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and Travel Agents in the news

 

November 10, 2017 | CNN

 

5 places to visit in December

Michelle Weller, vice president of sales at Luxury Tour Cruises, has a Bavarian suggestion.

"Nuremberg is a Christmas market in a fairy tale old town," Weller says. Tourists can "soak up the beautiful lights in front of the Gothic church, buy a little replica ceramic Bavarian cottage and end up drinking hot red wine at the Gothic fountain."

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November 6, 2017 | Travel Market Report

 

European Destinations Cope with Overtourism

Michelle Weller with Travel Leaders, however, said she doesn’t see it affect her business. “I don’t see people asking about it, and I haven’t seen a lot of the trips cross paths [with those destinations].”

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November 1, 2017 | Travel Weekly

 

Agents report wariness about Barcelona, but not high anxiety​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Michelle Weller, vice president of sales at a Travel Leaders agency in Houston, said no one has canceled or "raised a big, red flag." The agency has a group of 25 headed to Barcelona this month, but they don't plan to cancel or change their itinerary.

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October 27, 2017 | Chicago Tribune

 

Spending: Hire a pro to plan your trip​​​​​​​

For example, Michelle Weller, an agent in Houston, once set up a client and his friend with a private English-speaking guide to revisit where they served in Vietnam.

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September 3, 2017 | Travel Pulse

 

Which Big US Cities are the Most Kid-Friendly?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

“Of course Orlando is a huge kid-friendly city with everything from beaches to Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios,” said Michelle Weller, Travel Leaders in Houston, Texas.

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August 7, 2017 | USA Today

 

What to do when travel insurance doesn't work​​​​​​​

"I've never heard of insurance that did not work as advertised," says veteran travel agent Michelle Weller, who works for Travel Leaders in Houston. "But I have noticed some people do not read the fine print."

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July 17, 2017 | Travel Weekly

 

Marriott and Starwood loyalists stay true post-merger​​​​​​​

"People have their preferences," said Michelle Weller, COO for Travel Leaders in Houston. Weller, a self-described "Starwood girl," estimated that 70% of her office's bookings are corporate, and, "I rarely find people who cross over."

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Dec 8, 2016 | Forbes

 

Top Travel Agents Reveal What's Hot In Luxury Travel For 2017​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Michelle Weller, Travel Leaders, Houston, Texas

“We are seeing more people heading back to Europe, especially Danube river cruises. Others are taking advantage of some of the unbelievable early 2017 rates in France.  Ireland continues to be really big with requests for castle stays. The biggest breakout is New Zealand.  Our bookings to New Zealand have tripled in 2017.”

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February 18, 2015 | LA Times

 

Eclipse chasers still can find a spot on a cruise to Micronesia to catch a total solar eclipse next year.
What would you give to see 4 minutes and 7 seconds of totality during a solar eclipse?

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February 5, 2015 | Travel Pulse

Agents Say Strong U.S. Dollar Is Further Boosting Already Robust Europe Bookings
Michelle Weller of Travel Leaders in Houston told a similar story. "My phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting to go to Europe and wanting to go by April," she said… 

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Dec 14, 2014 | Houston Chronicle

Houston ready to be a gateway to Havana
"There’s a lot of fascination with Cuba," said Michelle Weller, a travel agent with Travel Leaders in Houston. "It’s human nature to want to explore that final frontier. … If Cuba opens for American tourism, it’s going to be great for Houston."…

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October 19, 2014 | Fox Morning Show

Holiday Travel Deals Still up for grabs

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July 1, 2014 | Fox Morning Show

Relaxing travel options to escape the stress of long Houston-area work weeks

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June 19, 2014 | Fox Houston Morning Show

Interview on Traveling with children with Melissa Wilson

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June 19, 2014 | Fox Morning Show

First Time Cruisers Tips
How to plan before you cruise…

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June 10, 2014 | Fox Evening News

