Author Archive

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…



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…



What does leadership mean to you? We use the term “leader” a lot around our office. Volunteer travel organizers are often referred to throughout the tourism industry as “group leaders.” And the word is even part of our company name and magazine title: The Group Travel Leader. But for all of the talk of group leaders…



It’s amazing how events that take place in your youth can carry on far into adulthood — or be totally forgotten by the time you’re 25. On the one hand, the teenage years seem made for frivolity, and most people’s adult lives rarely turn out the way they expected. Plenty of people dabble in high…


Brian Jewell

The Magic of Fall

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on October 07, 2015


Sometimes, you don’t know how special something is until you miss it. In the fall of 2000, I was beginning my sophomore year in college and kicked things off by spending a semester on a study-abroad program in Morelia, a gem of a colonial town in the mountains of central Mexico. I spent three months…


Brian Jewell

Team Luxury or Team Local

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on September 02, 2015


Are you on Team Local or Team Luxury? There are two competing ideas in tourism that attempt to dictate the way Americans travel. In one corner, Team Local is all about immersion. They say that the greatest reward of travel is to see how the locals live and to join them in their lifestyle. In…



“I’ve been with the company for 25 years now, but I’ve never seen it change so much as it has in the past two years.” When Tony Etienne, vice president of affinity market sales for Collette, made this statement to the delegates at the Select Traveler Conference in February, it got my attention. The 97-year-old…



If the taxi industry had innovated when it had the chance, it wouldn’t be shaking in its boots over Uber. If you haven’t heard of Uber yet, you soon will. This technology-based ride-sharing company enables people who need transportation to open an app on their smartphones, input their location and destination, and then wait just…



If there were one thing about group travel that you could change, what would it be? Our industry is in the middle of an important transition period. Tour operators and travel suppliers understood the previous generation of travelers well and tailored group trips to fit their tastes. But as the Greatest Generation ages out of…


Brian Jewell

Group Travel Resolutions

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on February 18, 2015


It’s mid-February, which means that most of us who made New Year’s resolutions have already given up on them. I’m not here to make you feel guilty; instead, I’d like to offer an alternative set of resolutions that you can still achieve this year. Unless you’re taking a group to some wintery destination, chances are…

Garden stone path