Ted Lange, the actor who played Issac Washington the bartender in the original “Love Boat” TV series, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how he got his role back than and what he thinks of CBS’ new reality series “The Real Love Boat.” Spoiler alert: Lange reprises his role in the first episode of the new show, which debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET. For more information, visit www.princesscruises.com or click on CBS The Real Love Boat.
Stephen Lincoln, owner of Nexion Travel Group affiliate Lincoln Travel in Bridgewater, Va., talks with James Shillinglaw of insider Travel Report about why the host agency honored him as Nexion Ambassador, the top travel advisor in the network. But Lincoln is no stranger to winning top awards from Nexion. He’s been an Ambassador before and is always among the top sellers for the host agency. How does he do it? That’s what he tells us in this interview at Nexion’s CoNexion conference in Disneyland last month. For more information on Nexion, visit www.nexion.com.
Heather Kindred, CTIE, vice president-business development and education for host agency Nexion Travel Group and program director for Travel Leaders of Tomorrow, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at the CoNexion conference last month about all the training and education programs Nexion has for both experienced advisors and those new to the industry. Discover how Nexion provides one of the most extensive and in-depth training programs for advisors both virtually and in-person. For more information, visit www.nexion.com or www.travelleadersoftomorrow.com.
Mary Considine, CEO of the Shannon Airport Group, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about the close proximity of Shannon Airport to the Wild Atlantic Way and Irish attractions to the west of Ireland. Considine also details the airport's history, which features many firsts, including the first duty free merchants, the first Irish coffee, and more recently, combined U.S. pre-clearance and TSA checks. For more information, visit www.snnairportgroup.ie and www.shannonairport.ie.
James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report talks with the new “real” cast of “The Real Love Boat,” set to debut on CBS on Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. ET. Meet the Regal Princess crew who are now stars of the show, including Capt. Paulo, Cruise Director Matt and bartender Ezra, all of whom had to audition to get the part. And discover the stories behind the making of the show, how they think it will help Princess and what it could do for cruising overall. For more information, visit www.princess.com or click on CBS The Real Love Boat.
Danny Genung, a veteran travel advisor who owns Harr Travel, an affiliate of Nexion Travel Group, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at last month's CoNexion conference at Disneyland about how he's become a YouTube star covering cruise ships around the world, which has helped grow his agency's sales exponentially. Genung has produced videos that showcase multiple ocean and river ships, giving his clients (and other travel advisors) a preview of what they will find onboard. For more information, visit res.harrtravel.com, www.youtube.com/c/HarrTravel, or www.nexion.com.
Princess Cruises President John Padgett and TV producer Chris Culvenor, CEO of Eureka Productions, talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report onboard Discovery Princess at a party to celebrate their new TV reality show “The Real Love Boat,” which makes its debut on CBS on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. ET. Padgett and Culvenor reveal how they drew inspiration from the original “Love Boat” series, which Princess has been using to promote its cruise products for years. The new show is expected to help boost cruise sales and redefine Princess’ image in the cruise market. For more information, visit www.princess.com or click on CBS Real Love Boat.
Kama Winters, president of Delta Vacations, talks with David Cogswell of Insider Travel Report about the branch of Delta Airlines that packages travel everywhere that Delta flies, its new destinations as well as new phone system and technology. Winters also discusses how her company has adapted to the shifts in travel since the pandemic, including an attempt to favor quality over quantity through a smaller portfolio with better products. For more information, call 800-800-1504 or visit www.delta.com/us/en/delta-vacations.
Samantha Evans, founder of Humphreys of Henley and exquisite England connoisseur, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about her boutique luxury tours of the English countryside that come with the promise that they will also help "protect, prolong and preserve the British countryside and the people that make it so special." When discussing private visits to stately homes, castles and palaces, Evans narrates a clip of her private visit to Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed, as well as how her company provides insider access to sporting events, classic planes and classic ars. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.humphreysofhenley.co.uk.
Simon Mayle, event director for ILTM North America, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about the impressive growth of his event, resulting in the need to move from its four luxury hotels in Mayakoba, Mexico, to three luxury resorts at Baha Mar on the island of New Providence in The Bahamas in 2023. Mayle talks about the convenience of the new location, its size, its proximity to Nassau Airport, and the closeness of the hotels, SLS, Rosewood and Grand Hyatt, both to the beach and the central village of Baha Mar. For more information, visit www.ILTM.com/North-America/en-gb.html.
(Apologies on the sound from a faulty microphone. We did our best to cut away the worst parts.)
Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion Travel Group, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at the CoNexion conference held at the Disneyland Hotel last week. Friedman details how Nexion helped its travel agency members get through the pandemic, how it actually added advisors to the network, and how it dramatically expanded training and education programs during the last two years, and much more. For more information, visit www.nexion.com.
Ellison "Tommy" Thompson, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about St. Kitts' new brand campaign that builds on the island’s distinct characteristics while introducing elements of introspective self-discovery and intention to differentiate St. Kitts from other Caribbean destinations. For more information, visit www.visitstkitts.com.
William Rodriguez, minister of tourism for Costa Rica, and Carolina Trehos, chief marketing officer, talk with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about how the country plans to improve its visitor numbers through 2023 by exploiting new niches and segments of the market, diversification of product and thinking outside the box. They detail Costa Rica's Digital Nomad program, new airlift, hotels, fam trips and travel advisor training. For more information, visit www.TravelAgentAcademy.com/CostaRica.
Alexa Berube and Heather Stupi, two of the founders of Reposite, talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the progress they've made on their new reservations tool that can be used by travel advisors to book every aspect of their group travel. We interviewed Reposite in 2020, but the company now has significant new financing and is working with travel agencies to perfect its technology solution for groups. For more information, visit www.reposite.io.
Guy Bigiaoui, managing director of Safrans du Monde, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his luxury travel company's private air charter tours to destinations around the world using La Compagnie's A321Neo aircraft. Safrans du Monde also features high-end trips to France including exclusive experiences for luxury clients. For more information, visit www.safransdumonde.com.
Alison Metcalfe, executive vice president of Tourism Ireland for the U.S. and Canada, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about Ireland's recovery, new marketing strategies and a revamped Shannon Airport, offering guests easy access to the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's West. For more information, visit www.ireland.com.
Anna Nash, chief commercial officer of Aman, talks with James Shillinglaw during a tour of Aman New York, the luxury resort group's new urban resort in Midtown Manhattan. Located at 57th and Fifth in the famed Crown Building, Aman New York, which is currently open for guests and Aman afficionados only, has exquisite suite accommodations, two new high-end restaurants, two bars that will soon be the hottest places to be in the city, and even a subterranean Jazz Bar, which is already open to the public. It also happens to have the largest hotel spa in New York. For more information, visit www.aman.com.
Karen Yeates, executive vice president-technology and resident tech guru for Signature Travel Network, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about what the travel agency cooperative is introducing for its members. Considered to be a cutting edge technology developer, Yeates unveils such new products as Client Connection 2.0, which can work with any CRM; a List Select Project and new email marketing system; an update to the Sig Cruise Pro that will now include other travel products and allow Signature clients to book, and much more. For more information, visit www.signaturetravelnetwork.com.
David Perez, CEO of Tenerife Tourism, and Laura Castro, director of tourism for the Cabildo of Tenerife, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about their Canary Islands paradise, which is on the comeback trail in terms of tourism numbers and is partnering with such groups as the U.S. Tour Operators Association, Signature Travel Network and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. For more information, visit www.webtenerife.com.
John Vavrina, managing director-North America for Exoticca, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his Barcelona-based tour operator leading the digital transformation of the market for multi-day tour packages to long-haul destinations. The company’s platform allows the online purchase of complex packages with multiple components to more than 60 destinations worldwide. For more information, visit www.exoticca.com.
Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his country's campaign to turn itself into a major destination for travelers worldwide. He details how Saudi is promoting itself to the travel trade, how it is transforming its infrastructure, and highlighting its major historical and cultural attractions. For more information, visit www.visitsaudi.com.
Alex Sharpe, president and CEO of Signature Travel Network, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how his travel agency cooperative successfully got through the COVID pandemic and how its helping its agency members meet the new challenges they face as the travel business returns with a vengeance and bookings soar. For more information, visit www.signaturetravelnetwork.com.
Harry Sommer, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, talks about his brand new ship, Norwegian Prima, its design, plans for the Prima class, how to sell Prima, as well as the future of the brand, including new itineraries in Greece, Australia, Israel, Asia, the U.K. and Africa. For more information, visit www.ncl.com.
Anita Pagliasso, president of the Professional Association of Travel Hosts (PATH), talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the group’s 19th annual symposium in San Francisco, which featured 200 top host agencies and travel suppliers discussing the challenges they face today. Pagliasso, who is vice president of host agency KHM Travel Group, talks about the “think tank” meeting that brought suppliers and hosts closer together to resolve the issues they have and how PATH has supported host agency professionals. For more information, visit www.path4hosts.com.
