The Benefits of Familiarity

How Sky Bird Provides the Best Customer Service

The smiling barista who hands us our coffee every morning but suggests we will love their dark roast.

The math teacher our child wants for the next level because of how they inspire.

The always-reliable handyman we call on to fix anything around the house.

We love familiarity and we are always willing to put our trust into someone we know and has proven their capability time and again.

Continue reading “The Benefits of Familiarity”

Running the Extra Mile

How Sky Bird Provides the Best Customer Service

Travel Agent: I booked my customer’s flight through you and they are experiencing a problem with a cancelled flight.

Other Airfare Consolidators: We can’t help you with that. You’ll have to  call the airline.

Um, no. At Sky Bird, we do things differently. We are committed to going the extra mile for our customers. A happy traveler is a repeat customer for you. We are more than happy to go out of our way to support you and your clients from the moment you book the flight until they return home.

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So, You Decided to Become a Travel Agent. Now What?

Now, on to the next step – accreditation. You’re probably overwhelmed with all the unfamiliar acronyms and terminology, like CLIA, ARC, IATA, TRUE, etc. It’s like learning a foreign language. This article will help you understand the nuances among some of the most common accreditation organizations and hopefully help you decide which one(s) are right for you.

How to become a CERTIFIED travel agent.

Let’s start with the basics. Continue reading “So, You Decided to Become a Travel Agent. Now What?”

10 Ways to Fail as a Travel Agent

One of the best tools for success is learning from other’s mistakes. There are hundreds of success stories or articles about “how to be a travel agent.” But what about the travel agents who fail? Why do some agents flourish and others flop?

We asked industry experts what they have observed working with agents throughout the past 40 years. Here is what they had to say:
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How To Answer “Are Travel Agents Still Relevant?”

You’ve probably read the articles. They shout “Travel Agents Are Relevant Again!” and it makes you feel good thinking that customers who once sought the ease of OTAs will come knocking on your door.

Are travel agents relevant though? Continue reading “How To Answer “Are Travel Agents Still Relevant?””

Around the World: Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple

Around the World: Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple

This temple was first constructed in the 1870s to shelter disciples of Aluthgama Sangharatne who had gathered to hear his sermons. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the temple had buildings added on, including stupas. These stupas house relics of historical and religious significance. Buddhism is the main religion on the island and this place offers a look into its deeply rooted history without the large crowds.

Buddhism on Sri Lanka

Buddhism first came to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BCE. From the 5th – 11th centuries, the religion flourished. However, in the 11th century, warfare with neighboring kingdoms caused the rapid decline of followers and it nearly died out until Burmese monks arrived with texts to rekindle Buddhism and ordain more monks.

From the 16th century onward, Christian missionaries from Europe have tried to convert citizens to Christianity. However, in the 19th century a Buddhist revival became the unexpected outcome of their proselytizing. Some Europeans even converted to Buddhism at the result of the movement.

Today, Buddhism remains the dominant religion of the island nation with over 70% of citizens following Buddhism. There are currently over 6,000 monasteries and 15,000 monks currently. Interestingly, Sri Lanka is the site of a large number of ordinations for women wishing to become Buddhist nuns.

Aluthgama Sangharatne: Buddhist monk

In 1873, the monk Aluthgama Sangharatne came to a nearby hermitage, or religious settlement. Aluthgama sought alms, or offerings, from the villagers and in return he lectured and gave sermons on Buddhism. A wealthy resident of the nearby village was impressed with him and decided to become is benefactor.

Originally, a small hall was constructed so that sermons could be conducted indoors. However, the monk began to draw larger and larger crowds and so expansions were undertaken, including living space for more monks to reside within the temple.

How to Get There:
Asokaramaya Temple is only 13 minutes south of central Colombo by car. Walking the 5.3 km is also an option and takes about an hour.  For flying to Sri Lanka, we’re partnered with over 90 airlines, so no matter their city of departure, we can get your clients there. As a top airfare consolidator, Sky Bird Travel has the lowest net fares to Sri Lanka. Call or email us today to get started!

Are your clients looking for something off the beaten path? Are they not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

Around the World: Vedanthangal Lake Bird Sanctuary

Around the World: Vedanthangal Lake Bird Sanctuary
Chennai, India

Get in touch with nature and do some bird watching at this sanctuary – the oldest water one for water birds in the country. Due to the small lakes, this region was naturally a very popular spot with avian creatures. The government recognized the need to protect this natural area and established the sanctuary in 1858.

Birds of Vedanthangal
Over 40,000 bird species, including 26 rare species, make their nests here. Many of these species come from other parts of the globe during the migratory season.

Birds commonly found within the sanctuary include cormorants, large egrets, little egrets, night herons, painted storks, pond herons, sandpipers, shovellers, and white ibises.

The migratory birds demonstrate the great distance that some species will go during their migratory cycles. These birds include teals from Canada, snake birds from Sri Lanka, grey pelicans from Australia, storks from Siberia, and ducks from Myanmar.

Activities
Obviously, the most popular activity in this park is bird watching and listening to the beautiful calls of the birds. However, hiking, walking, and picnics by the lake are also great activities during your visit to the sanctuary.

HOW TO GET THERE
Two different routes are accessible by car, but the Coastal Road from Chennai will afford travelers an exquisite view of the Indian Ocean along the way. To book a flight to Chennai, trust Sky Bird Travel & Tours. We’re partnered with over 90 airlines, so no matter their city of departure, we can get your clients there. As a top airfare consolidator, Sky Bird Travel has the lowest net fares to the India. Call or email us today to get started!

Are your clients looking for something off the beaten path? Are they not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

Around the World: Nanxun Old Town

Around the World: Nanxun Old Town

Shanghai, China

This is one of the most well-preserved cultural heritage sites. Get a glimpse of ancient village life, including travel by canals. Originally called Xunxi in the 9th century, it was renamed Nanxun in the 13th century. 15 old bridges still remain from the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. The layout of traditional streets has been preserved. One of the best known sites is the Little Lotus Garden, built by three generations of the Liu Yong family over 40 years. As the name suggests, this area of the garden features a lotus pool that covers 5,400 square feet.

A THRIVING ECONOMY

This town was important to the distribution of farm and other products by water. As time went on, it became one of the first entrepreneurial regions south of the Yangtze River. Production of silkworm and silk reels flourished as the silk trade developed. Shanghai may be known for its modern lights and skyscrapers, but this is the place to go to see traditional Chinese life.

HOW TO GET THERE

Nanxun Old Town is located 119 km southwest of Shanghai. By car, that’s about 1 hr. 40 min. away and is pretty much a straight shot along two major highways. For flights to China, trust Sky Bird Travel & Tours. We’re partnered with over 90 airlines, so no matter their city of departure, we can get your clients there. As a top airfare consolidator, Sky Bird Travel has the lowest net fares to China. Call or email us today to get started!

Are your clients looking for something off the beaten path? Are they not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

Photo Credit:

By The original uploader was TIY at Chinese Wikipedia – Transferred from zh.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3498363

Selling Skiing on the Summer Solstice

Die-hard skiers and snowboarders are always looking for bragging rights when it comes to hitting the slopes. It’s hard to brag about skiing when summer arrives and ski-able snow is practically non-existent in the continental United States.

If you have booked ski trips in the past, get in touch with those customers and tell them about where they can ski and snowboard in the summertime. Continue reading “Selling Skiing on the Summer Solstice”