Tag Archives: outdoors

Key Issues Facing Travel Agencies for Survivability

A travel agency that wants to survive the demands of the present and future business environment can no longer simply be an outlet for distribution, or a friendly neighborhood business. Agencies that are now looking toward the future with optimism are those that have structured a business rather than a distribution outlet. This article is intended to reach those agency owners and managers who have a fairly sizable volume, have established good business relationships with corporations, and are seriously concerned about their future well-being. I hope to touch on a few areas that are of concern, giving some insight into areas that you may or may not have already targeted as vital to survival. Remember, sometimes it is the obvious that escapes us, so do not believe that the simplicity of some of these areas is unintentional. The key to survival is overall profitability, but there are some subtle areas that affect whether or not you are profitable.

Profitability

A travel agency is a rather unique business when looked at from a profitability standpoint. It is perhaps the only retail industry that has a little or no control over its retail pricing structure. Although alternative pricing exists, it is not an effective means for the average agency to gain and / or maintain profitability. Thus, it is vital to make a careful analysis of your costs and your income.

Have you taken the time to analyze productivity; the average per transaction cost compared to the average per ticket / transaction fee revenues received? What about individual productivity? Do you have fair, firm, viable, and enforceable expectations of what your salaried employees must produce? Is your payroll in line with your business volume?

If you were asked to state by how much you wanted to increase your volume in 2012, you most probably would have a ready response. But, have you thought through what measures you will need to take to increase your volume? If you plan to increase your market share, you must keep a constantly growing and evolving prospect list and then follow-up with sales-related meetings and presentations. It will be necessary to generate new volume in order to increase profitability or in some cases just to maintain it. It is of utmost importance that your organization has a firm and tried sales and marketing strategy.

Set a goal, focus on it, and develop a plan. Measure yourself by setting 90-, 180-, 270-, and 360-day goals. Evaluate your progress along the way and give rewards to yourself and those who have helped you to reach those goals.

Another area that affects profitability is your overhead. Use the same common sense you do at home when it comes to improvement of your physical environment. There seems to be a tendency, lately, to go a bit overboard with these things, thus dramatically increasing capital costs, and depleting resources for potential investment in other areas.

Employees

Have you ever heard someone say that a company is only as “good” as its employees? The ability to attract and keep a good, solid, knowledgeable, mature staff is of great importance. State-of-the-art computerization in your office has little value without the people in place to make your operation profitable.

As the fierceness of competition in today’s agency marketplace increases, it will become more and more difficult to locate and retain the top-of-the line employees. Look for employees with a good deal of experience, or lacking that, a drive for success that can be channeled under your good management and leadership. You must begin to look toward the future and develop an employee plan that will maintain the consistency that area of ​​the industry has lacked for a long time. Consistency in your employee ranks will greatly favor your operation. Your clients will be able to have the same friendly voices to relate to, and will not question your stability because of heavy turnover (which is also extremely costly to your bottom line).

Find out how competitive your total compensation package is. Develop “real” incentives that have goals and measures by which an employee receives rewards. Make sure the rewards have substance to them. You may even wish to develop a plan by which your employees could develop equity in your firm.

Examine your training procedures to make sure that your employees are keeping pace with the technological sophistication (changes, updates, modifications, and enhancements) required of today’s travel agents. Your employees, although not likely desire to put in more hours, would like to spend their hours more productively. If this is achieved, then both you and the employee profit. There are many low or no-cost seminars and training forums available through a variety of industry vendors. Let your employees tie into these functions. Set up a program with your automation vendor and other vendors to provide on-going training for your employees at a level suitable for the individual. Remember: sending an employee to an advanced CRS training seminar who has never worked with that particular CRS may be counterproductive. Be sure to provide training at the employee’s level of comprehension.

It may be time to take a look at the overall productivity of your employees and find out the real costs and profits of each person on your payroll. Do you have an expected level of productivity for each employee that justifies his / her salary? If not, realize that an employee earning $ 18,000, plus medical, dental, and life insurance needs to generate a gross sales volume of almost $ 250,000 in order for the company to afford the salary and benefits alone. This does not even take into account other overhead expenses – rent, utilities, other insurances, and a profit. In most operationally mature situations a good, profitable, commercial agent generates an annual sales volume of $ 1,000,000.

