Up Front With Martin B. Deutsch for 1996

martin December 16: Erickson's Curtain Call
Just days before Jeffrey Erickson resigned as chief executive and president of TWA, I spent a few hours with him in New York. There was no hint of any imminent intention on his part to bail out. Fact is, he was quietly optimistic about TWA’s future, predicting that the troubled carrier would be profitable in 1997. “We’ve got to be,” he said, because of TWA’s recent bout with bankruptcy and the tragic crash of Flight 800 last summer.

November 18: Ancient Civilizations, Part Two
A recent cruise brought my wife and I in contact with some of the world's most ancient civilizations: Israel, Greece and Turkey. Needless to say, history is everywhere. So is sun, sand and shopping.

November 11: Ancient Civilizations Today
Travel publications often ignore strife, conflict, unrest or any bad news, for that matter. Simply put, tourism depends on stability, as does travel advertising. In the face of this logic, let’s look at a recent Mediterranean cruise my wife and I took on the Crystal Symphony. With “Ancient Civilizations” as its theme, the sailing focused on a volatile quartet of nations: Egypt, Israel, Greece and Turkey, as well as a tranquil (?) Italy.

October 21: Having a Crystal Ball
On the fourth day of a late-summer Mediterranean cruise, I met a passenger on the way to dinner. She told me it was hard for her to believe how quickly time goes by at sea, adding, “We’re giving such a grand time.” Time sure does fly, particularly on a cruise, and especially when it's a good one.

October 14: Learn and Earn
I’ve been ambling and rambling along to get to the Miami Beach area later this month to join up with TourExpo ’96, the trade show co-hosted by the United States Tour Operators Association and Travel Agent magazine. The program will knock your socks off, to put it tritely, and at the same time allow you to refurbish that fading summer tan.

September 16: Another View of Cuba
I don’t know many people who have worked face-to-face with Fidel Castro. But last month I met Ignacio Vasallo, director of the Tourism Office of Spain. The elegant and eloquent Vasallo has dealt directly with Havana’s longtime dictator, an experience that’s particularly timely since Cuba will, eventually, open up to U.S. travelers.

July 22: A Win-Win Situation
While I lack the relevant data to support this thesis, I have a strong suspicion that the instinct to gamble is as old as mankind. People have bet the ranch--and everything else--ever since the first ranch. I’m not including everybody all the time, but the desire to take a chance, to roll the dice, is deeply embedded in our collective psyche.

June 26: The Cruise of the Century?
I’ve developed a personal preference for smaller cruise ships, but I recently sailed for a week on Celebrity’s new Century. Despite the presence of nearly 2,000 other passengers and two seatings for dinner, I was literally transported by this eye-opening and delightful voyage, which took us from Fort Lauderdale to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Key West.

May 6: A-Plus Post-Mortem
Trade shows are a fickle business. There’s little doubt that ingredients such as volatility and uncertainty lend spice and excitement to any business landscape, particularly an event as vulnerable as a trade show. A buddy of mine always says that trade shows are the ultimate manifestation of Murphy’s Law.

April 22: A Fresh Approach to Car Rentals
Budget Rent a Car went global in its search for a new senior vice president-marketing and sales, eventually plucking John Power from London, where he’d been senior general manager of world sales for British Airways. Power feels strongly that customer focus is the cornerstone of making the industry more stable and profitable, coupled with more effectively managing costs, and adding value and variety to the customer’s choices.

February 26: More Caribbean Islands for Every Taste
Time flies when you’re on a cruise. Just two weeks ago in this space, we visited San Juan and St. Thomas as the initial ports on a Radisson Diamond sailing over the recent Christmas holiday. In this column, we visit St. Kitts, St. Barts, Bequia and Grenada.

February 21: In the Caribbean, An Island for Every Taste
Years ago I recall saying that the Caribbean has an island for every taste. I got a forceful reminder of that thought when a week-long cruise on the Radisson Diamond brought us to seven islands, each one a distinctive piece of real estate for visitors seeking new sights and experiences. The Christmas cruise got under way in San Juan and ended in Barbados.

Copyright © 1992-2006 by Martin B. Deutsch. All rights reserved.