Recent Posts by Paul Davis

Become a Club Med Ski Expert.

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Two things that aren't readily apparent when skiing comes to mind are China and Skiers. But China is quickly becoming the hot spot for skiers and Club Med is ensuring everyone can take part in the trend by opening a second ski resort in China.

All 23 Club Med ski resorts, which span the European Alps to Japan, offer the brand's signature all-inclusive amenities, including accommodations, meals and ski lessons.

Become a Club Med Ski Specialist to brush up on your knowledge of unique winter travel.

Learn how to become a home based travel agent and open your own online travel agency. www.HomeBasedTravelAgents.ORG

Now is the Time to Become a Travel Agent…Position Yourself for Continuous Success!

Travel Leads

Follow these five steps to help build your career:

  1. Personal accountability. We all know Harry Truman’s phrase – "the buck stops here." Let that be your motto. The results of your actions are your responsibility. Use actionable words in conversations with clients: "I will do it" rather than "I will try." Then you must be accountable for the delivery of services you’ve promised to your customers. You will not get ahead by shifting blame to a vendor or someone else in your office.
  2. Desire to win. Be passionate about your daily work: that will translate to excitement, and excitement is contagious. Your customers will sense that you enjoy your work and would like to win and keep their business. Be a winner, not just a striver, so your business keeps growing.
  3. Be a team player. Regularly demonstrate your willingness to collaborate and support the rest of the AARC team. Extend yourself to help colleagues in a bind or in need of your particular expertise. Give your AARC team members reasons to appreciate and embrace you.
  4. Do the work. Be a doer. Your daily efforts should be productive. Stay up-to-date with industry developments, new products, and new technology. Figure out ways to incorporate the best of these developments in the services you offer to your own customers. Then organize and manage your time to deliver top results.
  5. Sense of urgency. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around. Answer customer requests promptly, even if you are simply telling a client you are working on getting the answer. Always update a customer with your progress, which assures them you have not forgotten about their needs and that they are important to you. Customers will have more confidence in your ability to deliver if you demonstrate a real sense of urgency.

 

AARC Host Agency
156 Wheeler Road
Central Islip, NY 11722
800-619-8646
www.aarcHostAgency.com

Become a Travel Agent Because…

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The Right Niche Can Make You Rich...

The top travel agents - the ones doing over a million in sales each year - are niche specialists. See examples of agents that do over 1 million in sales per year at bottom of this article.

 

Most agents misunderstand the importance of being a niche specialist. They think it restricts them from selling other products. You are not restricted to selling only the products in your niche. As a professional travel agent you can sell anything that comes your way. But you only seek out and market to groups or clients that fit into your niche.

 

The purpose of a niche is to focus your attention on becoming an expert, thereby drawing clients to you, because of your knowledge and expertise.

 

You should also have at least three niches that you are an expert in. Remember the old saying "Don’t put all your eggs in one basket". That also goes for niches! If you only have one niche and something happens to disrupt that market, it could severely impact your income and even put you out of business.

 

By specializing in the niches you choose, it gives you the FOCUSES you need to become successful. It’s also the most cost efficient and effective way to run a travel business. Focusing on your niches helps you to become an authority on those niches. This allows you to write articles in your local paper or blog, speak at local clubs, organizations, and groups.

 

Whether you niche is honeymooners, scuba divers, clubs or whatever, you can now focus on finding those types of people. Most travel agents use a shotgun approach to finding clients and that’s why they fail. They have NO FOCUS.

 

Having niches helps you get better results from your advertising and marketing. A Google search for honeymoons will come back with millions of results. But a search for honeymoons in BORA BORA will have far less competition.

 

The more unique you make your niche, the less competition there is, and the bigger piece of the market you will get. Let’s face facts; you couldn’t handle a million honeymooners a month. But you could handle five Bora Bora honeymoons per month.

 

Because of your expertise in your niches, it becomes very easy to get the maximum amount of referrals from your past clients. This word of mouth on Facebook and Pinterest can easily double your business overnight.

 

Make sure you pick at least one niche that you are passionate about. If you LOVE what you are doing, you are not really working, you’re just having fun.

 

Here are some examples of Top Earning Agents:

 

Linda de Sosas, TX, did almost $3 million in sales

 

She is totally focused on making her clients vacations the best possible experience. She is always in the learning mode, either taking courses or trading books to gain knowledge to enhance her clients’ trips. She works very closely with our sales reps and she commands a great deal of respect from them.