Costs

Believe it or not, you do not have to have 700 branches, in 41 states, and 12 foreign countries to achieve savings in the area of ​​cost control. Even if you are buying for just one office, a good vendor is going to want your patronage. For every cost area, seek out three potential vendors who can provide you with the entire scope of your needs. Then do your best to ascertain what your needs will be for an extended period of time. Remember, the greater the single purchase the more efficient for the vendor, thus allowing the opportunity for greater savings to be passed on to you. Request a bid from the vendors; much in the same manner your clients have requested bids from you in order for you to obtain their business.

The cost of everything is on the rise. The days of item purchasing in business is gone simply because of the economics involved. You can achieve greater survivability by changing some of your non-fixed expenses to semi fixed expenses and it does not matter if you’re a single or multi-branch agency.

If you do have more than one branch, consider the concept of centralizing costs wherever possible. Even if there is considerable distance between branches, most vendors will pick up the shipping costs to outlaying locations of an account. The purchasing power gained by centralizing as many costs as possible will bring you cost savings as well as other efficiencies that are being passed up by many agencies, today.

The control of costs in today’s arena of expense inflation will be vital to your survival over the next year or two. Not is the time to begin positing yourself in accordance with your business plan to gain the control necessary.

Industry Vendors

Forget what is in the past. This industry has a habit of being overly reminiscent, and it is costing the very lives of many agencies and seriously threatening many of those still in existence. The face of the basic industry vendor / agency relationship has been changing for quite a while, and I believe that 2012 and 2013 will prove to be the spear-hear period for those changes.

Now is the time to firmly build your alliances, and get to work with your future business plans along with your vendors. The entire distribution system as we now know it has been placed in a questionable posture. You must decide for yourself what steps are necessary for your survival. What agreements should be consummated between your agency and carriers, car rental firms, hotels, tour operators, automation vendors, etc.? Everyone is eager for your business. But, who is offering you the best overall deal in return? It is vital that you begin to explore your options, and look toward the long term. You will not be able to survive on short-term relationships which bring short-term dollars.

Most airline override agreements should be looked at as “the icing on the cake.” Too many agencies make the error of thinking of this as secure, guaranteed income. It may not be. The vast majority of carriers have turned to market share based overrides, rather than what was the traditional “increased volume” based override. Of course, there are still the occasional “other deals” floating around that can help to get some more dollars into your agency. Be aware of every dollar a carrier is offering. Flight, and / or segment cash bonuses paid at point-of-sale can generate substantial immediate dollars for you. Make sure you, and / or a reliable member of your staff is constantly in tune with these “special” offerings. “Do not simply discard those pieces of electronic mail the carriers send you. You could be losing serious dollars. Information of pertinence is also available in all the agency CRS CO-HOST DRS pages.

Also be aware that airlines are extremely eager for your group business, and in some cases, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out how few people an airline will consider a group, and how nice the specific override on that group can be.

Hotels and car rental companies are in the override marketplace as well, more now than in the past. Calculate what your annualized volume with these vendors is, and much in the same manner that you can develop an override program with an air carrier; you may find yourself eligible for more dollars from your car and hotel vendors as well. There seems to be a great deal of latitude afforded the local sales staff of car rental companies, depending on their geographic location as to what they can do for productive agencies. It would seem to make sense to investigate these avenues. The work required to maximize your car rental commission may be well worth it in the long run.

To sum it up, vendors in today’s marketplace are looking for strong and loyal allies. They are willing to compensate you for this loyalty. But, they are demanding that you produce substantial and consistent revenues for them.

Now is the time to look toward the future, and determine whom you should deal with.

MIS

The survivors in today’s environment have developed a keen sense of awareness of the current needs of corporations to have accurate, and in-depth, management data. If you are not up-to-date with what is going on in today’s automation / information world of the travel industry, it may well be time to seek out avenues whereby you can receive some education in this area. Agencies are being looked at more and more for their ability to act as managers, information and data sources, and travel budget and policy markers.

The change in the way corporations view travel agents is a welcome one. It has done much to bring respect to the business and the professionals within it. The question one must ask though is, “Am I prepared to accept the new challenges posed by the changing role of the travel agent?”

