5 Sales Tips for Cruise Selling Success

While there’s no magic elixir to guarantee success selling cruises (or any travel product), there are a number of proven tactics that can propel travel advisors in the right direction.

Client qualification, planning for the future, and staying engaged with clients were some of the tips and tricks that cruise executives shared with attendees at Travel Market Report’s Travel Market Place West conference, held in Vancouver earlier this month.

(Toronto-area advisors, Travel Market Place East is just around the corner, June 22-23. Get your ticket now.)

Qualify Your Clients for the Win
One of the main requirements for being a successful seller of cruises is to match the right product to the right client, panelists emphasized.  

“Every cruise line that you sell has the right customer,” Derek Lloyd, vice president of sales for Norwegian Cruise Line, said. “You need to make sure that you’re putting the right customer on the right cruise. And that starts with knowing the differences between the products themselves. Every single one of us delivers a slightly different experience.”

Justin French, regional vice president, Canada/Western US, for Carnival Cruise Line, echoed Lloyd but added that advisors need to keep their assumptions to themselves. “The most important thing is making sure that you are selling the product through their eyes and not through yours,” said French. “It’s what they’re looking for and what they’re asking to do… mate the right person to the right product and you cannot lose. It’s a guaranteed win/win/win for you for many years to come.”

Qualifying clients is as important for the luxury cruise lines as it is for the mainstream lines. You can’t assume that just because someone has money they want a small luxury cruise, said Beverley Vickers, director of sales and marketing, Canada for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“You can have the wealthiest guy in Canada who happens to love Go-Karts and going on roller coasters.” He’d be better off on Norwegian or Carnival than Regent Seven Seas.

“It’s really important that you ask the questions and understand the customer’s desires and wants, and where they see themselves,” she added.

Create a Long-Term Vacation Plan
Panelists also talked about the importance of creating long-term vacation plans with their clients, as a means of ensuring future business.

“Don’t only know what the customer’s next trip is,” said Alan Brooks, director of market sales for Canada at Celebrity Cruises. “Know what their next trip is and the trip after that and the trip after that… have a five year plan at a minimum for your client.”

Creating these longer-term plans requires getting to know your clients on a deeper level, the panelists said.

The easiest path to creating long term plans is built around milestones.

“It’s the perfect place to start because you know people tend to spend a little more money,” Vickers said.

Ask thoughtful questions, Lloyd added. Where do you dream of going? If you could go one place in the world, where would you go? As a kid, where did you picture yourself traveling to?

Then layer in questions about their interests. Do they love history or culinary experiences?

With those answers you can tailor your suggestions for next year’s travel or the year after. For instance, if they like history, you can suggest a European river cruise, which is full of history and castles, Lloyd said.  

“Maybe there’s a big anniversary coming up and that might be the year they splurge,” Brooks said, perhaps on something like a bucket list trip to the Galapagos.

“Know what is on the horizon,” he added, “because that way, you’re in a position of picking up the phone and saying ‘I know you just traveled three months ago and you’re not ready to go quite yet, but I wanted to let you know I saw this good deal on this thing that you’ve been talking about, maybe for 2024.’”

It’s this personal level of service, Brooks said, that separates travel advisors form OTAs or DIY booking tools. “That’s your value.”

Engagement Is Key
Related to the above is the need to stay engaged with your clients. You can’t know what your clients dream about if you’re not having conversations with them.

“The ones that are reaping the rewards [of the travel resurgence] are the ones that stayed engaged and present,” said French.

If that also means being active on social media or starting a podcast, so be it, he said.

Carla Brake, director of business development at the Globus family of brands, which includes Avalon Waterways, and NCL’s Lloyd both agreed that being present on social media is important, especially in terms of sharing your own travel. 

“Now is the time to get out there, showcase that travel is back. Showcase that you’re willing to travel and share it on social media,” Brake said.

Lloyd echoed the sentiment. “You need to start traveling yourself. You need to be posting. You need to be showing people that travel is back and it’s back with a vengeance. You need to be inspiring them with destinations, not just what’s the next deal on the table.”

Be Proactive…
Engagement takes proactivity. You can’t wait for clients to reach out to you.

“You cannot wait for the customer to call you,” Brooks told attendees. “People tend to buy from the last person they spoke to. And, while you are very aware that you sell travel, they sometimes forget. Pick up the phone, call them, email them.”

