Thursday, August 29, 2013

Who Do You Think We Are? - Lessons in Marketing On the Receiving End

Let's not kid ourselves - although there have been cases whereby we actually do try to pretend or acted out in some situations as if we are in control, in-the-know, or totally au fait with everything surrounding us - we actually don't.

In life we may not know about everything that surrounds us, nor can we therefore assume that others don't. There could be things or situations that we thought could be beneficial for own self-interest that others may be in the dark about, but the flip side is that are we so sure?

Selling Widgets to the Widget Manufacturer
We are in the travel business. So who is better to know more about travel or travel marketing than us? I have always receive cold calls from highly enthusiastic sales persons, pitching anything from postcard printing, web SEOs, to some strange but cute giveaway items that our guests are "supposed" to be thrilled to receive - or maybe not... While I understand that everyone is trying their best to make a good living during tough times, the last straw to test the tolerance for basic conversational courtesy without sounding abrupt and ruthless is selling me the idea through a cold phone pitch that I can get a better travel deal from what I could find through my own resource. "We are the official travel hotel agent for the XYZ Travel Show that we understand that you are registered as an exhibitor!" The caller quipped, "And we have the best hotel rate for this hotel that every exhibitor now stays in..." -- Really (on two counts)? Couldn't be bothered to verify the first, but so-called "best rate" or "exclusive rate" happened to be about $15 more expensive than what I could have gotten from a popular consumer hotel booking web site, (and they couldn't tell me off hand whether hotel taxes were included in their price - whereas the cheaper web price was all-inclusive)..... Maybe they shouldn't be marketing hotel accommodation with such blatant puffery to a travel company like us huh?

"Does it Make Sense?" Sales Pitch
We will certainly enjoy learning something new and interesting in every conversation especially in a sales pitch. Many times it is hard to say no when the product or service is something that you are looking for in your line of work. Still the greatest turn-off is to hear condescending words that punctuate at the end of every sentence of presumed wisdom in any pitch. It is almost like saying, "The knife is sharp, and therefore it will cut the bread into two... Does it make sense?" Am I being coerced to agree with the speaker so that the speaker will gain victory with such concurrence on his side in order and then, I would then be cornered into buying idea at end of the pitch? I think not when "Does It Make Sense?" became a matter of verbal mannerism that results in a complete redundancy and stupidity for the listener. Does it make a sale? Definitely NOT for me. I would be tuned off and would just tell the speaker pitching for a sale to step down from his perceived know-it-all higher soap box during his exit.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

News for new bookings with effect from September 1, 2013



Recognizing that unforeseen circumstances sometimes can occur while on vacation, Ritz Tours now has travel insurance coverage through Travel Guard®, which covers our guests at no additional charge, for new bookings on our regular vacation programs*.

The insurance coverage may vary according to type and value of tours booked. The insurance plan will provide coverage for trip interruption or trip cancellation, trip delay, baggage delay and loss, medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, accidental death and dismemberment, and travel medical assistance.

Remember to pack the travel insurance for your once-in-a-lifetime journey simply by booking with Ritz Tours.

*Regular vacation programs exclude city packages, special tour promotions and web promotional tour packages.

This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer or insurance agent or broker. Coverage is offered by Travel Guard Group, Inc. (Travel Guard®). California lic. No. 0B93606, 3300 Business Park Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54482, CA DOI toll free number: 213-897-8921. This is only a brief description of the coverages available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Insurance underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania insurance company, with its principal place of business at 175 Water Street, 18th Floor, New York 10038. It is currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. NAIC No. 19445. Coverage may not be available in all states. Your travel retailer may not be licensed to sell insurance, and cannot answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shopping can be fun..... Only if they are all on the level

Ritz Tours is dedicated to enhance our guests' quality and memorable time in all our vacation packages

This is especially so with our China vacation programs where many visitors to China enjoy the pleasure of shopping for souvenirs and unique mementos in the different cities of China. 

It is unfortunate that there has been dubious cheap tours packages being sold in the market today that encompass deliberate subsidies from shopping establishments in order to guarantee tourists' visits at such places in China. These tours being marketed with what first seemed to be amazing prices or with purported huge discounts referencing a doctored web site of inflated "original" prices, are actually fleecing traps for unsuspecting buyers. In these cases, buyers beware and be aware!