If you have any doubts, it’s not too late to learn and grow in the areas you need to. Your ability to support the management information needs of a corporation is vital to your survival.

Areas of Specialization

Over the past several years agencies have begun to expand their menu of services from simply commercial and leisure travel, to include Incentives, Groups, and Meeting Planning. Be aware that such specialization requires knowledge, dedication, risk, and good planning. These “other” areas of endeavor are quite complex. Doing the job half-way generally results in failure.

Incentive Travel is complicated and often misunderstood as being the same as group travel. When properly administered, sold, and operated it can be an extremely profitable venture. The basic and override commissions paid by travel vendors are unusually good. Meeting Planning is quite time consuming, but again, when done properly can become quite lucrative. One of the challenges with Meeting Planning however, is that the air portion of the program can get quite complex. If you are not properly geared and staffed for it, you will be unpleasantly surprised. Again, there are excellent opportunities for increased profitability here.

Specialization in these or any area of ​​the industry is becoming more and more evident these days, and the reason is you must somehow stand out in the crowd to survive. Find out what it is that you and your staff excel at. It may well be worth the time and effort to clearly define an area of ​​specialization. Developing an identity as a “specialist,” when done properly, can greatly enhance your exposure and positivity affect your overall business.

We are now faced with the challenges that many other industries have faced before – how to survive in a time of increased expense, and decreased revenues? If you want to survive, not is the time to act. Prepare for the future by committing yourself to a workable, flexible, realistic business plan. Align yourself with vendors properly. Review costs, and productivity. Set standards. Develop new avenues of revenue generation. Do not let what appears to be turmoil around you dissuade you from success.

Make 2011 a year that will make a difference. Make it the year that you decide to be a winner, and a survivor!

Tourism Through The Ages

The industry of tourism is at its peak. This is not just applicable to one country or one continent. In fact, thanks to the power of the World Wide Web and social media, people are discovering other countries aside from their own. Tourism has changed in a way because people are now more open to share their experiences while travelling to foreign places. Through blogs and reviews complete with photo and videos, others can have a glimpse at someone else's getaway before they decide that they want it also for themselves.

Travelling has also been easier thanks to more affordable flights that allow people to plan trips around the world. People from Asia, for example, can now explore South America and then plan their next exploration to Europe. With the efficiency of air travel, tourism allows people to get to a location fast and without hassle. Compared to sea-faring and land travel during the olden days, a traveller's time to explore is too short. These days, one can take the time to enjoy the scenery and immerse in the culture before he or she goes back home.

The scope of the word "tourism" has changed. Far from the usual sight-seeing and a little cultural exposure, the word now involves other industries. Terms like medical tourism or entertainment tourism are now widely used that people go to certain countries to avail of medical treatments or watch concerts. Because of these aspects that are now part of tourism, the beauty in each country is highlighted. And this beauty goes beyond the scenic places. After all, a huge part of tourism has to do with the people and culture. When these positive aspects in a place are highlighted, many people will be encouraged to experience a country first-hand.

Tourism is improving day by day. As fast as the changes in technology, people are being presented with more options to explore the world. Unlike during the earlier times, tourism can now be enjoyed by all kinds and standing of people. Thanks to globalization, the limits and boundaries are now expanding, letting people explore the world outside of their comfort zones. This era is the best time to discover and to enjoy the rest of the world. If you want to see the world, the industry of tourism is putting on a great show that will make you amazed at the world you live in.

Hotel California Meets the Great Gatsby – Music As a Teaching Resource For Literature

The most famous artistic product of the boozy 1920's is F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, a novel about a man trying to recreate an ideal past in a drunken, materialistic present. It's one of those books just about everyone has a strong impression of whether or not they've actually read it – which makes it hard for many to approach the story with fresh eyes.

If you're a teacher looking for interesting , relevant ways to dig into The Great Gatsby, why not try something like this on for size: the 1920's were to WWI what the 1970's were to the hippy movement. The unprecedented global carnage following the so-called "War to End All Wars" turned disillusioned Americans inwards, setting their priorities on money, bootlegged liquor, and partying. Similarly, after the hippies failed to elevate worldwide consciousness with peace, love, and patchouli oil, 1970's America drowned its sorrows in disco, drugs, and polyester pants.

