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Greetings, salutations and Happy Holidays my fellow travel professionals. Yes it is that time of year again. A time when any work is a gift and when our gifts can help our work. During this holiday season why not seek out some gifts that can help your job performance. Give the gift of knowledge. The slow winter season is a great time to snuggle up to some of those great literary adventures that we just don’t have time for during the peak season.

Online retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Waldenbooks often have cheaper prices then their brick and mortar counterparts. Many books are also available for preview online. The retailers are trying hard to make the online experience as enjoyable as surfing the bookcases. 

If they add in free shipping, an online coupon and you supply the comfy chair, the whole shopping experience might exceed driving through winter weather and holidays.

Give the gift of situational awareness. The GPS (Global Positioning Service) market has exploded this year. Prices have dropped to the sub $200 level which puts them in range as a possibility even by those who see them as an extraneous item. While they are no substitute for intelligent planning using our traditional tools of a good map and our mind, a GPS will be seen as invaluable after you have one for a while. I bought one in the summer and have already had reason to use it a couple of times. I love the fact that it immediately locates important locations like hospitals and bars (hopefully not in the same evening). The routes are not to be trusted 100%, but they do provide a quick access to a wealth of information. Many GPSs can also be used as MP3 music players and eBook viewers.

If you want to play Santa, IATM needs a gift – exposure. Please spread the word about IATM to fellow TMs and tour companies. The Board of IATM decided at our meeting in November to create a special newsletter for Tour Companies. This will be sent out in a new push to increase the exposure of IATM on the world travel stage. IATM is the oldest organization that actively serves the interest of Tour Managers. We need to compete aggressively in this ever changing industry and IATM has and continues to be our friend with the pulse on the changing industry. Gift IATM a gift this year by spreading news of its good cheer.

The best thing about all these gifts is that these are gifts that keep on giving. Whether it is the joy of sharing a new story you have read or the peace of mind of always knowing what is around you, your smile and confidence will be sure to increase the happiness of countless clients in 2008.Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.


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