Up Front With Martin B. Deutsch for 1999
December 20: MILLENNIUM MUSINGS
Well, you say, it’s certainly been an interesting 1,000 years. A mere pinprick in the cosmic time bank, man’s journey on this wee planet doesn’t even cause a blip on the billions of years calibrated since the Big Bang allegedly created the universe.
November 15: AIR CONSOLIDATION’S FATHER?
Michael Shamilzadeh is an airline consolidator with what may be a unique story. Not only does he believe his company, APC, is the oldest airline consolidator in the business, but he also thinks he gave birth to the word consolidator as it applies to passenger travel.
November 8: A COMMISSION CHALLENGE
Michael Conway, founder and chief executive at National Airlines, has committed to full compensation levels, at 10 percent with no caps, “for as long as it works for us.” The fledgling carrier, which bills itself as Las Vegas’ Hometown Airline, is clearly aware of the pros and cons of shelling out, in effect, twice the compensation levels of most other airlines. Says Conway: “We will continue to review the 10 percent, no-cap deal to see if we are getting enough incremental business to offset the higher distribution costs we are incurring versus our competitors. That’s a basic economic approach.”
October 18: TED ARISON, 1924–1999
He created the cruise industry as we know it today. Ted Arison died on October 1. A billionaire when he turned over the parent Carnival Corp. to his son Micky in 1990, Arison would reclaim his Israeli citizenship and grow another empire in technology, banking and real estate.
September 20: RIGA, THE ROAD WARRIOR
Chris Riga may well be the hotel industry’s quintessential road warrior. As Swissotel’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, he’s away from his home base in New York at least 60 percent of the time, dropping tirelessly on the upscale chain’s parent company in Zurich, and its 19 worldwide properties and 13 sales offices.
August 30: TOUR/CRUISEEXPO BECKONS
With challenges — known and unknown — coming at the agent from all sides, it’s an almost universally held belief that the future for a prosperous business environment lies in leisure travel, and that the twin ingredients that fuel their focus are tours and cruises.
August 16: A MILLENNIUM LONDON
David Batts, chairman of the London Tourist Board, discusses the $10 billion being spent on visitor attractions in and around London, as well as new ones, many of them of impressive magnitude.
July 19: MORE MEMOS FROM AFRICA
My recent trip to Africa has already spawned four columns, all penned with a good deal of satisfaction and wonder, which stem from the inspirational grandeur of such destinations as Kenya and South Africa. Not surprisingly, with a tour of this dimension, there are loose ends, bits and pieces of data that were squeezed out of the earlier African columns — trivia maybe, but information your clients might appreciate. So without further ado…
July 12: SOUTH AFRICA AFTER MANDELA
Now, inevitably, there’s the big question: What happens now that Mandela has stepped down? Kurt Peter, director of operations at the highly visible Sun City Resort, believes South Africa faces many challenges, but he’s optimistic, even without Mandela at the helm.
June 21: THE NELSON MANDELA FACTOR
In the last five years there’s been a barely acknowledged but powerful influence on the competitive forces that push and pull tourism to Africa: It is the larger-than-life figure of Nelson Mandela.
June 14: AMERICANS ON SAFARI
A predictable mix of factors, both internal and external, have conspired to shape Kenya’s tourism experience in recent years, but the irresistible lure of the great game parks keeps visitors coming, particularly Americans. There is near unanimity among hoteliers and other travel observers that terrorism and occasional disturbances may have reduced the flow of visitors to Kenya (as well as Tanzania and Uganda) without diminishing the intrinsic appeal of the region.
May 17: KENYA: 33 YEARS LATER
Until just a few weeks ago, I hadn’t set foot in Kenya since September, 1966, when the late (and great) Lars-Eric Lindblad sent me off on an extended “Wing Safari” of East Africa. That journey has remained my most memorable tour experience in nearly 45 years on the road. This time around, my impetus came from Dave Herbert of African Travel, Inc. —and once again the ambitious itinerary proved well beyond my fondest expectations.
April 19: FINDING TURKS AND CAICOS
The Turks and Caicos are a cluster of beach-rich islands 575 miles south of Miami and a stone’s throw from the Bahamas, of which they were once a part. The modest archipelago of eight major islands and many satellite cays faces the Atlantic to the North, with the Caribbean somewhere south. This question of location is not just idle speculation. Imagine my disbelief when I discovered a significant number of my well-traveled friends had never heard of the Turks and Caicos, and even more of them didn’t know where they are.
March 15: MARTIN R. SHUGRUE JR., 1940–1999
He was an electric presence, complex and compelling. He defined the word charisma in our industry, even if his career was not always blessed by the ultimate bottom-line success we seem to value so obsessively. Martin R. Shugrue Jr. died unexpectedly on Sunday, March 7, at the age of 58, leaving behind a shocked cluster of family, friends and colleagues, all of whom are trying — with difficulty — to grapple with this sudden, saddening loss.
February 15: MILLENNIUM ON THE PEAK
Nowhere is the millennium fever more evident than on the travel scene, where creativity is driven by a sense of desperation, of time running out. Agents and their clients are racking their brains in a last-ditch effort to find something different, something special for next New Year’s Eve.
Copyright © 1992-2007 by Martin B. Deutsch. All rights reserved.