As an assignment, have your students compare The Great Gatsby to a 1970's song in this same vein. Take, for example, The Eagles' Hotel California, one of the best-selling and most recognizable songs from this (or any) era of American history.

Hotel California boasts some of the most analyzed and memorized lyrics in rock and roll. If the element of mystery means a lot to you, you'll probably be disappointed to hear Don Henley's two cents: "It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream." Not that a bunch of rock stars would know anything about that. In other words, the symbol of Californian prosperity (back when that still existed) stands in as a microcosm of American decadence in the 1970's.

The "hotel" (wink, wink) California is no Motel 6. It has mirrored ceilings, courtyards, master's chambers, pink champagne, and high-falutin 'guests. The narrator can not help but notice the seductive woman with a Benz, a mind that's "Tiffany-twisted," and a lot of hot guys following her around. He asks for wine, to which the captain famously replies, "We have not had that spirit here since 1969." Since wine is not a spirit (and we're betting The Eagles have a basic understanding of liquor), we're going to go ahead and assume Henley is referring to some other spirit of '69.

In a creepy turn of events, there is then a beast-killing ceremony involving "steely knives," which prompts the narrator to high-tail it "back to the place [he] was before." Only when it's too late does he realize that he can "check out" but "never leave." How, pray tell, can a person be checked out without going anywhere physically? We're thinking there might be some chemistry involved.

So let's review: luxury, substance abuse, a beautiful temptress, materialism, violence, living in the past, and being trapped. Remind you of anyone?

As a rule of thumb, music is one of the best teacher resources because it can be deeply personal and easily relatable at the same time. Plus, the fact that lyrics are usually highly open to interpretation means your students will be putting in a lot more work than they think.

Five Reasons Why You Should Work For the Travel and Tourism Industry

The travel and tourism industry is a massive global industry that caters for the needs of those who have to travel away from home in terms of providing facilities and services like hotel accommodation, air and road transport. Close to a billion people are involved in international travel in this industry which generates billions of dollars every year. Sometimes making a decision on which industry to work for can be quite hard given the many options available today across the globe. Below are five reasons why you should consider working in the travel and tourism industry.

1. There are lots of work opportunities. The travel and tourism industry has a lot of opportunities employment for those seeking employment. You can work in the aviation sector, road, rail and water transport, accommodation providers like hotels and lodges, leisure and business travel agents and tour guides. It is now also possible to work from home thanks to technology which is convenient for some people like mums who have a child or children and do not want to be far away from home.

2. The perks are good. The travel industry provides rewards that not many other industries do. For example those working in the airline industry can get free tickets for themselves and immediate family members to fly to any destination that the airline they work for flies to. Those who work as travel agents can get reduced travel fares and even pay reduced accommodation rates. Then there are the familiarization trips that those who work in the industry have the opportunity to take. Just think of an all expenses paid trip to places like the Seychelles, France, the Kenyan coast of Mombasa to name just a few.

3. It is a growing industry. In spite of the recent downturn because of the threat of terrorism and the world recession, travel industry players are optimistic about its growth. In good times and bad times people always get the urge to move. And with more and more places becoming accessible because of air travel and with both air travel and hotel rates coming down in order to accommodate peoples pocket there is reason to believe that the travel industry will continue to grow and more markets will be reached which is good news for service providers. Furthermore technology like the internet has made it possible to access markets anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

4. It is never boring. Working in the industry almost means that you will meet new people from time to time. This is especially true for those who work as frontline staff in travel agencies, airline offices or hotels. Those who work in the airline industry as flight attendants have the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, visit different towns and cities and see and experience different cultures. That can never be a boring job.

5. You do not need years of studying to work in the industry. You may love a certain profession but because of the years of studying involved in learning it you may be discouraged from joining it. Not so with the travel and tourism industry. Three to six months may be enough depending on what qualification you are studying for to get you started working for this exciting industry. Some people because of their love for the work and experience gained in certain areas of the industry have even started working and studied for the paper qualifications later.

Disadvantages of Online Bus Booking

The idea or trend of online bus booking has steadfastly climbed the popularity graph, and has the potential of scoring over its physical counterpart in the very near future. However, as akin to a coin, there is another side to this success story too. There are a number of facts that you should be consciously aware of while out shopping for the best deals in the transportation arena. Even though there are numerous advantages of hopping on the web-based reservation bandwagon, callousness in selecting your firm or reading the fine print may land you in serious trouble – both financial as well as legal.