 

Excellence as a travel consultant, de Sosa believes, involves several aspects, starting with a love for travel and her clients. "Beyond traveling, I continually educate myself through webinars and contacts about countries, hotels or ships—three to five webinars weekly."

 

Kayla Zeigler, OH, did over $3 million in sales

 

She first decided to break into the travel industry at the age of 21, after spending two-and-a-half months in Europe with a childhood friend. She created her own website and, after receiving so many requests for help with booking travel to Europe, decided to launch her own agency at the age of 24. Ten years later, Zeigler’s personal sales volume is more than $3 million and growing.

 

One of Zeigler’s favorite trips is a destination wedding and honeymoon she booked for a couple that started in London and Paris before flying to Florence. There, the happy couple met up with nine of their friends and family and traveled to the countryside just outside of Assisi.

 

2014 is the 10th anniversary for Zeigler as a travel advisor, and she is taking the milestone as an opportunity to plan for future growth.

 

Diane Bower, NC, did over $3.2 million in sales

 

Diane runs her independent agency with integrity and professionalism, provides personalized customer service and creates extraordinary vacations for travelers. I’ve known Diane for years and she’s an ‘All Star’ by definition. Bower consistently wins top honors and is a top producer for Crystal, Oceania, Seabourn and Silversea cruises.

 

Bower, who is also a river cruise expert and specializes in Europe, South America and the South Pacific, says that a good travel advisor should listen without interrupting. "I don’t ask for the sale. It’s a given. I have a ‘shut up, stupid’ philosophy. If you talk too much, you talk yourself out of a sale."

 

For that reason, Bower never says, "no," when a client asks if it’s a good time to talk, and she isn’t afraid to tell a client if they’re asking her to book something she doesn’t feel is right for them. "I’ve traveled extensively and don’t sell anything I haven’t done. I confidently advise clients because I’ve been there, have insider tips and off-the-beaten-path recommendations," she says.

 

Nancy Yale, CT, did over $4 million in sales

 

Nancy launched her business 22 years ago as a cruise-only agency focusing on honeymoons, and has since branched out. Her specialties are cruises ("I was the first CLIA Master Cruise Counselor in Connecticut."), Africa ("I’ve been there five times."), the Caribbean, family travel and "FITs to exotic destinations."

 

Yale attributes her success, in part, to "never selling something I don’t believe in. If a client asks for something that I don’t think is appropriate or where I think their children would be bored, I tell them and suggest alternatives."

 

She also believes in the value of firsthand experience. "I have taken my three children since they were six, eight and 10, around the world. Traveling with kids has made me knowledgeable about the family and multigenerational market.

 

Sue Ratliff, TX, did over 4.1 million in sales

 

Sue is a designated specialist for nearly every major cruise line, as well as the South African Tourism Board, German National Tourism Board, Baltic Association and Tourism Australia.

 

Sue always goes the extra mile for her clients and her travel agent peers, and she is most certainly an All Star. True to the praise she has received, Ratliff once made a Crystal booking while in pre-op for surgery. But her results speak for themselves; in 2013, Ratliff produced over $4.1 million in sales, landing within the top 1 percent of agencies.

 

To achieve this, Ratliff says she works on the relationship aspect of the business in order to build trust, making the act of selling easier down the road. Ratliff focuses on the soft sell, giving clients what they initially ask for before upselling gradually.

 

"My business model is the reason I’m successful," Ratliff says. "I’ve incorporated technology and high-touch service to stay connected to clients. However, technology never replaces personal relationships. I take time to form a friendship with clients. I’m available anytime they want to talk, and I want them to think ‘I’ll call my friend Sue.’"

 

Kelly Reid, KY, did more than $4.5 million in sales

 

Kelly has achieved an extraordinary annual sales volume that very few agents ever reach. Reid’s success is due to her high level of customer service. It’s so impressive, in fact, that Reid usually receives a 95 percent satisfaction rating from her clients. She has steadily grown her repeat business over the last 13 years and is always ready to take on new challenges and learn about any new product.

 

Her most memorable booking involved a family that had been enduring cancer. She helped the extended family of the woman celebrate her survival after many setbacks. "The client overcame very slim odds for survival and the family wanted to share in this joy as well as help her relax and unwind after a difficult journey," says Reid.

 

Debra Dickerson, CA, did over $4.5 million in sales

 

Debra has a "Client First, Commission Last" approach to business, which allows her to give her clients straight talk without candy-coating an itinerary.

 

"Debra is a sales consultant but a straight talker who never candy-coats...she treats each client as if they are her own family."