Hit Movie Frozen Inspires Family To Tour Norway
THE DISNEY HIT MOVIE, FROZEN, IS DRIVING UP TOURISM IN NORWAY! BELIEVE IT OR NOT HOTEL BOOKINGS ARE UP 37%…

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May 25, 2014 | Travel Weekly Magazine

All-inclusives a big enticement for visitors, agents say
In Houston, Michelle Weller, director of operations for Travel Leaders there, described Punta Cana as "hot." …

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May 19, 2014 | Fox Houston Morning Show

Interview on Affordable Vacations with Jose Grinan

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May 19, 2014 | Fox Morning Show

Summer Road Trips
Ideas for Summer Family Roadtrips…

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April 7, 2014 | Travel Agent Central

Summer Travel Tips
" Michelle Weller, franchise owner, Travel Leaders of Houston, TX, starts out by using exclusive franchise offers to try and entice her family clients to upgrade to a balcony cabin. In the process, the clients typically receive onboard credits or other perks.

But what if that doesn’t work? "If the Travel Leaders exclusives are not available on a particular sailing we usually walk people into our office supplies’ closet and show them how claustrophobic an inside cabin would be," Weller says, noting their closet is approximately the same size as an inside cabin. "We say, ‘For $300 more per person, wouldn’t you rather have a balcony?’ That usually does the trick"…

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April 7, 2014 | Travel Agent Magazine

Globus People to People Exchange Cuba
"Michelle Weller (Houston, TX) with a driver of the cab from the 50′s just outside El Floridita, Ernest Hemingway’s favorite Havana Bar"… 

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March 26, 2014 | Travel Agent West Magazine

Travel Leaders Host Globus Cuba Experience
"Bonnie Lee (Travel Leaders, Albertville, MN), Michelle Weller (Travel Leaders, Houston, TX) and Sondra Wilson (Travel Leaders, Richland, WA) celebrate after the Travel Leaders banquet dinner at Villa du Pont"…

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March 14, 2014 | Fox Business News

United to Debut Personal In-Flight Entertainment for iOS Users
"Michelle Weller from Houston’s Travel Leaders location at 1085 Hercules was among a highly select group of only 50 Travel Leaders nationally who have just returned from an exclusive Globus Cuba Experience to Havana and beyond"…    

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March 9, 2014 | Houston Style Magazine

Houston’s Travel Leaders Agent among those Invited to Join Exclusive Group Traveling to Cuba as Part of "People to People Educational Exchange"
"Michelle Weller, owner of Travel Leaders in Houston, says the agency added the ability for its clients to pre-pay for WiFi a year ago and found it was a big hit, so she expects many travelers will likely enjoy United’s added option"…          

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January 21, 2014 | Channel 2 CBS Houston

New terror video doesn’t detour Houstonians’ Olympic plans
"Weller said bookings are down compared with the Summer Olympics in London, but traveling to Russia is more difficult. Her clients who did book the trip aren’t average travelers"…       

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January 13, 2014 | Travel Weekly

Carriers, agents scramble as winter storm cripples air travel
"Michelle Weller, Travel Leaders, Houston, had multiple storm stories. One agent logged in to Worldspan on her iPad to get a stranded client on the next flight home. Weller said she used SafetoGo software, which alerts agents to canceled flights affecting clients trying to make connections. The alerts often enabled agents to book clients on an alternate flight before they had even landed."…       

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January 11, 2014 | Houston Chronicle

Cuba emerges as tourism’s ‘next big thing’
"As legal travel to Cuba begins to gain traction, travel agencies are poised to benefit. Several major vendors already have created packages for Cuba in anticipation of piquing interest this year and next, said Michelle Weller, a Travel Leaders spokeswoman in Houston"…       

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January 3, 2014 | USA Today

Where to find the best cruise deals for 2014
"Michelle Weller, vice president of sales and customer support for Travel Leaders in Houston, said that the best deals are available during the first two months of the year"…        