Recent news, though, has been positive as far as online bus booking is concerned, with GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation) embracing the trend. With government authorities also recognizing the brighter side of web reservations, the darker side of the same is being pushed farther away from public notice.

However, here are a few drawbacks of the online bus booking service, which at times mar the enjoyable experience of reserving a place for yourself on a transport vehicle from the confines of your home:

  • Authenticity

– A lot of portals use the facade of the web as a wall to present fake licenses and registration documents, often convincing the clients of their non-existent authenticity. Make sure you check with the local authorities or with that of the state of origin of the agency, to avoid being conned by the latter.

  • Hidden Costs

– Potential clients often miss out on reading the fine print or hidden terms and conditions stated in the quote. This allows the agency to charge a much higher sum (hidden costs) than the quoted price.

  • Restricted Options

– Some web-based bus reservation sites provide a much restricted outlook – some may offer a cheaper quote on a package tour, conveniently missing out on half of the tourist spots you may have wished to visit had you visited a local travel or booking agency.

  • Special Requirements

– Very few online bus booking services take into consideration special needs of aged or handicapped people. This creates problems for such individuals.

  • Direct Support

– The absence of authentic customer care support, one-on-one interaction and similar after-sales support may cause communication as well as troubleshooting turn limp, even while you are on a trip.

Therefore, even though online bus booking has been a boon for customers who would rather enjoy a quiet laze in their homes, it may turn into a menace too.

Only a handful of online portals provide the standard of service ideally demanded by customers. You can also look up a firm like Ezeego1, which provides online bus booking services in over 4000 pan-India routes, all in a jiffy!

Methods a Hotel Uses to Keep Its Linens and Towels Clean and Fresh

There is nothing better than sliding under fresh, crisp white sheets in a lovely hotel room at the end of the evening. Have you wondered how motels keep their towels and sheets refreshing and clean? Resorts can use hundreds of sets of towels and sheets a day. These establishments use a combination of rapid maintenance and delicate treatment to make sure the prolonged life and cleanliness of their linens. Implement these 5 rules utilized by resorts to extend the life of one's home sheets, towels, and blankets.

One particular way to keep linens fresh and mildew-free is always to hang up the towels after use. Hotels encourage this practice with guests by displaying a sign inside the rest room with the instructions to hang up the towels. When a towel is not hung up to dry after use, mildew can grow around the towels significantly easier, leading to musty odor, even right after laundering. The simple act of hanging a towel may help steer clear of mildew smells inside the towels.

An extremely valuable approach to keep linens fresh is by not under filling or overfilling a washing machine. Filling a washing machine an excessive amount does not allow for adequate mechanical motion to clean the laundry. On the other hand, not filling up a washing machine enough makes it possible for for an excessive amount of mechanical action, triggering the linens to break down quicker. It truly is appropriate to fill a washing machine to approximately 80 percent of the machine's capacity.

It really is also crucial to wash linens on a warm setting, not too hot and not too cold. Washing sheets and towels in cold water is not going to cleanse the linens thoroughly, allowing for some bacteria and dust mites to remain. Nonetheless, because of the frequency of washes, washing those identical linens in hot water can damage the fabric incredibly speedily.

Vinegar can also be a valuable tool for keeping hotel sheets and towels clean. When used in replacement of fabric softener, vinegar removes bacteria and freshens materials. Standard fabric softener coats fabrics with a film, making it tricky to completely clean the linens. Following washing these linens using detergent and vinegar as fabric softener, resort linens will smell clean and will never smell like vinegar whatsoever.

Finally, one crucial component of keeping lodge towels and linen smelling and looking clean is always to cleanse the washers on a regular basis. If mildew grows in a washer, that smell is quickly transferred to the laundered linens, even if they're clean. By being proactive and cleansing the washers on a regular basis, this mildew smell can be avoided.

Resorts that stick to these 5 techniques for cleaning linens will ensure clean sheets and towels for hotel guests. Guests can right away notice the difference if your sheets or towels have not been laundered appropriately. Additionally, these laundry approaches also help extend the life of motels' linens, leading to lower expenses for the resort along with the customer.