 

Dedication like this has rewarded Dickerson with shining referrals for her work, with one client recently booking a 2016 Silversea world cruise for $156,000 and another couple who made five bookings the past four months totaling $50,000 in sales.

 

Dickerson plans itineraries in exotic destinations and overland excursions for world cruise clients. Debra was a travel manager in service to the USA. One of her responsibilities was escorting families of Navy personnel from the mainland to Hawaii to welcome the ships back after months of duty in the Western Pacific.

 

Jessica Griscavage, VA, did over $4 million in sales

 

Jessica has been a travel advisor for 10 years. She understands how important travel relationships are in making her clients’ trips that much better. Griscavage has also influenced major hotel brands by getting them to realize that "if they did not welcome infants they would lose young family business for years."

 

“Ritz-Carlton acknowledges my suggestions for what they needed to have to make an infant comfortable on arrival... phones that blink not ring in their hotel room... formula, diapers, strollers... all the things young [traveling] couples used to be burden with. In my 10 years I have grown with these couples and have increased sales and referrals.”

 

Griscavage is also helping her local community. Her first steps have included working with local charities and fundraisers.

 

If They Can Do, Over a Million in Sales...  So Can You!

 

Remember - this is only 8 out of HUNDREDS of agents that did more than 1 million in sales!

Reasons Why Travel Agents Are Back

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Sales by home-based travel agent are up for third year in a row. Despite Terrorist attacks and Zika Virus.

  1. Travel Agents Offer Guidance...It’s a scary world out there, and even seasoned travelers are a little nervous. Whether the destination they are considering is facing the Zika virus or the threat of terrorism, travelers are more inclined to talk through their concerns, and get unbiased information, from a live agent. The tips we can give them, the advice, those things you just can’t get booking online.
  1. Travel Agents Give You More for Your Money...Agents have access to deals and promotions travelers do not. From cruise lines to hotels to tours, suppliers know their top travel agents and slip them upgrades, bonuses, special offers and early entrance tickets that make their customers feel special and according to ASTA travel agents save clients an average $452 per trip
  1. Travelers are Frustrated With Online Travel Sites...Online travel agencies (OTAs) often advertise one price, and then tack on fees and other hidden charges, or restrictions and blackout dates in the fine print. There is also just too much information out there to sort through. Clients doing the research find it overwhelming. Among travelers who regularly seek information from an OTA when planning a vacation, only 13% typically book their reservations on OTA sites.
  1. Better Customer Service...While OTAs have call centers to assist customers with basic site bookings, they offer little further support. Travel agents help during the booking process and stay with you to make sure all goes right. And when there is a problem, they are there to intervene—whether it’s a supplier who doesn’t deliver or an emergency that makes them cancel the whole trip. Suppliers work with travel agencies on a case-by-case basis, and often "help agents out when needed." With a real travel agent, "you have someone advocating for you.
  1. Knowledge of Destinations, and Understanding of Client Interests...Agents often specialize in niche markets, so they can offer even more insight into a specific destination or segment of travel, like LGBT or destination weddings. And they spend  time getting to know each customer, so they can make recommendations tailored to what they want to do.
  1. Travel Agent’s are Now Helping Millennial's...The percentage of travelers under the age of 35 who prefer to book their vacations through a travel agent increased 50% between 2014 and 2015.

They don’t have time to wade through all the options, and they understand there is only one chance to make a vacation perfect. Just as they hire an expert to do their taxes or maintain their garden, they want a knowledgeable professional to help them make this most important decision.

Paul Davis, President

Why You Should Become a Travel Agent

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Millennial's are planning to use travel agents, 82% say they will use them to book a vacation package or tour, 85% say they will book at hotel or resort, 83% said they would book a destination, 83% said they would book an airline, 76% said a cruise line and 74% said a car rental.

Millennial's said that among the reasons they plan to use a real agent are: knowledge of destinations and travel service providers (83%), the ability to provide an extra level of service when things go wrong (84%), the ability to take the hassle out of booking (82%), recommendations that assure high quality travel (82%), more control over booking each aspect of the trip , greater confidence in the recommendations of traditional agents, the experience to help me book a better trip than I could on my own (82%), an understanding of what’s hot or new and better prices for the total cost of the trip Millennial's are using travel agents because they are taking some involved vacations. They are afraid of being ripped off and there are just too many places to get information."