“One of the big things is just suggesting a river cruise to someone,” said Brake. “They only know what they know… I think your client will go anywhere that you tell them to go. They really rely on your expertise. Sometimes it’s just opening that conversation.”

… And Strategic
Who you choose to focus your attention on also matters, Vickers said, speaking of advisors she’s seen having the most success.

“They realize they have to be more strategic about who they sell and they’re trying to narrow down the sales funnel. They’re not trying to be everything to everybody… they’re deciding that they consciously want to move their clients up.”

While she agreed that it’s tempting to grab whatever business you can when the going gets tough, she said staying intentional is better in the long run.

“Turn away business, fire clients that aren’t going to get you where you want to be.”

That also means putting the suppliers you want to work with in front of your clients, even if they’re not quite ready for it yet.

“Whether the client knows it or not, they [the advisors] have decided that Regent should be on their radar and they’re going to keep it in front of them until they realize it themselves.”

Multi-Gen Groups
Carnival’s French also recommended advisors focus on multi-gen travel for the moment.

“People have been locked in their homes looking at their grandparents on Zoom for the last two years. Now they’re all coming together. It’s a great opportunity to plant the seed of a multi-gen [cruise] where there’s something for everybody on board.”

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Powerful Tips for Better Travel Selling This Year

It’s been an incredibly tough two years for the travel industry as a whole, but especially for travel agencies. While some advisors are back in action and doing better than ever, others are still navigating their way back to 2019 sales.

Avoya Travel understands the struggles agencies have faced and was quick to lend a supportive hand during the most difficult times. The company continues to offer assistance, most recently sharing marketing tips and revealing an exciting schedule of events in 2022.

Now, Avoya is offering four powerful tips travel advisors can use to better their travel selling this year.

Reconnect With Your Top Clients

Now is a great time to touch base with your VIP clients. Gauge their interest in upcoming trips and help ease any worries they may still have about traveling.

Check Your Online Presence

One aspect of your agency that might have been put on the back burner is your online presence. Not keeping up with this, though, can result in missed opportunities for connecting with new clients. Check in on where you are online and make sure you’re available to potential customers.

Prioritize Educating Your Clients

While most people learned why using a travel agent is so important, some are still unsure. Use this time to educate clients on why using an advisor to book travel is so important. Create informative content to share on your website and via email and consider organizing a meetup with clients to share ways you can help plan their dream trips.

Focus on Personalization

Travelers see marketing messages all over the place. Think of ways you can make your message personalized to your target audience. Figure out where your clients stay connected and create messages that speak directly to them.

Applying these tips will help make 2022 a strong year for sales. To learn more about bettering your business in 2022, visit www.AvoyaNetwork.com or call 1-888-425-6078.

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Tips on Buying and Selling a Car Privately

When you’re looking to buy or sell a car privately, it’s essential to know what you’re doing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of potential pitfalls, and if you’re not careful, you could end up losing money or even getting scammed. This blog will go over the most important tips for privately buying and selling a car. By following these tips, you’ll be able to avoid the most common mistakes and get the best deal possible.

Buying a Car Online

The first step in buying a car privately is finding the right car. The best place to start is online if you’re looking to buy. There are a ton of websites where you can find used cars for sale, and it’s a great way to compare prices and models. When shopping online, make sure to read the reviews of the seller and check the car’s history.

Reviews of the Seller

If you’re buying a car from a private seller, it’s essential to check their reviews. A good way to do this is to search for the seller’s name on Google or Facebook. If the seller has a lot of negative reviews, you should stay away! For example,  if the seller has been accused of scamming people in the past, it’s best to find someone else.

How to Spot a Scam

Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams when it comes to buying and selling cars. The best way to avoid getting scammed is to be aware of the most common scams. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • The seller asks for a deposit before you see the car. This is almost always a scam, as the seller will likely take the money and never send the car.
  • The seller asks for too much money for a car that’s in poor condition. This is another common scam, as the seller will try to take advantage of buyers who don’t know what they’re doing.
  • The seller doesn’t have the title to the car. This is a red flag, as it means the seller may not actually own the car.

If you encounter any of these scams, walk away! There are plenty of honest sellers out there, so you don’t need to deal with scammers. For example, if you’re buying a car from a private seller, ask to see the title before paying any money. If the seller can’t produce the title, it’s best to walk away.

What to Ask the Seller

When you’re buying a car from a private seller, there are a few questions you should ask before making a purchase. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • First, what is the condition of the car?
  • How many miles are on the odometer?
  • What work has been done on the car recently?
  • Has the car been in any accidents?
  • Is there any damage to the car that isn’t listed in the ad?

