I found it so interesting that I decided I had to share it with you. Much ink has been spilled profiling the psychological, behavioral and economic makeup of…

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All too often in life, there’s a disappointing difference between what you see and what you get. Fast-food hamburgers look fresh, plump and delicious in TV commercials. But when I unwrap a burger after pulling out of a drive-through, I’m always disappointed to find a stale, shriveled, greasy mess. The lettuce is not crisp, and…

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Nobody likes to hear complaints. But if you deal with them the right way, complaints can help you hone your skills as a travel planner and build better relationships with your customers. If you take enough people on enough trips, sooner or later something is going to go wrong. And when that happens, someone is…

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When was the last time you did something that wowed your customers? Group tours and cruises offer a level of service unmatched anywhere else in the travel industry. But if you’re not delivering “wow” experiences to your travelers, you’re missing out on the opportunity to convert them from occasional customers to loyal followers. If you…

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Brian Jewell

Counting Motorcoaches

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on February 16, 2016

 
 

“During our busy season, I drive past every hotel in town and count the motorcoaches in the parking lots every morning on my way to work. It’s the only way that we have any idea how many groups are coming.” During a research trip last year, I was discussing the issue of tracking group business…

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I’ll admit it — I’ve fallen asleep on a tour bus before, in the middle of a guide’s presentation. And I’m willing to bet that you probably have, too. It’s not just something that has happened once or twice. Whenever I’m on a tour that includes long stretches of driving and guide commentaries, chances are good…

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