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January 2, 2014 | USA Today

Peak-season European river cruises mostly sold out
"Michelle Weller, vice president of sales and customer support for Travel Leaders in Houston, agreed.
"European River cruises are by far the most popular (cruises)," she said. "Most are sold out for 2014, but there are a few good itineraries left. If a river cruise is something [travelers] are interested in, they should book now"…       

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December 28, 2013 | Houston Chronicle

Forecast says Houstonians have yen to travel in 2014
"People are spending money on vacations right now," said Michelle Weller, a Travel Leaders spokeswoman in Houston. "They are tired of staying home and are now saying, ‘Let’s go on a trip.’…      

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December 26, 2013 | Houston Biz Journal

Flocking to Florida and Italy: Houstonians’ top travel choices for 2014
"Local bookings for Disney World were aided by special discounts offered by the resort in the first quarter, Michelle Weller, vice president of sales for Travel Leaders Houston, said in a statement…      

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December 9, 2013 | Recommend Magazine

Mexico 2013
"Our biggest destinations in Mexico this past year have been Cancun and Cabo San Lucas, but we also saw good numbers to Cozumel and Ixtapa," says director of operations, Michelle Weller, a Travel Leaders franchise in Houston, TX…             

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November 26, 2013 | Bay Area Citizen

Area travel agent recognized at national convention
The Clear Lake business community has added another national citation to its list.

Last month, the Travel Leaders National Meeting in Atlanta recognized its Houston location in Clear Lake…   

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October 23, 2013 | ABC TV Houston News

Holiday travelers will pay more for flights
"Michelle Weller with Travel Leaders said, "We have really noticed a big increase in air fares this year. They went up all across the board"…     

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September 11, 2013 | Wall Street Journal Market Watch

Room service in 2013: A bag of groceries

Will grocery delivery replace room service anytime soon? Probably not, says Michelle Weller, the vice president of sales and customer support for one oftravel agency Travel Leaders Houston franchises — especially in high-end hotels where guests expect that kind of service…        

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September 1, 2013  |  Wall Street Journal Market Watch

Airlines offer no crying sections

Many travel experts and consumers say there is demand for "child-free" zones. "Most Americans are used to being able to buy certain kinds of seats," says Michelle Weller, the vice president of sales and customer support for travel agency Travel Leaders in Houston. "Some would pay extra for child-free areas…       

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August 21, 2013 | Our Houston News

Travel Leaders Agent Diego Quintanilla Honored Nationally as One of "Travel Agent" Magazine's '30 Under 30'...  

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May 28, 2013 | Travel Weekly

All signs point to near record summer for travel

He added that demand for river cruising is "exceeding expectations," an observation echoed by Michelle Weller, vice president of sales and customer service for Travel Leaders in Houston. "Europe became the hot spot in the past month, especially Viking river cruises, which now are sold out," Weller said. "We have people begging for river cruises in Europe. I’ve got tons of bookings for Europe packages, too, with Paris, London, Italy and the Mediterranean topping the list…"        

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November 15, 2012 | KHOU ABC News

Super Bowl travel packages already selling fast.

After every team win, Texans start calling travel agencies. Michelle Weller with Travel Leaders said, "They are calling about, ‘What are the Super bowl packages?  Can we get anything now?’  And everything is practically sold out."  Weller says even now, getting a room in New Orleans during the Super Bowl weekend will not be cheap, no matter who your favorite team is…      

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October 12, 2012 | KHOU ABC News

Holiday travelers will pay more for flights.

Michelle Weller with Travel Leaders said, "We have really noticed a big increase in air fares this year. They went up all across the board."

Weller says the increase in airfare does not include any fees the airlines have...      

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September 18, 2012 | KHOU ABC News

Spirit Airlines giving away free miles…

That’s why travel agent Michelle Weller says before you buy a ticket on Spirit know what you are getting beforehand.  "If you get a $69 round trip ticket you can’t really expect the world," she said.  "They charge you for carry ons.  That’s not uncommon to start charging for bags and all kinds of upgrades…"  

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