If you can’t answer these questions, it’s best to walk away. There’s no point in buying a car if you don’t know anything about it. It’s also important to get an idea of what the car is worth. You can do this by checking online listings or using a car value calculator.

Get a Vehicle History Report

When buying a used car, it’s crucial to get a vehicle history report. This will tell you the car’s history, including any accidents or repairs it has been in. It’s an excellent way to make sure you’re not buying a lemon!

Test Drive the Car

When you’re buying a car, it’s important to take it for a test drive. This will give you a chance to see how the car drives and make sure it’s in good condition. If the seller doesn’t let you take the car for a test drive, walk away.

Have the Car Inspected by a Mechanic

If you’re serious about buying a car, have it inspected by a mechanic. A good mechanic will be able to tell if there are any major problems with the car. It’s worth paying for an inspection, as it could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Have the Car Emission Tested

If you’re buying a used car, have it emission tested. This will ensure that the car is in compliance with state emissions laws. It’s important to do this, as you may be fined if the car doesn’t pass inspection.

Selling Your Car Online

If you’re selling a car, put it online! There are several websites where you can list your car for free, and it’s a great way to reach a large audience. When listing your car, be sure to include photos and all the critical details (make, model, year, mileage, etc.).

Be an Honest Seller

When you’re selling a car, it’s essential to be honest about the condition of the vehicle. If you’re not truthful, you could end up losing money in the long run. So here are a few tips for selling your car:

  • Clean the car inside and out. This will make it look nicer and more appealing to buyers.
  • List all damage, no matter how small it may seem. Then, if the buyer finds out after they’ve bought the car, they may be able to get their money back from you.
  • Include pictures of the car from all angles. This will help potential buyers get a better idea of what the car looks like.
  • Be honest about the mileage on the car. If the car has a lot of miles, be sure to mention it in the ad.
  • Be prepared to answer questions from buyers. If you’re not sure about something, be honest and tell them that you don’t know.

How to Handle Time Wasters

When you’re selling a car, you’re going to get a lot of people who are interested in it. However, not all of these people are serious buyers. Some people will waste your time by asking a million questions or trying to negotiate a lower price. Here are a few tips for dealing with time wasters:

  • Don’t give them too much information. If the buyer is being difficult, don’t give them any information that isn’t necessary.
  • Politely tell them that you’re not interested in negotiating the price.
  • If they continue to ask questions, be prepared to end the conversation. There’s no point in talking to someone who isn’t serious about buying the car.

Closing the Deal

When you finally find the car you want to buy or the perfect buyer, here are a few things to keep in mind :

  • Set a price and stick to it. Don’t let the buyer talk you into lowering the price.
  • Make sure you have all the paperwork in order. This will make the transaction go smoother.
  • Schedule a time to meet with the buyer and exchange money and cars.
  • Be prepared for potential problems. If something goes wrong, be sure to have a plan B in place.

Not Local? No Problem!

If the buyer or seller is across the country, it’s a good idea to have a notary public or lawyer involved in the transaction. This will help ensure that everything goes smoothly and there are no problems down the road. Also, when shipping a car across the country, it’s important to use a reputable shipping company.

When you sell your car privately, you can get more money for it than if you were to trade it in at a dealership. You also have more control over the sale, which can be rewarding. On the flip side, if you buy a car privately, you may have to deal with potential problems down the road. However, if you’re careful and do your research, you can avoid most of these problems. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to buy or sell a car privately with ease.

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Jettly wants to start selling semiprivate jet flights

Jettly wants to start selling semiprivate jet flights

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LaGuardia Airport Is Selling $15 Passes to Skip the Security Line

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Grandmother selling tamales to pay for husband’s medical treatment stunned with a Secret Santa surprise

The EastIdahoNews.com team is busy this holiday season helping a local man gift $1 million to deserving people in eastern Idaho. Secret Santa is a real person who wants to remain anonymous and hopes to bless as many individuals in our community as he can.

Maria Garcia makes the most amazing homemade tamales that she sells to help pay for her husband’s medical bills. He is on dialysis and they often travel to Salt Lake City for appointments.

The Garcias have five children and 13 grandchildren. Before moving to Idaho Falls three years ago, they ran a food cart in Southern California selling tamales, tacos and carnitas.

They moved to eastern Idaho to be close to some of their grandkids. The tamale business helped pay some bills but the Garcias were forced to stop their business due to COVID-19. They’ve only recently started up again. You can order tamales on Maria’s Facebook page here.

