Editor's Notes: September 2010

Welcome to our annual family travel issue. According to the U.S. Travel Association, U.S. families take on average, 4.5 leisure trips per year, a virtual gold mine for travel agents. What has added even more potential profit in the family market is the requirement for passports for travel to Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada—a positive move for more family sales to international destinations and it shows. As you’ll see in this issue, family travel product seems to increase every year with more and more hotels, resorts, and tour operators enlarging their family travel programs and itineraries. And it’s not just the North American destinations that are enjoying this boom. Africa family travel is growing by leaps and bounds and even family travel to China is enjoying an uptick. Tour operators to Latin America are also offering more and more, as you’ll see in our Latin America family travel feature. The same is happening in Mexico and just about every other place in the U.S. and world, and we’ve got up-to-the-minute information on all of this right here.

the saint lucia travel agent specialist program We’ve got still another major program for you in this month’s issue and also online—The Saint Lucia Travel Agent Specialist Program, an in-depth education program that covers just about everything you need to know to sell this classically beautiful Caribbean paradise. In addition to important tips on wedding and romance options, as well as the culture, history and things to do on Saint Lucia, we’ve also presented a thorough listing of hotels, resorts, inns and dining options that will give you plenty of sales information for your clients.

The Saint Lucia Tourist Board will be offering a comprehensive range of incentives to travel agents who graduate the course, including Travel Institute credits, FAM trip drawings, promotions, special discounts and direct consumer access through the SpecialistFinder on the Saint Lucia Tourist Board website.

kenya tourist board’s webinar series If you haven’t heard about it yet, we’d like to invite you once again to tune in on the remainder of this series, which we guarantee will educate, inform and excite you about the potential sales awaiting you with this incredible product. You’ll hear from some of Kenya’s most important tour operators and it’s something you won’t want to miss. Here’s what’s left: Sept. 9 – Kenya: Coastal Regions and Beaches (Ker & Downey); Oct. 5 – Kenya: Wildlife (Swain Tours); Nov. 4 – Kenya: Adventure (African Travel, Inc.); Dec. 2 – Kenya: Eco-tourism and Conservation (Big Five Tours & Expeditions); Jan. 11, 2011 – Kenya: Special Interest and Voluntourism (Micato Safaris); Feb. 8, 2011 – Kenya: Culture, History and Heritage (Go Ahead Tours) and March 8, 2011 – Kenya: Overview and Summary (SITA World Tours). To register, go to recommend.com.

special marival travel agent promotion The Marival Residences & World Spa in Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, combines luxury accommodations and services with over-the-top included activities such as dolphin encounters, ziplining and unlimited golf, making it an unsurpassed all-inclusive value. But now, it’s also offering an unsurpassed and a not-to-be-missed Serious Agent Bonus Program that includes a guaranteed $100 cash bonus for every booking you make, as well as a free stay for yourself and one guest after just one booking. They’re sweetening the pot even more by offering 50 grand prizes of $1,000 each—a “serious” offer, indeed. For more information on this generous program, go to marivalpromo.com/recommend.

next month In keeping with our oh-so-classy publication, it’s time again for our luxury & spa issue, where we highlight the best, the brightest and the oh-so-chic travel product around the world. This time, we’re going to be featuring everything from the top 10 high-end stays in Latin America, to luxury stays in Kenya and the Caribbean, as well as onboard reviews of Crystal Cruises’ Serenity and the French-flagged cruise line Compagnie du Ponant’s Le Boreal. Finally and certainly not least, you’re going to love our 16-page Riviera Nayarit Travel Planner, an invaluable sales tool you’re going to want to keep handy. In the meantime, have a great read.