Columnist Shep Hyken credits Southwest Airlines' 45 consecutive years of profitability to its focus on low prices and excellent customer service. Southwest co-founder Herb Kelleher believed in putting employees first, Hyken writes, which led to happy workers, good service, repeat customers and higher profits.
Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International will all debut ships in California and Washington this year, adding 12,000 berths to the West Coast market. "It's very exciting. There's been a big need out here for a long time," said Betsy Geiser, vice president at Uniglobe Travel in Irvine, Calif.
Designing the ideal travel itinerary requires someone with the time and expertise to create a perfect experience, and travelers should look to "travel designers" rather than booking vacations themselves, writes the New York Post's Hannah Rose-Yee. The volume of choice available to consumers online means it can be valuable to have an expert provide curated options, says Kaleidoscope Travel founder Marie Sulda.
AmaWaterways has announced a May 2019 launch for its new AmaMagna river cruiser, which will be close to twice as wide as traditional European riverboats and boast a wide range of luxury amenities. "I've had this unique ship on my mind for many years and am confident that now is the time to introduce my vision," says Rudi Schreiner, president of AmaWaterways.
The Condesa and Roma neighborhoods of Mexico City have shed their once-sketchy images to appeal to travelers looking for craft and vintage luxury. New craft cocktail bars, hotels and specialty shopping destinations are also appearing in the city's Juarez neighborhood.
The temptation to leap from one marketing gimmick to the next can be high, but the best way to attract and keep customers is to create a marketing plan to complements your strengths and personality, Richard Earls writes. Defining a message, communicating it consistently and taking care of existing clients will help travel agents develop a successful marketing strategy, he advises.
Red Planet Japan plans to fuel new hotel development across that nation with proceeds from a $110 million sale-and-leaseback transaction with Goldman Sachs. The subsidiary of Bangkok-based budget chain Red Planet Hotels has sold ownership rights to four hotels in the deal.
A rare vertical structure from the drawing board of Frank Lloyd Wright, originally planned as an apartment building in New York City, draws visitors to Bartlesville, Okla. The 19-story Price Tower functions primarily as a museum of art and architecture, with the top eight floors serving as a 21-room boutique hotel.
Michael Rousseau, Air Canada's CFO, said the airline hopes to come to an agreement later this year on a joint venture with Air China. "We have been negotiating with them for some time and hopefully we'll conclude the agreement later this year," Rousseau said.
- Page 1