Travel Factory Blog

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The Travel Factory employs 4 full time agents with 100 years total experience in the travel industry. Our agents specialize in cruise, tour and resort vacations as well as corporate incentive and school groups. Our mission is to provide the best, most courteous, most detailed, most informative service. Our slogan, "Building vacations to your specifications" says it all.
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What You Need To Know About Coronavirus

A real good blog or report that I often refer to is TravelSense. It gives some real good advice and tips on a daily and weekly basis, and one that they produced recently had some excellent information regarding this disease that has the travel world turned upside down....especially if one is traveling to China, Japan, Korea, or even Hawaii.

It's really frustrating for the travel suppliers that it seems that it's always something that crops up and threatens to scare folks away from traveling. If it's not some new illness, its a natural disaster, or threat of civil unrest or just plain disinformation that has folks nervous about going anywhere.

According to a Travel Impact Survey Report conducted by The American Society of Travel Advisors, 25% of all U.S .travelers have changed their travel plans because of coronvirus fears. More concerning is the 71% who had a trip currently booked to China say they will either “definitely” or “probably” cancel those plans because of coronavirus.

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Talk about disruption......this disease has really got world-wide attention from travelers and non-travelers alike.....and rightfully so. You can quickly die if affected.!! 

Where did it come from? Well, according to a good travel source, TravelSense, it is not a new illness; coronaviruses of one one kind or another have been around forever. This is a new strain identified first in December, 2019. This strain is a particularly nasty version of a coronavirus which spreads faster and is more dangerous. The early signs are a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever.

Just this past week, I had some folks come by for a visit and ask me where was I planning on taking a group in 2021. I hadn't totally thought about it much, except for the fact that I already had planned on taking a group back to the Holy Land in March of 2021, and we had planned to take a group on Viking's brand new ship, the Viking Venus to the British Isles in August of 2021. On both of those we have folks who have been very wise and made reservations already to go with us; wise because planning early makes sure you get on and not left behind wishing you had “pulled the trigger” earlier.

One of the more challenging tasks that a travel agent has is helping a client pick just the right seat on an airplane. That has proven to be more challenging since most of the airlines have gone to several tier pricing in the coach class section.

I get this very often, “Boy, you are so lucky to be in such an exciting business!!!” And for the most part, they are right, but......

If a poll, or one of those incessant surveys we get all the time were taken, and I'm sure there has been, I'm confident that 98% of those responding would declare they were interested in the prospect of traveling...somewhere...anywhere!!! It is an interesting, exciting prospect, whether it is to Grandma's house, to China (maybe not now considering all the circumstances), cruising, just getting away from the daily humdrum.

No, doubt in all professions there are times when we borrow ideas from others; I know it was like that when I was coaching, and it's been like that while in the travel agent profession. Of course I have had some travel adivsors (writers) that I gravitate to each week who have impressed me with their ideas and suggestions....among them Christopher Elliott of the Dallas Morning News, Richard Turen of Travel Truth, and Charlie Funk, a Nashville agent...just to name a few.

Some folks resistance to cruising is that “there are too many people on those big ships”...especially first time cruisers as well as some who have limited cruising experience. But really, it has been my experience on some of the largest cruise ships in the world, that after you get checked in and on board, there is really no feeling of there being a lot of people on board. Yes, a lot of people or not, the day of embarkation is typically a little hectic and chaotic, until you get on board.

Thanksgiving turns to Christmas, which means we need to begin thinking what kind of Christmas present we can give....or get!!! It's been true ever since I've been in the business, and that's a long time, that one of the best, if not the best present, is a life-long memory. And one of the best memories is wrapped around a travel product; a trip to Disney, a ski trip, an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, a Hawaiian vacation, a cruise experience......even a drive in the car for a week at Grandmas.

I keep getting requests from folks who have been to Alaska and those who have not. I'm reasonably confident that they have heard about our Travel Factory Gang trips for the past 25 years to that beautiful state and want to get on with us in 2020.

I'm sure our listeners and readers wouldn't mind a little personal privilege today. It just so happens that this is the day,(and I'll have to be careful), several years ago, a little girl was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. She grew up in a family with one spoiled brother and two sisters, she being the middle sister. I'm sure psychologically that means something, but I don't have a clue what!! Her name was Paula Rowlett.