Mia Giobbi Thomas, vice president of sales and marketing for the Hotel Californian, talks with James Shillinglaw at last month’s Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, about her signature property, recent renovations, new programs and how the hotel is ready and waiting for your clients in trendy Santa Barbara. Thomas also oversees sales and marketing for two other great California properties, Hotel Les Mars and Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard. For more information, visit www.hotelcalifornian.com.
Noelle Barille, senior chef instructor on Oceania Marina, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about an excursion to the food market in Riga, Lativia, one of the largest in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage site the size of five zeppelin hangers. The goal was to buy fresh local ingredients for sampling and cooking back at the ship. A special feature of this class was the built-in interaction with the local merchants, because participants were given an envelope with Latvian euros, a short shopping list, and instructions to have fun and "go shopping." For more information, visit www.oceaniacruises.com.
Armin Asceric, corporate director of sales, marketing and digital at Sunswept Resorts in Saint Lucia, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his two all-inclusive resort company, which includes the famed spa resort BodyHoliday and the newly recast Rendezvous StolenTime, catering to adults. For more information, visit www.thebodyholiday.com, www.stolentime.com and www.sunsweptresorts.com.
Steve Dennis, general manager of The English Hotel in Las Vegas, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his new property, the first hotel developed by Chef Todd English, which has 74 rooms and a dedicated Asian fusion restaurant, The Pepper Club. This thoroughly modern, four-story hotel, which features stylish décor and even a small pool area, is set to become the heart of Las Vegas’ Arts District between The Strip and Downtown Vegas. For more information, visit www.theenglishhotel.com.
Nomasanto Ndlovu, chief operating officer of South African Tourism, talks with David Cogswell of Insider Travel Report about South Africa’s stronger than expected recovery, how the destination improved its offerings during the COVID-19 lockdown, and how South Africa is now attracting a younger generation of travelers who love active adventures. For more information, www.southafrica.net.
Juan Vela, vice president for Mexico's Velas Resorts, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at last month's Virtuoso Travel Week, about his family's boutique chain of luxury all-inclusive resorts, which feature some of the best food in any resort. Vela talks about the company's four existing resorts in Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Los Cabos, as well as the upcoming new resort in Los Cabos. For more information, visit www.velasresorts.com.
Tommy Ryder, regional head of sales-retail North America for Bedsonline and Hotelbeds, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how Bedsonline has made major improvements to better help travel advisors book thousands of hotels around the world for their clients using an inventory that rivals and even beats the online travel giants. Ryder talks about all the new programs, training and support Bedsonline offers for today's travel advisor. For more information, visit www.bedsonline.com.
Marc Casto, chair of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), and president-leisure Americas at Flight Centre Travel Group, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at the recent ASTA Global Convention in San Francisco about ASTA’s accomplishments, particularly no the lobby front, and ASTA’s new programs and initiatives, particular its new Travel Advisor Credo and its new website for members and the public. Casto talks about where ASTA is today—in a much healthier and influential place. For more information, visit www.asta.org.
Andrea Grisdale, founder and CEO of Italy specialist IC Bellagio, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how luxury travel to Italy was this summer, the outlook for fall and into 2023. Grisdale also talks about the most popular destinations, tours and experiences her company has been booking during a record year for travel to Italy after more than two years of pandemic. For more information, visit www.icbellagio.com.
Gilberto Salcedo, tourism vice president for ProColombia, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at last month’s Virtuoso Travel Week about the current requirements for travel to Colombia (none), how the country is promoting its cities and rural attractions, what travel advisors need to know about the destination and much more. For more information, visit https://procolombia.co/en.
Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), talks with James Shillinglaw at the recent ASTA Global Convention in San Francisco about ASTA’s accomplishments over the past year and the conference itself. Kerby also reveals the new ASTA Travel Advisor Credo, which includes the assertion that advisors do charge fees, and details ASTA’s newly redesigned website for travel advisors, consumers and those interested in becoming advisors. For more information, visit www.asta.org.
Phil Whitney, vice president of sales for New York’s Circle Line and The Beast, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about The Beast, the speedboat that takes up to 50 guests on a high-speed adventure up and down the Hudson River from 42nd Street to the Statue of Liberty. Whitney also gives an update on the classic Circle Line, which still offers scenic tours around Manhattan and up the Hudson. For more information, visit www.thebeastnyc.com or www.circleline.com.