Secret Santa was moved by the Garcia’s story and asked the East Idaho News elves to surprise them. We ordered some tamales and showed up with a big tip. Check out the video above!

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The rise and fall of the Jack Daniel’s committee: How D.C.’s police lodge made thousands selling whiskey online

“If it was ever against the law, we would never have done it,” said Maybo, the former lodge president, in a recent interview. After all, he said, the whole thing was done by police officers, in front of police officers. “I would imagine that if I’m doing something illegal, if the FOP were doing something illegal, somebody would have said that. And it went on for years.”

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Travel agent under investigation over allegations it was selling fake Covid-19 certificates

A travel agent is under investigation over allegations that it sold fake Covid-19 travel certificates to customers.

Bolton council says ‘a substantial number of fraudulent documents’ were found when its trading standards officers raided the business.

It is alleged that the Bolton -based travel agent, which has not been named, was selling certificates of negative PCR test results claiming to be from a legitimate test clinic.

READ MORE: Life on the Salford streets where families live one bill away from disaster

Items seized from the travel agent’s premises will now be analysed as the council investigates the scale of the alleged activity.

Some countries require visitors from England to provide proof of a negative PCR Covid-19 test before they are allowed entry.

PCR test results are processed in a laboratory and are seen as the “gold standard” in COVID testing.

Bolton council says its trading standards officers found a ‘substantial number of fraudulent documents’ when they raided the business

Tests for travel are not available on the NHS and must be purchased from a private provider.

Bolton Council’s deputy leader, Coun Hilary Fairclough, said: “Not only has this raid exposed a serious case of fraud, but the quick actions of our Trading Standards team have potentially prevented hundreds more trips facilitated by fake documents.

“It is difficult to overstate the damage that has been caused here: a legitimate business has faced reputational risk and travellers may have been unwittingly spreading a deadly virus.

“At a time when the community has pulled together to fight COVID-19 and keep everyone safe, it is shocking that a small minority have exploited the system for personal profit.

“Once again a successful operation has come about following a tip-off, highlighting that our Trading Standards team works best with the support of residents and legitimate businesses.”

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“You become the authority”: Here’s what Bruce Poon Tip is saying about selling travel in these next few months


Expert advice, the kind that comes from a real, live travel agent, is something the online travel agencies (OTAs )just can’t match right now, adds Poon Tip. And expert advice is exactly what travellers are looking for for post-pandemic travel.

“All this complaining the travel industry has done for so long, about OTAs stealing business, going direct … this is the perfect opportunity for travel agents to engage customers with information and create a conversation. You know people who are starting to travel to destinations that are opening faster, you become an authority, and you give people that confidence. And having those conversations suddenly becomes a valuable source of connectedness that you have with your customers. You can’t get that from an OTA right now. So the OTAs are at a disadvantage.”



One agent asked Poon Tip for his take on where the Canadian travel industry is at this point in the pandemic.

While the eased quarantine announcement earlier this week was good news, Canada is still lagging behind the U.S. and Europe when it comes to reopening travel.

“We’re a bit behind. They’re opening up in the U.S. … we don’t have the amount of double vaccinated people [as they do in the U.S.], we had a strategy of getting single vaccinations. You can complain about the execution of how this format has gone … it’s put us back a bit but I do think we’re placed very well, if our government cooperates. I am constantly talking with groups of different CEOs from different industries and leaders within Canada, trying to communicate with governments about what we need to do. Dropping this quarantine is something that should have been done a long time ago.”

Poon Tip added: “The government seems to have no urgency, I think that’s our biggest problem. I think we actually stand to fare well as a country. Everyone wants to come to Canada, that’s for sure. I hear from all the operators all over Europe, I got calls literally for this morning. It’s going to be people that are vaccinated and I think it’s going to depend a lot on other countries opening their borders to double vaccinated or fully vaccinated people.”



Speaking of vaccinations, Poon Tip urged agents to drop the ‘vaccine passport’ term, and use ‘proof of vaccination’ instead: “Stop using this term ‘vaccine passports’. It’s a lightning rod, it’s a politicized term. Everyone in the travel industry knows we’ve had proof of vaccination since the dawn of travel … proof of vaccination has existed since [mass air] travel started in the 1950s. People are trying to make it something it’s not.”

