Carlos Melia Interview for Travel Agent Magazine

Carlos Melia at Travel Agent Magazine |  New York City, United States |  This is an sneak-peek Video Q&A with Joseph Pike – Senior Editor at Travel Agent Magazine, of my full extense interview on “Gay Travel” to come out and be featured on the April printed issue of Travel Agent Magazine in the United States.

Travel Agent Magazine and Travel Agent Central (web version) are the leading publication serving travel professionals and has been the established leader in the travel trade for almost a century. By keeping in touch with agent needs, and boasting the largest circulation of any trade magazine, Travel Agent has consistently evolved and led the way for readers and marketers alike. Publishing every two weeks in print, supplemented with substantial daily, and weekly online delivery of news, supplier profiles, destination guides, marketing/sales programs, and educational material, Travel Agent’s portfolio of print and online products provide agents the tools in ways agents can use to sell more travel, more effectively. CM

Travel Agent or NOT Travel Agent that is the question

Travel Agent or NOT Travel Agent that is the question |  How does your brain work when you have to travel for work or decide to set away on holidays and book your flights, hotels, tour packages etc. ? Most of the gay travelers, nowadays, specially in the range of +/- 35 years old, find themselves booking online. They spend incalculable amount of hours researching online, trying to pick the brains of every single well travelled friend, not to mention if they happen to have a fellow travel agent in their close circle of friends… and then, in the end they book online.!!! Thinking HELL YES I made it, I got the best deal, and if not who cares, most of the online sites nowadays would send me a check, if someone books the same flight or hotel at a lower rate. Yeah right. !!!! don’t wait for too long next to the mailbox. Gays are very savvy travelers, I have to give you that, but nothing can compare or match the experience of an Old School / Well Traveled / Specialized Travel Agent (aka. ME – Carlos Melia ) ha ha ha.
I have recently joined the family of Virtuoso®, becoming part of an ELITE, and one of the few openly gay Virtuoso Travel Agents in the world. For those not familiar with organization, Virtuoso® is a network of the world’s finest travel agencies with knowledgeable advisors who draw upon first-hand experience to craft the perfect vacation for you. Virtuoso affiliated travel advisors have global connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies, restaurants and concierges. For you, this means access to exclusive travel offers that you can’t get on your own, along with your best value for the money. That’s the Virtuoso difference.
On the last issue of the magazine Virtuoso Insights (February/March 2011), they published a very interesting article that I want to share with all of you. The article was titled VIRTUOSO ADVANTAGE, and basically outlines the reasons by relaying on a Virtuoso Travel Advisor for your vacation planning makes A REAL DIFFERENCE in the way your experience travel. The case of study consisted on DO IT YOURSELF vs. VIRTUOSO Travel Advisor: They gave a budget of USD 4000 each to plan a three-night to the Big Apple, centered on a Broadway show. They compared the shocking final results, showing that while booking the exact same services, the Virtuoso Travel Advisor performance came with:
(1). Savings over the final Grand Total of USD 400
(2). The booking through the Virtuoso Travel Advisor took 30 minutes in total, while Do it Yourself spent over 7,5 hours.
(3). The Virtuoso Travel Advisor got extra amenities and room upgrades at no cost.
(4). The Virtuoso Travel Advisor added extra services to the package, like Transfers without adding extra to the final cost.
…among many other benefits and perks, that I invite you to check on your own reading the article (click on the image below)

So now you know, next time you plan to travel, think twice and give your travel agent the chance to show you, that not for nothing we think, breath, dream Travel and spent 8 hours a day, 5 times a week talking to vendors, hotels, airlines, tour companies… so we know what we are talking about. In the end do you know what the BIG Truth is…? most airlines, hotels are trying to cut distribution costs reaching out directly to customers, this way charging you the exact same price keeping to their own pockets that 10 – 15% Commission they are supposed to pay to Travel Agents. So Travel Agent or NOT Travel Agent, That is the question. Trust me they wont share that candy with you. Thank God, there are still out there many hotels and other travel related businesses willing to work with us, and offer exclusive benefits for our clients to reward their loyalty. CM

Carlos Melia to speak at Worldview Travel Symposium

Carlos Melia to speak at Worldview Travel Symposium ( January 2011, Los Angeles, US ) Worldview Travel (one of the most prestigious Travel Agencies, with over 11 location within the United States ), member of Virtuoso will have its Annual Symposium (January 14 – 16) in the city of Los Angeles. I, Carlos Melia have been invited to talk about my own experience of starting and running my own Travel Blog. ( Carlos Melia Blog – www.CarlosMeliaBlog.com ).
Carlos, at the Worldview Symposium, there will be various presentations by Worldview staff and agents about various topics….would you be willing to talk about your experiences / success with starting and running your own travel blog? For about 15 – 20 minutes? Please? I think everyone would find this to be very interesting…. Mary Kleen ( Office Manager – Pisa Brothers Travel Services ).

CM by Carlos Melia rocks New York City

CM by Carlos Melia rocks New York City • It is official NOW…. I am a NEW TENANT at the Rockefeller Center Building.  CM by Carlos Melia brand new headquarters in New York City @ Rockefeller Center – 630 Fifth Av. Suite 2207.

Been in this business for over 20 years working for major airlines, hotels, travel agencies among other travel related services worldwide. For the last 10 years been working for/with the GLBT Community successfully promoting INBOUD travel to Argentina and Uruguay and I felt that it was time to grow. On my search to spread my wings and offer new options to my loyal clientele I have decided to take the challenge of CHANGE. !!!!! Change that will mean new destinations, more reviews on hotel and restaurants…. and much much more, but now based in New York City. !!!
I will continue with the usual Tailor Made Travel Services to Buenos Aires, rest of Argentina, Uruguay and New York City that most of you already know me for. But on top of that…. I have teamed up with Pisa Brothers Travel Services (with a presence of 11 offices all over the United States) a well renown and stablished New York based Tour Operator, member of the VIRTUOSO Network from where I will be offering the same personalized services you are already used to, but on a more diversified range of destinations for us all to explore. (so if you need Flights, Hotel Bookings, Tours, a Wedding Planner, you name it …. across the world… feel free to reach out. )
The second project I am working on is Your own Virtual Office and Agent in New York city. How does this work.?  If you are a small or mid size Hotel, Short Term Apartment Rental, Tour Operator, Destination, Restaurant or other Travel related service/product, and wish to have a permanent presence at the Big Apple, but you cannot afford it.? Contact ME now. I can help you with Marketing, Press, Public Relations, Promotions, Events, Sale Calls… and much more. Your own office, presence and agent right where you have to be. If you can’t make it here, you can’t make it anywhere. !!! My native tongue is Gay, but I am fluent in Straight… so everyone is Welcome.!!!

CM by Carlos Melia • www.carlosmelia.com • www.carlosmeliablog.com |  Carlos Melia | Gay Travel Consultant  | South America Travel Specialist. Tel. (212) 399.6161. Cell. (347) 944.0026. Toll Free 800.729.7472 ext. 205. Fax. (212) 265.8753. Twitter / Facebook / Skype carlosmelia