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What a summer it has been!  Fantastic here in Traverse City!  The National Cherry Festival- with the Blue Angels, Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, Traverse City Film Festival, and much, much more...all serviced by Cherry Capital Airport's flights from ATL, DEN, DTW, EWR, LGA, MSP, ORD...  If you missed visiting this year...summer 2017 is promising more...and more access tvia TVC's air line-up as well.  There's still time to impact your 2016...and 2017 is only months away...  Time to get moving...  Oil prices down.  Record airline profits...built on that and ever-increasing auxilary fees.  Ugly, random terror.  A still growing market of baby-boomers yearning to travel...and young tech-savvy travelers discovering that sometimes talking face-to-face with a professional who has already assisted thousands is wise.  It's a great time for you in your corner of the industry to think, plan, and implement.  We're not a full quarter in...so act now.      

I am still busy with airports in the midst of working with carriers on skeds well beyond summer and fall...tour companies launching new inititatives for 2016 and 2017...and more.   Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, and Cuba still on tap before year end...  But I'll make time for you.

So, how about you?  If your travel industry related business is in for a challenging year...or a year of opportunity...and you need to solidify your plan, give me a call.  Whether a travel management company, mid-sized airport, tour operator, or resort...I can assist you. Maybe the plan still needs a little work or verification.  Together, it's time to talk about it..  What  you want to accomplish.  Let's formulate a plan to attain those goals, and start working to reach them.  Again, whether you're an Airport Director with the need to reach out to carriers, a resort owner looking to expand to new markets and enhance customer spend, a tour operator looking to penetrate new markets, or leading another area of the wide travel industry to gains in the marketplace...I have been there and can assist.  Yes, I've worked with CVBs and Chambers, airlines, and more. 

The market keeps moving up...and the recovering economy is now moving as well...let's assure your company is moving to take full advantage.  Let's look at that together.  It will be another year of change, of course.  Are you ready?  Are you set to approach new markets?  Are you ready to respond to unanticipated obstacles and opportunities?  I'm happy to be working with a number of clients who are focused on real growth.  I have room to work with only one or two more clients.
The sooner we talk, the sooner we can start the planning and implementing for success.
Contact me today.

A simple SWOT analysis is the place to start...  We can work on that together and them formulate a plan to help you navigate to renewed or greater success.  Again, now is the time.  My previous work in frontline sales and retail travel management, airline sales, management, and tour operator sales management, and now over five years of consulting with various travel entities has delivered a vast array of experience and insight that we can tap together.  I'll be upfront...  Some things I've learned through success...and some via failure.  And in this ever-changing environment, some challenges are entirely new.  That's what keeps me interested!
What can we do to navigate to profitability in spite of these convulsions in the marketplace?  I work on a retainer or project basis...and always with a simple letter of understanding and a 30 day out clause.  It's a small investment that can deliver substantial rewards.
  

I continue to do some sales outreach bringing the Acacia Holidays sales message to the agency community in Ohio and Michigan. The new brochure and enhanced website are coming soon.  I was back in Uganda and Kenya last May and was able to experience firsthand the services of Acacia owner and Managing Director Joshua Nyiera, visit some wonderful lodge and camp facilities, and, of course, reacquaint with the unique cultures, dramatic vistas and diverse wildlife that only East Africa can deliver.  I never tire of being on safari...the anticipated...and the unexpected.  If you need help in planning a safari for clients, I'm ready to help plan it, market it, and sell it!  Visit www.AcaciaHolidays.com and contact me anytime to talk about  individual travels and taking a group to Africa.  It's among the very best travel experiences.  Acacia offers weekly departures and is expert at customization.  Recently I have set up departures for a multi-generational Kenya-Tanzania safari, another Kenya-Tanzania custom graduation adventure, and am working on a South Africa trip for a family from Cape Town to Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Nelspruit with side trips to Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zambia! 

Also continuing to boost the work of my friends at WANT (Wildlife And Nature Travel) Expeditions.  They have some of the most unique small group adventures available worldwide.  And they are committed to personal service and caring for the environment.  Please check it out at 
www.WANTExpeditions.com.  Socotra island off the coast of Yemen...  The depths of India...  The Mongolian steppe...  These are real close to nature adventures!

   
And also very much enjoying my sales work with Other Cuban Journeys .  Licensed by the U.S. Treasury and OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) , these People-to-People itineraries to Cuba are virtually all-inclusive from Miami.  OCJ is based in Flint, MI.  You can check out some of my comments on my SEP '12 visit to Cuba and also my comments on eliminating the U.S. embargo in Tom's BLOG on this site.  If you or a group you are affiliated with are thinking about a visit to Cuba, I'd be pleased to answer any questions and to help you connect with my friends at OCJ.  From my experience I can share some insights...and they can offer many more.   I can work with them to craft just the right itinerary.  Remember, this is strictly a People-to-People opportunity and must be focused on cultural exchange and interaction with the Cuban people.  Marla and Miriam have vast experience and superb connections in Cuba!  Visit Other Cuban Journeys at www.othercubanjourneys.com. Cuba is opening, but it will be slower than everyone thinks,  The Cuban infrastructure is not ready for a flood of Americans. Demand is already increasing...and Cuba will change.  My heartfelt advice- go now.  I have a Christmas-New Year group and two couples headed down shortly after.  It is critical to book with someone who has been on the ground in Cuba for some time.  Both individual properties and the Cuban goverment-owned operators are overbooking...and that's going to deliver challenges that only those with contacts will overcome.

Additionally, continuing to work with Management Reporting Services on their various data consolidation tools-  and speaking to CVBs, operators, cruise lines, and more in that regard.  Great tools to target your advertising and evaluating where it has worked.  Happy to share details with you.

Look forward to speaking with you soon!
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