As many in the industry have noted over these past 15 months, the ‘yellow book’ showing proof of vaccination for yellow fever has been in use for decades. Proof of vaccination is needed in schools too: “If your child hasn’t had their vaccinations, they can’t go to school,” noted Poon Tip. “Proof of vaccination will be a very important part of restarting travel.”



Poon Tip was also asked why agents should tell their clients to book travel product now for getaways in later 2021 and into 2022. Especially with travel on the radar for consumers in the U.S. and Europe, inventory is getting snapped up at a fast pace, a situation most Canadians are probably unaware of.

“At G Adventures we’re starting to see bookings return as more people get vaccinated,” he says. “Why should customers book now? There’s a few reasons. The first one is, there’s limited space everywhere. There’s going to be a tipping point and it’s going to I think it’s going to move very fast. I don’t think it’s going to drip, drip, drip like it has been up until now, I think there will be a tipping point where we’re going to hit those herd immunity numbers in certain countries and, you know, we’re going to have 70% of people fully vaccinated and travel is going to open, and you want to make sure you have space. That’s number one.

The second reason to get clients to book? The deals. “There’s lots of deals, there are deals, deals, deals, and we’re offering deals too.

Those deals aren’t just with tour operators like G Adventures, says Poon Tip. “The third reason is airlines. The airlines are desperate right now to get people to travel again and booking flights now is a lot cheaper than it’s going to be once they have a reasonable amount of traffic and they’re trying to get more planes up in the air.”

The flexibility on offer right now is also unheard of, he added: “We’re all offering unheralded flexibility that we’ve never offered before.”

Finally, there’s the need to support the travel industry. Says Poon Tip: “The last one, and the most important one, and the more compassionate one, is to support the travel industry. I mean, we love travel. And it’s not just about agents or operators or airlines. It’s all those people on the ground who need to need to start planning their lives … a lot of them are hanging on by a thread waiting for people to travel again. I got letters from people saying, ‘I’m putting a deposit down, I’m not even choosing a trip, I’m putting a deposit down to support you guys’. It was unbelievable how many people wanted to do just that, just to put a deposit down to support the industry.”

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Amazon’s ‘New World’ Says It’s Only Selling Cosmetics, But Also Maybe Fast Travel And XP

It’s a little hard to understate the amount of pressure that’s on Amazon’s upcoming, long-delayed MMO New World, given that pretty much every other game project at Amazon has failed or been cancelled at this point. New World had a somewhat promising early test period, but now it’s attracting controversy due to players discussing a microtransaction store mentioned in alpha patch notes.

This prompted the game to release a lengthy response about the criticism, which you can read below. It’s been pretty decently “ratioed” with 1.1K comments to 1.4K likes.

While New World says that at launch, the game is only selling cosmetic mictrotransactions, they then go on to say that they are probably going to be testing selling XP bonuses and fast travel in the store as well, and they are also considering some sort of battle pass offering for the future.

They justify the XP boosts by saying ”The more players who are able to experience all of our excited endgame content and game modes the healthier it is for all players.” Though many players have interpreted that as suggesting that the content before the endgame is not good and worth “skipping,” which is what such a boost would suggest to propel players to the “real” content in the endgame.

Similarly, players are not a fan of the idea of selling fast travel, a system that many other games offer for free (and when they don’t, it feels pretty bad to pay to teleport). Still more even protest to the idea of selling cosmetics in an MMO, though that’s more or less par for the course these days.

I will say that in the case of New World they aren’t relying on a subscription model like many other MMOs, and with the base price of the game $40, they have to make money somehow.

And yet launching over-monetized would be a mistake, given that in order to get loyal players who enjoy your game enough to pay, you need to establish a base of loyal players to begin with. New World seems like it’s currently on a razor’s edge where it could be either Amazon’s first big hit, or it’s most high profile failure. I would do everything possible to tip the scales in its favor at launch, and too many microtransactions won’t help with that. Launch should only be cosmetic microtransactions as they say, but players aren’t sure they want to commit to a game that may end up selling XP down the line.

I did think New World seemed promising when it was being tested early, but it’s hard to have a good feeling about most Amazon projects these days, which usually involve their insistence on using Amazon’s troublesome Lumberyard engine. We have already seen Google exit the first party gaming space for Stadia without even releasing a game, but while Amazon is still going hard, they have yet to produce any significant results, and their biggest claim to fame in the gaming world remains owning Twitch.

I hope New World is a hit because we need more cool MMOs out there, but again, this is a very fine line Amazon is walking, and I hope they understand that.

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