What to Look for When Buying Sofas for Vacation Rentals

Vacation rental furniture must be durable in order to stand up to regular use by a wide variety of vacationers who may not care for your furnishings quite as well as you would like them to. Holiday rentals, by their nature, are occupied by a constantly transitioning parade of temporary residents who use them as a home base for family vacations, ski trips, weekends at the lake or corporate retreats in the mountains. While some renters are mindful of the furnishings and treat their temporary housing as if it was their home, many do not. Anyone who owns temporary rentals has either heard stories of raucous parties and trashed houses, or they have experienced these things themselves.

Knowing that your furniture will very likely be mistreated by at least some of the folks who call your rental property home for a weekend, a week or a month, it is imperative that you invest in furnishings that you will not have to replace every time a rowdy group of friends parties a bit too hard or a pair of permissive parents lets their children run loose with chocolate ice cream, crayons and fruit punch. This is particularly true when purchasing a sofa, since you know this piece of furniture will definitely be used on a daily basis and will take the brunt of any mishaps that may occur.

What to Look for When Vacation Rental Sofa Shopping

When shopping for vacation rental sofas, there are three main factors to keep in mind: They should be durable, washable and renewable. Other features that might not be deal breakers, but are certainly nice to have, include storage space and the ability to be separated and moved around to create a variety of seating arrangements.

Seeking out high-quality, durable sofas is a given when shopping for rental furnishings. Poorly made furniture will not last and is not worth the money, even if the sofa was incredibly cheap. If you have to replace your rental's sofa every few months, or even every few years, you are not getting the value you need out of the piece. Therefore, shopping for sofas with sturdy construction from a reputable manufacturer is essential.

It is also important to keep in mind that even the most well-constructed sofa can still be damaged from spills, cuts, ill-mannered pets and rowdy guests. This is where choosing a washable fabric sofa from a company that offers replacement fabric, cushions and pieces comes into play. Washable sofa fabrics are a must-have and allow you to easily launder all of the sofa fabric at the end of the vacation season or when a guest soils the fabric during their stay. This alone can save you hundreds – or even thousands of dollars – while making it easy to keep your rental attractive and appealing to new guests.

Of course, you may have more than a spill to contend with if your renters managed to cut the sofa fabric, allowed their dog to chew up a sofa cushion or somehow managed to break one of the wood pieces on the arm or back of the sofa . If you purchased a sofa from a company that does not offer replacement pieces or fabrics, than this would mean costly repairs or needing to replace the sofa completely. But if you purchased the sofa from a company that allows you to easily order a single replacement cushion, new fabric pieces or new wood pieces, than you can inexpensively and conveniently have your sofa looking as good as new. This kind of renewability is an important part of getting the best value when furnishing rental properties.

Other Things to Consider When Shopping for Sofas

In addition to these must-have qualities, the sofas you choose for your rental properties can also serve additional functions, if the right sofa is chosen. For example, choosing a storage sofa that offers storage space under each cushion is a great way to make room for extra bedding, pillows and towels without having to purchase a cabinet or cluttering up shelves with these necessities.

If your rental caters to larger groups, you might want to also consider purchasing a sectional sofa that has multiple pieces that can be grouped together or separated to provide a variety of seating options. This will appeal to guests with varying needs, such as companies holding retreats, and is a great way to fit abundant seating into a small space.

How to Get Rid of Tension in Your Golf Swing

I think we have all been there. You are staring down a long par 4 from the tee box. The fairway is lined with trees on both sides. The landing area is "tight" and hitting 3 wood or iron is not an option, the hole is too long.

You pull out driver and tee up the ball, knowing to win the skin with your buddy you have to land this tee shot in the fairway. You take a few practice swings, address the ball, look down the fairway (it looks a little tighter than before), begin your backswing, and bang!

Your body tightens up. You hold onto the club and hook it into the tress. You think to yourself that bogey will now be a good score. You are upset at yourself and watch as your playing partner swings a smooth driver that lands the ball on the left side of the fairway.

You begin to grudgingly walk towards your ball, hoping you will find it, saying a few things under your breath, and questioning your swing mechanics.