Elena Funes, sales manager-leisure sales for United Airlines, talks with James Shillinglaw of insider Travel Report about United’s new and existing routes for Australia-bound travelers. A new route from San Francisco to Brisbane is the airline’s latest product offering, but United also features a number of other flights that can get your clients to the Land Down Under. For more information, visit www.united.com.
Lisa Bauer, CEO of Starboard Cruise Services, and Stacy Shaw, vice president of Starboard Luxury, talk with James Shillinglaw about Starboard’s new exclusive partnerships with luxury cruise lines to sell local products and artwork in destinations around the globe. It’s the latest innovation for Starboard to create a luxury onboard shopping experience second to none. For more information, visit www.starboardcruise.com.
Sara Best, executive director of global sales for MGM Resorts International, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the incredible entertainment that MGM Resorts delivers at its resorts in Las Vegas, how large-scale entertainment has now completely returned to the Strip, and how MGM Resorts is getting into sports entertainment big time once again. For more information, visit www.mgmresorts.com.
Dave Thomas, vice president of sales for the Americas for Qantas, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at last month’s Australia Marketplace in Los Angeles about Qantas current routes from the U.S. and what it has planned. With Australia now open for all travelers, Thomas provides the right information you need to get your clients Down Under. For more information, visit www.qantas.com.
Debbie Fiorino, chief operating officer of World Travel Holdings, parent company of Dream Vacations and CruiseOne, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about her travel advisor host organization’s ability to make the transition easy to record-breaking sales through exclusive funded promotions and an advisor program that helps agencies grow their footprint. The results prompted Entrepreneur magazine to call Dream Vacations the #1 Travel Agency Franchise. For more information, visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com.
Pradeep Raman, general manager of the Baccarat Hotel, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his luxury property in the heart of Manhattan, including its famed bar and public rooms, sumptuous accommodations, dining venues, pool and spa. For more information, visit www.baccarathotels.com.
Chris Austin, chief sales officer for Explora Journeys, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the newest programs his luxury line has for travel advisors as Explora Journeys continues to focus on selling its upcoming new ship, set to debut in May 2023, through the trade. For more information, visit www.explorajourneys.com.
Andrea DeMarco, chief marketing officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report on the effect of lifting COVID-19 restrictions, what's up for the 2024-25 cruise season, the demand for cruising (especially world cruises), what cruises sales look like for 2022 and beyond, and the increase in new-to-cruise guests. For more information, visit www.rssc.com.
Craig Bradbery, chief operating officer of Baillie Lodges in Australia, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about this intimate portfolio of luxury lodges set in exclusive locations of unique natural or cultural significance. These boutique properties are the perfect opportunity if your clients want to experience the real Australia in style. For more information, visit https://baillielodges.com.au.
James Rodriguez, the new president and CEO of Atlas Ocean Voyages, who is already well known to many travel advisors, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at Virtuoso Travel Week about the changes he will make to better sell and grow his luxury expedition cruise line. Rodriquez, who has spent most of his long cruise career at Oceania Cruises, is now relishing the chance to shape a relatively new product in a burgeoning category of cruising. For more information, visit www.atlasoceanvoyages.com.
Michael Ungerer, CEO of Explora Journeys, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at last week’s Virtuoso Travel Week about the May 2023 debut of Explora’s first ship as well as how its future vessels will feature revolutionary technologies that make them even more sustainable and environmentally friendly. And now Explora is ordering even more ships—up to six by 2028. For more information, visit www.explorajourneys.com.
Libby Cook of Luxury Lodges of Australia talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report during the recent Australia Marketplace in Los Angeles about her collection of the best high-end lodges and camps located across diverse regions of Australia. Collectively the lodges showcase Australia’s extraordinary diversity of place and experience. For more information, visit https://luxurylodgesofaustralia.com.au.
Tricia Wolf, vice president of sales for Oceania Cruises in the U.S, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about her premium upscale ships that border on luxury, with new innovations in culinary and mixology that will be featured on Vista, the cruise line's newest ship, due out in the spring of 2023. Wolf also explains the new and hopefully final COVID protocols as well as future itineraries, including a 180-day around the world cruise. For more information, visit www.oceaniacruises.com.
Annabel Sullivan, executive officer for Cultural Attractions of Australia (CAOA), talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at the recent Australia Marketplace in Los Angeles about this ndustry led collective that presents the best of country’s cultural offering to the world. CAOA creates a single repository of premium, behind-the-scenes experiences as part of Tourism Australia’s Signature Experiences of Australia program. For more information, visit https://culturalattractionsofaustralia.com.