In fact, American travelers’ overall use of travel agents and desire to use them is up across the board in every generational group. American travelers who said they used travel agents also said they were strongly influenced by them to select hotels and resorts (83%), vacation packages and tours (79%), airlines (78%), destinations (75%), travel insurance (75%), attractions and events (74%), car rentals (69%), cruises (66%), and trains (57%).

More importantly, the percentages for booking all travel products through travel agents have

been going up steadily for the past few years. Even better, 25% of respondents said they plan to use the services of a traditional travel agent

for a vacation during the next two years. That’s up 47% from last year, when only 17% said they were likely to use an agent. Of those, 80% are likely to use a traditional agent to book vacation packages, 76% to book tours hotel or resort, 75% for destinations, 74% for airlines, 69% for cruise lines and 59% for car rentals.

When asked about their reasons for working with a live travel agent over an online booking site, American travelers cited knowledge of destinations and travel service providers (86%), the ability of provide an extra level of service when things go wrong (85%), the ability to take the hassle out of booking travel (85%), recommendations that assure high quality travel (82%), more control over booking each aspect of the trip (81%), greater confidence in the recommendations a traditional travel agents (79%), the experience to help me book a better trip than I could on my own (78%), an understanding of what’s hot or new (72%), better prices for the total cost of the trip (72%), longstanding relationship with my traditional travel agent (70%), and better security over the transaction than the Internet (69%).

"The use of agents continues to rebound and I don’t see it stopping for the next twenty years." According to "Paul Davis, President of AARC Host Agency"

India Golden Triangle and Istanbul Turkey FAM trips

6 Day India Golden Triangle FAM Land Only from $489

Features include: Transfers/tours by air-conditioned vehicle & assistance 5 nights accommodation in 4* or 5* hotel (based on availability) 5 breakfasts & 5 Dinners English speaking local guides, and monument entrances as outlined in the itinerary.

 5 Day Istanbul Turkey Express FAM Land Only from $349

Features include: 4 nights hotel accommodation Round trip airport transfer Meals are indicated on itinerary by B breakfast, L lunch, D dinner Entrance fees English speaking guide on the tours

Africa Fam Trip

Educational FAM Trip & Safari South Africa, Cape Town and Greater Kruger National Park Botswana - Chobe National Park Zimbabwe - Victoria Falls Hosted by OSSN and NTABA Tours November 6-15, 2013 (10 Days / 9 Nights)

Join  NTABA Tours in South Africa, including Cape Town and the Stellenbosch Wine region, and then hold on to your hats as we fly to Kruger Park to enjoy a wonderful private game lodge experience! We�ll continue to Botswana and on to Zimbabwe and be amazed by unforgettable Victoria Falls.

If you have not set foot on the African Continent, this is your chance to learn exactly how to combine the luxury of South Africa�s Cape Town and the Winelands, with the exciting safari experience of Greater Kruger Park, Chobe National Park in Botswana and finally the magnificence of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. If you have wanted to get into the African safari market, then this educational program is for you. OSSN and NTABA Tours are taking only 18 agents on this program, so do not delay.

Holy Land Fam Trip

14-days visiting Istanbul, Israel and Jordan - air inclusive $ 2,595

Explore three countries in one trip with this amazing fam itinerary. Learn from our knowledgeable and experience tour guides about the vast history and significance of the sights and cities.Fam group is departing from JFK Airport on November 4, 2014 on Turkish Airlines. Limited seats available for agents with valid travel agent identification. Companions are accepted for an additional supplement.

A journey to Israel is a journey to a place where the past and present call out to travelers in astonishing ways. There are layers of meaning everywhere you turn in this intense land, and why not? The history and legends of this country lie at the very heart of Western civilization's consciousness.

You will visit all the highlights from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to En Gedi, Masada, Qumran, Haifa, Megiddo, Caesarea, Sea of Galilee, Golan Heights, Pella and Jerash before moving to the next destination or Jordan.

Amman, the capital of the modern Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a city with thousands of years of history interwoven with a modern facade. Its heart is an ancient Roman Amphitheater adjacent to a busy boulevard that comes to life at night with families and local youth out for a stroll. Citadel Hill and its ancient ruins loom above the modern city. The top offers a sweeping view to the Old Souq central market, and the glittering shopping malls, high-rise hotels, and office buildings of West Amman.

Petra, the legendary lost city carved into the walls of a hidden desert canyon, is the most famous of Jordan's many dazzling sites. The Nabataeans, who carved the elaborate palaces, temples, tombs, storerooms, and stables of their city into the solid rock of the cliffs, dominated the Trans-Jordan area from the 3rd century B.C. through Byzantine times.

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