What just happened? A situation that most of us have encountered at some time in our golfing career. We take some smooth practice swings, but when the ball is before us and we have to execute the shot we "tighten up" and hit a chunky, thin, or fat shot. We have allowed tension to seep into our golf swing. We all know that the swing is a free-flowing movement that requires your body to be loose.

Dean Reinmuth, one of Golf Digest's top instructors, speaks extensively about this term in his book. He discusses how a swing needs to be free and flowing. This allows for the club to travel on the correct swing path and develop club head speed. Muscle tension will impede and ruin your swing.

If your muscles are tight, how will you be able to swing a club in a free-flowing manner? You will not be able to do so. If you are gripping the club with a Hulk Hogan "sleeper hold," how are you going to swing the club freely? You can not. If you are unable to "feel" the club head, how are you going to swing the club freely? Again, the answer is you will be unable to do so.

If you have your doubts, give it a try. Head out to the range, purchase a bucket of balls and go at it! Warm up with a few wedges and then grab your 7-iron. Hit a few half shots and let's begin the experiment. First off, take the club and grip it as hard as you can. Now, attempt to hit the ball. What happened? I am guessing not a good outcome. One more time with our experiment, grab the 7-iron and address the ball. Now, when hitting the ball your thought should be: "I am going to hit this ball as hard as I possibly can." Go ahead, try to hit the ball. What happened? Again, I am guessing the outcome was not good. What happened in both of these situations? You developed "tension" in your swing, and it impeded your hitting the ball solidly.

Next question: how do you develop a smooth, free-flowing swing that is tension-free? Quite a few aspects are part of this equation. Developing proper swing mechanics is part of the answer. The swing is an intricate movement that is the "blending" of a series of movements into one free-flowing movement. In order to develop a "tension-free swing" you must develop your swing. This is a process that takes time, proper instruction, and practice.

Additionally, you must develop the proper mental confidence in your game. The example in the beginning of this article is a prime example. If you are not mentally confident in your swing, what do you think is going to happen on the tee box? Your body reacts to your mind and "tightens up," resulting in a poor swing.

How do you develop the mental side of the game? This is again done through the development of your swing, practice, and playing. As your game develops, confidence in your swing will develop. It is a give and take, so to speak. As your golf swing improves, so will the mental aspect of your game.

Finally, we must discuss the body. Yes, the body has an effect on a "tension-free" swing as well. Follow the logic, for muscles to be loose and free-flowing, they must be flexible. Being "tight" and not flexible puts you in a state of tension even before you get to the first tee! If you do not believe me, go to the gym and do 10 sets of heavy bench presses and then go to the range. See how well or poorly you hit that bucket of balls!

If your body is not flexible, you will not be able to perform the free-flowing movements of the swing. The body needs to be flexible for a tension-free swing. If you are inflexible, the ability to even develop your swing mechanics to a point where they are free-flowing will be impossible.

Bottom line is you need to develop your flexibility around your swing.

How do you go about doing this? The implementation of golf-specific flexibility exercises into a training program will do the trick.

The swing and the mind work together to develop a tension-free swing. You can not develop one without the other. A comprehensive approach is required when developing a tension-free swing. Working only on your swing mechanics will not work if your body is inflexible. Doing only flexibility exercises will not do the trick if your swing mechanics are incorrect. And focusing only on the mental side of the game will not work if your swing is a mess, and your body is as well.

A tension-free swing allows for great shots from all over the course. Developing this type of swing takes time and effort. You must train the body, the swing, and the mind. This is the ticket to your "tension-free swing".

The Development of the Cruise Industry Around the World

Before the advancement of air travel, passenger liners were the method of traveling overseas. With the industrial revolution, came the rise of very wealthy people with a lot of disposable income. They turned their attention to creating large passenger ships for the economic and social elite to vacation and travel to exotic countries.

In 1818, New York's shipping company, Black Ball Line, was the first shipping company to provide a scheduled passenger service from the United States to England. By the 1830s, steamships were introduced and took over the passenger and mail transport market. In the 1920s, cruise tourism became popular for the wealthy. Bigger and faster ships were custom-built and luxury living space designs became the industry model. Between 1920 and 1940, transatlantic travel became increasingly more popular along the very wealthy. Over the years, famous ships included the Queen Elizabeth, Lusitania, Ocean Monarch, and the Queen Mary.

