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At the advent of the internet, consumers had a new medium to research and book their own trips. No longer were computerized air, hotel and car rental inventories the exclusive domain of travel agents. Consumers were able to use the early online booking engines like Travelocity and Expedia to book their own travel arrangements.

Published in September - October

DougThe fear of Zika is very real for your clients considering a trip to the areas affected by it, primarily the Caribbean, Mexico and Central/South America. I am experiencing this concern first hand as my daughter is considering a destination wedding in 2017.
To discount this threat would be irresponsible because it is real, and the risk it poses for a pregnant woman and her unborn child are scary. However, the likelihood of your clients contracting this illness are negligible and there are steps that can be taken to ensure your clients have a Zika free vacation.

Published in July - August

As a travel professional in today’s world it is imperative that you offer your clients something that they can not get online. Product knowledge and the ability to confidently relay information is what gives you the edge. Your expertise is why your clients came to you in the first place, and will keep them coming back.
So, where to get all this necessary knowledge? Let’s explore your options.

Published in May - June

DougOn this page two years ago, I wrote about the lip service that is being given to the impact that the Millennial generation will have on the travel industry. At the time, I expressed my confusion about the abrupt switch I had seen from the industry experts and analysts in their projections about the strength of the Baby Boomers to that of the Millenials. To be sure, Millennials are indeed the future of the travel industry, but the Baby Boomers are its “here and now.” Their ranks are 76 million strong and it is projected that 99% will travel in 2016.
I recently received an article about the Baby Boomer generation from a customer, and thought it was worth sharing with our readers.

Published in March - April

DougOne of our great presidents, Franklin D Roosevelt, once famously stated, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This sentiment is just as meaningful today as it was back in 1932. In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernadino, people are rightfully frightened. Applications for gun permits are on the rise, and travel plans are changing. Those of us who make our living in the travel industry contest that travel is still safe and a life enriching experience that should not be deterred by these isolated, yet growing in frequency, events. Are we correct in these assertions? Let’s look at the facts.

Published in January - February

I, for one, was not familiar with the new federal law that will require U.S. citizens flying on domestic flights to present an ID that is compliant with the new federal Real ID mandate. For those that travel with a passport this will be a moot point. However, the 70% of Americans who do not have a passport face a potential denied boarding situation beginning January 1, 2016. Read below for details about the new law to prevent your clients from experiencing problems at the airport.

Published in November - December

JAX FAX was saddened to learn of the passing of one of our founders, Charles (Charlie) Gatt Jr. on August 13, 2015. Charlie was  born in Sliema, Malta on August 7, 1934.

Published in September - October

DougIn 1995. Delta Airlines fired the first shot heard around the travel industry when it reduced, and eventually eliminated, travel agent commissions. At the time, other airlines sat in the wings waiting to hear how this bold move would affect sales of Delta by travel agents. Although trade organizations were proactive in informing their members about the perils of this move, they stopped short of warning agents not to book Delta due to concerns of collusion. Delta sales by the travel agent channel did not decrease significantly, and the rest of the US airline industry followed Delta’s lead.

Published in July - August

Ok, ASTA never actually left but, I for one have questioned the relevance of this once powerful trade organization over the past several years. I understood the importance of their ongoing role as an advocate for the travel agent distribution system, but I felt more needed to be done in terms of consumer awareness of the need to book with a travel agent. Add to this declining agent membership, and changes in their annual congress and I began to question the future
of ASTA.

Published in May - June

The Travel Institute, formerly known as the Institute for Certified Travel Agents (ICTA), has changed significantly since I first earned my CTC back in the mid 80’s. The only certification offered then was CTC, as well as a few Destination Specialist courses. Today’s Travel Institute has embraced technology and added additional certifications. Despite these changes, the Travel Institute’s mission remains the same: to enhance travel agent knowledge and excellence, and provide a measurement of professionalism in the
travel industry.

Published in March - April
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