We consider that any shopping experience in China can only be most gratifying with informed judgement, one's advance purchase research, and fair merchants' participation. Still there may be guests who may not have the affinity towards shopping and may prefer to be excluded from this activity. Ritz Tours has developed a Shopping Policy for our China programs specifically to appease individual guests through a published merchandise return policy and an option for participation in non-mandatory shopping excursions.


  • Guests will have the choice of whether to participate on shopping. No shopping stops will be considered as compulsory during our tours and guests are not obligated to make any purchase during rest or lunch stop that may include retail shopping opportunities;
  • For guests who may be interested in shopping activities, shopping excursions will only be arranged at the end of all scheduled sightseeing trips or during free days. There will not be more than one arranged shopping activity in each hosting city. Guests who do not wish to participate in such activity may be transported back to their hotels to rest or to be at their own leisure;
  • The following pre-designated and selected stores have been verified by Ritz Tours as credible retailers that may provide our guests with bona fide and appropriate shopping experiences in China:
  •         -Beijing: Beijing Golden Palace Enamel Factory
  •         -Xian: Xian Imperial Fine Arts Center
  •         -Shanghai: Shanghai Waima Wharf Silk Museum or Jiangnan Silk Boutique Museum
  •         -Guilin: Guilin Tea Science & Research Institute
  • Only purchases made at these stores will be covered by guaranteed refunds from the merchants;
  • In order to obtain a no-question-asked guaranteed refund, our guests may return their purchases in unused condition and in original packaging together with original receipts to our accompanying tour manager or guide before departure from China. Our staff will provide a copy of receipt for reference and will process the refund on the guests’ behalf with the respective merchants listed above. Alternatively, our guests may return the merchandise with receipt within 14 days upon their return to their country of residence for a full refund. In the latter case, it will be the responsibility of the guests to mail the merchandise in unused condition and in orginal packaging to the respective merchants and to ensure their receipt. Proofs of delivery and receipt, and appropriate postal insurance are recommended. In both instances full refund will be typically issued within 2 weeks after the receipt of merchandise; and
  • Ritz Tours only acts as a facilitator to assist our guests in the case of a refund. It is in no way endorsing the value and authenticity of any merchandise sold in any store. All guests are advised to execute informed judgment in deciding to make any form of shopping purchase during the tour in order to ensure an immaculate travel experience.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Plan Your 2014 Vacations Ahead - Save Up To $1,000 For Two

Journey The World With Us - if your vacation plans in 2014 include Europe, Asia, Africa or the Middle East, you can take advantage of the early booking discounts now by calling 1-888-345-7489 and save big!

This is the best time of the year for travelers to plan early and save with confirmed 2014 vacation departures and itineraries - up to $1,000 off the 2014 regular tour prices*:

China Premiere Series 
Book and pay deposit by 10/31/2013 to receive up to $1000 discount per couple!
The European Adventure
Book and pay deposit by 10/31/2013 to receive up to $400 discount per couple!

China Deluxe Series
Book and pay deposit by 10/31/2013 to receive up to $600 discount per couple!

Africa Series
Book and pay deposit by 12/20/2013 to receive up to $300 discount per couple!

Asia Series
Book and pay deposit by 10/31/2013 to receive up to $400 discount per couple!

Egypt, India & Dubai Series
Book and pay deposit by 12/20/2013 to receive up to $300 discount per couple!

* Early booking discounts listed vary according to tours booked and apply to new 2014 tour bookings only. Discounts not applicable to private group arrangements.

Check out our complete 2014 vacation itineraries and vacation values at our web site and call our vacation consultants at 1-888-345-7489 now to book in order to receive your early booking discounts.

If you want to receive our newly printed 2014 vacation brochure by postal mail, please CLICK HERE.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Visit The City Of Suzhou Free When You Book This Month

Visit The City Of Suzhou Free When You Book This Month

For all bookings from now till end of August and on select popular 2013 tour programs to China, Ritz Tours will include a free one-day city tour of Suzhou for guests.
The free one-day Suzhou tour that will bring visitors to the famed "Venice of the East" that is a short distance away from Shanghai. This tour will include local transportation and visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Humble Administrator's Garden, a tour of the popular silk factory where intricate silk and embroideries were once the most sought-after and valuable trading commodities in China, and a river ride along the ancient Grand Canal that still snakes north up to the capital city of Beijing.
For reservation and details, please contact Ritz Tours at 1-888-345-7489 or book online at