Dear Colleagues
& Friends

The Rearview Mirror

Where in the World

Making the Most of Mud

Signs of the Times

March Madness Special
Travel Packaging

Volume: 7 Issue No: 1

Dear Colleagues & Friends:

Over the past month I have been grounded following some eye surgery in mid-February. While recovering however, I have been doing a fair amount of smiling and dialing speaking with Industry colleagues and friends. In addition, since I am not sucking in jet fumes and collecting frequent flyer miles, it has given me an opportunity to focus on business and the future. I have been working on a new product for travel suppliers and DMOs to assist in unlocking the business cycles and channels of the Leisure Travel distribution outlets, stay tuned!

Given the economic challenges and uncertainty that has been looming in both the financial and consumer markets, focus is a very timely topic.

Regardless of your business, everyone needs to re-evaluate and assess past assumptions and the upcoming season (based on the current market). Without a doubt, I can predict will be very different than what many marketers anticipated when planning 2008 products, pricing and promotional strategies last year.

To take a page out of one of my favorite shows, Project Runway, "It's time to hit the runway" - that is, to innovate and adjust to the realities of the upcoming season.

Create the time you need to work "ON" your business. Provide new products and promotions for the important market segments of your business. Evaluate and adjust as you learn how the consumer value equation continues to change.

Strap yourself in, and keep looking in the rearview mirror, because what's affecting consumers is closer than you might think.


Joe Veneto
The Opportunity Guy

The Rearview Mirror

Last October, while attending the annual TIA Outlook Forum in Charlotte, North Carolina, something was missing. After listening in on two full days of sessions with senior executives in the Travel Industry, I realized the Outlook was missing from the Forum.

At the same time, news media, financial markets and on-line Web sites were reporting ripples, bumps and possible bubbles in the economic outlook.

At the Forum, most marketers were looking back at a season that was relatively strong and congratulating themselves. At the same time, it seemed they were planning for a repeat of 2007's prosperity!

Fast forward five months, and a decidedly different picture has emerged. The banking crisis, sub-prime mortgages, inflation, oil prices and consumer confidence have created a perfect storm. I am convinced those same marketers at the Forum are now wondering or worrying about what the season ahead will hold. It is also safe to work from the premise it will not be a vacation season similar to what we have seen during the past few years.

Read the entire article >

Signs of the Times

Recently, Embassy Suites Hotels announced the five winning slogans from their "Do Not Disturb" contest. Guests at Embassy Suites properties were invited to submit their most creative ideas to make over the hotel's Do Not Disturb signs.

The winners were awarded a free three-night stay at select Embassy Suite destinations, and the five winning signs will be displayed on signs throughout the chain.

The winners:

  • "Pillow Fight in Progress" - Susan Suarez - University City, MO
  • "There Are Days When I Wish I Could Wear This Around My Neck" - Sandra Parcher - Milpitas, CA
  • "I've Built a Pillow Fort and I Am Not Opening the Door for Anybody" - Amy Forgette - Streamwood, IL
  • "Aww, Mom. Just Five More Minutes. Please?" - Brian White - Chicago, IL

The grand prize, awarded to Marty Mintman from St. Louis, MO - "Shh! I'm Hatching a Plan to Bust Some Little Soaps Out of Here."

This promotion is certainly an interesting way to attract CGC - Consumer Generated Content - and engage customers.

Special Offer--The Travel Packaging System

  • Increase your revenues & profits
  • Provide options to differentiate your offerings
  • Extend visitor stays
  • Turn "ON" Off and Shoulder Seasons
  • Take you out of the price and commodity game

The system includes:

  • Easy-to-use content for the first timer or experienced travel packager
  • Turn-key templates for designing, pricing and administering packages
  • Planning tools for packaging strategy, marketing and distribution channels
  • Insights into package trends, models and possibilities
  • Proven techniques to drive visitation, revenue and profits
  • Comprehensive appendix and listing of Industry resources and distribution channels
  • Unique 'Step-by-Step' and 'Into Action' exercises to quickly apply concepts to your business

The System retails for $599. For a limited time, subscribers to Passport to Opportunity may purchase a copy for the March Madness special of $499, including shipping (regularly $25 - $35). In addition, the first 10 people who purchase the System will receive a complimentary one-hour package consultation via telephone with The Opportunity Guy.

Go to for additional information, to download content and to purchase your copy. Your promotional code is MADNESS308

Don't delay - offer ends March 31, 2008!

Opportunities Unlimited
P.O. Box 69-2359
Quincy, MA 02269
Phone: 617-786-9096 Fax: 617-786-1081

Opportunities Unlimited© 2006

Refer a Friend: Send Passport to Opportunity


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The Power Of Travel
Packaging System

Learn More...

Making the Most of Mud

During the past three years, the New England Inns & Resorts Association has initiated a popular packaging promotion by creating "Dirty Experiences" during New England's fifth season - "Mud Season".

Member Inns and Resorts have developed packages that have some connection to Mud. The season, which runs from March to mid-May, when ice from the mountains melts to create a muddy playground, has typically been a shoulder season.

"In the Mood for Mud" packages have generated amazing PR buzz, together with the creative package development of the Association's members. Go to New England Inns And Resorts for more information.

  • Sample packages include:
  • Here's Mud in Your Eye
  • Get Dirty & Sticky - Vermont's Mud & Maple Package
  • Mud-a-Ling Along packages
  • Muddy Tracks
  • March Mudness

This is a perfect promotional look to attract consumers in a fun, off beat way.