World War I and II saw the use of passenger ships to carry soldiers and transport displaced people to new lands. After World War II, The US government began sponsoring companies to build more ships in the event another World War broke out.

In the 1960's, there was a surge in the manufacturing of cruise ships because more people were looking for holiday cruises. Vacation cruises became popular with people in their middle ages. People enjoyed the luxurious accommodations and lifestyle. It also became popular for people wanting to get a break from cold winters. However, there was a period in the 1960's where there was a decline in the cruise industry as the airplane industry took off, but public desire for reliving traditional means of traveling the seas helped the cruise industry rebound.

During the 1980's, cruise ship companies broke new ground promoting the idea of ​​traveling for pleasure. Since 1980, the cruise industry has been growing at a steady rate. People of all ages and walks of life began to take cruises. The cruise industry has developed programs to target both the young and old. Some features they have developed include: increased passenger room, a variety of cruise destinations and durations, affordable prices, luxuries such as pools, rock climbing, ice skating, and even wave simulators. As well, there are also saunas, fine dining, entertainment, sight seeing at various ports, dancing, musical performances, luxurious rooms, and much more.

The cruise industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Cruise ship owners now focus on developing new and innovative ways to attract customers. Today's cruise ships have accommodations that often exceed hotel rooms and contain such features as chic cabins, luxury private bathrooms, and gorgeous and comfortable living quarters. The recreational activities are numerous, and the entertainment is endless with such features as casinos, singers, dancers, and much more. As well, advances in the design of propulsion systems, decreases in the weight of the ships, and cleaner fuel, has resolved in ships that are more environmentally-friendly.

The future trends in the cruise industry include more lifestyle cruises, larger cruise ships, more services, attracting more of a diverse demographic, providing more affordable vacation prices, offering more destinations, and providing more recreational activities. The future appears bright for the cruise industry and everyday it is fast becoming a vacation choice for more people seeking a relaxing, luxurious, and fun holiday.

Tourism Industry Is Growing Fast in Nepal

Tourism industry is growing speedy in Nepal. It has been included in the top ten travel recommendation 2010 worldwide. Nepal, the land of mountains, is one of the most spectacular places on earth. It holds eight of fourteen highest mountain peaks of the world. Due to presence of mighty mountains in Nepal, it is preferred destination of trekking and mountain climbing. It is developing as adventure tourism destination. It is globally acclaimed destination for adventure travel. The adventure sports like trekking, hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, rafting, paragliding, etc. Nepal also provides the options for wildlife tourism and nature sightseeing.

The developing infrastructure and growing hospitality is contributing a lot in the sharp development of tourism industry. The improvement in mode of transportation allows the tourists to travel comfortably in hot destinations of Nepal. Many hotels are standing in the cities to provide comfortable accommodation to the guests. Travel operators are also providing many facilities to attract tourists.

It is paradise destination for adventure lovers and nature lovers. They can trek in popular treks like Everest region, Annapurna region, Dolpo region, Kanchenjungha trekking trails, Langtang regions, etc. These trails are best places in the world for trekking. Trekking in Nepal can be made very adventurous and playful with right preparation and planning. Trekkers should pack their bags in right manner. They must carry winter clothes, knife, water bottles, necessary medicines, etc. It is advised to plan trekking under the guidance of trekking guides. The guides will provide you safety gears to trek in the adventurous trails. Nepal trekking tour is the main selling point of Nepal tourism. Mountain flight for sightseeing is also very contributing in growing tourism industry. The options of trekking attract numerous adventure seekers from all corners of the world.

To promote tourism with greater pace, many tour packages are being launched by both Government Corporation and private travel operators. According to source it has been confirmed that Nepal hosted more than five lacks tourists in 2010. It has also been confirmed that most of the tourists are from India, China and Sri Lanka. Such a sharp development of tourism is attributed development of tourism infrastructure and effective management that include accommodation and transportation.

If you also want to visit this preferred and globally acclaimed tourism destination, then plan a trip to Nepal. Enjoy trekking and sightseeing in Nepal. Nepal trek is very adventurous for the adventure crazy people. Many rivers originated from the mountains of Nepal. These mountainous rivers are very ideal for rafting and boating.