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Miranda Talbert

Passion: The Real Meaning of All-Inclusive

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The founders of Karisma’s El Dorado Spa Resorts and Hotels, Joe Martinez and Delores Lopez, believe that being a gourmet-inclusive resort means more than just providing the best guest experience possible.

Commitment to superior customer service and creating opportunities for growth have been at the heart of everything they have built from the founding of Lomas Travel in 1981, to the rise of El Dorado Spa Resorts and Hotels.

I would challenge anyone to find a poor review of any of their resorts.  The reason?  Passion.

Sr. Martinez and Sra. Lopez’s passion and dedication to their employees, guests, partners, the environment, and the future can be described as nothing less than all-inclusive.

Take for example the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Hotel occupancy dropped to 9% and management told Sr. Martinez that he risked potentially losing $9 million if he didn’t cut costs and layoff a sizable portion of is staff.

His response?  Not a single person was let go.

“When you have thousands of employees, you have a moral responsibility, a moral obligation, a duty to them,” he told Travel Weekly. “When times are good, they help you. When times are bad, they need you. So, we decided not to let anyone go. It’s about maintaining hope; That’s important.”

Additionally, Sr. Martinez and Sra. Lopez’s have received recognition for their commitment to the environment and preserving the beautiful coast of Mexico for future generations to enjoy.

Both Lomas Travel and El Dorado Spa Resorts and Hotels funded the construction of what will be the largest artificial reef in the world upon completion:  Kan-Kanán.  Its purpose is to reduce the impact of natural erosion and aid in the restoration and continuation of a marine ecosystem which includes thousands of species.

You can taste their passion for the environment…Literally.

One of their resorts, El Dorado Royale, is home to the largest sustainable greenhouse in the Yucatan.  It provides all of their resorts produce and herbs that are completely free of unnatural pesticides, which gives gourmet-inclusive a deeper meaning than just being delicious.

“Going green is not just a concept, or just a bunch of words…  Going green is developing high quality products, free of chemicals, and free of pollution,” said Sr. Martinez.

Additionally, El Dorado Spa Resorts and Hotels uses energy efficient lighting and air conditioning, solar panels, detergent-free laundry, and uses a water-filtration system which enables them to recycle 92% of their water for reuse.

The passion they have for the future goes beyond the planet, but also for educating and creating opportunities for Mexico and its children.

They have partnerships with local schools where children are brought to the El Dorado Royale Riviera Maya green house and are educated about the environment as well as various learning opportunities for its employees, such as English proficiency classes.

The passion that Sr. Martinez and Sra. Lopez have for excellence comes from being people-focused and a desire to make the future brighter.

With every turn they have focused on creating jobs for Mexico, supporting its culture, protecting the environment, and creating an atmosphere where travelers not only feel safe, but like family.

Creating a world-renowned brand like El Dorado Spa Resorts and Hotels by Karisma is something that is only achieved by having an all-inclusive passion; which is something Sr. Martinez and Sra. Dolores have weaved throughout the entire El Dorado experience.

Click here for more information on all of the El Dorado properties!
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Specialization: The Strategy that Could Revolutionize the Travel Industry

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For years, the travel industry has been dominated by this “We offer everything under the sun, with an extra dose of sunshine,” mentality.

Travel agents have been encouraged by their host travel agencies to fall in line with this mindset and sell everything from bottom-dollar weekend cruises, to top-of-the-line month-long getaways.  Which when you step back and look at this approach at a macro level, it is not only puzzling, it is simply poor business sense.

Go by any news stand and flip to the business section and you will find articles on the continuing decent of many industry-dominating big box stores.  While there are a number of reasons for this, including technological advances and changing consumer shopping preferences, one undoubtedly cannot deny that overlooking the benefits of specialization has been a contributing factor.

Big box stores including Sears, Kmart, and most recently Toys “R” Us have all faced bankruptcy partially due to a core business model failure and a refusal to adapt in the face of shifting market demands.

The core belief behind big box stores inherently revolves around one-stop-shopping.  Over time, and with ever-increasing purchasing options in the marketplace, generalization is a strategy that consumers are ever-increasingly less tolerant of.

A huge reason the marketplace is rejecting generalization boils down to one thing; customer service.

When a company offers an enormous variety of products, customer service inherently suffers due to the watered-down training that its employees receive in order to cover a mass amount of information in a relatively short on-boarding process.

A relatable example is the type of customer care one usually receives at Walmart.  While the options are endless, unless one goes in knowing exactly what they are looking for, one could get lost in a sea of choices with little to no guidance on finding the product that is right for them because it would be impossible for employees to have specialized knowledge ranging on everything from butter to bicycle pumps.

In short, “jack of all trades, master at none” can lead to undesirable customer retention rates.  Which is why it would be foolish for host travel agencies and their travel agents to believe that they would be excluded from the undeniable business truth that there is strength in specialization.

This paradigm shift from focusing on everything, to specializing in a few key areas has the potential to prove crucial for people seeking to sell travel in today’s market.

Specializing in one area such as a singular resort chain, or a specific type of vacation package has a number of benefits including smaller learning curves upon entry into the industry, a narrowed sales focus, and a higher perception of authority among prospective clients.

Typically, when someone becomes a travel agent their welcomed with a sea of informational material coming from a swarm resort chains and are expected to at least breeze over them.  And while some information will be retained, most will be lost.

This is a problem that travel industry veteran, Burt Kramer recognized and has sought to change in his latest venture Luxevo Vactions.  When he founded Luxevo Vacations, he structured the business to revolve around specialization and customer service, which has been a major factor in the development of the company’s culture.

Luxevo Vacations has gone as far as refusing to follow industry norms and call their representatives travel agents, but rather brand them as Travel Specialists.

“After spending over 15 years in the travel industry, we noticed that the travel agents who had a narrower focus on what they sold tended to do better.  They were more knowledgeable, made more sales, and their client were more loyal to them.  When we started Luxevo Vacations we wanted to set up our Travel Specialists for success by educating them, showing them the value of specialization, and providing them with the tools to be successful,” Burt told LXVN.

Luxevo Vacations Travel Specialists are also armed with the knowledge of what resort chains and tour companies have renowned customer service, so they don’t waste their time burning bridges with clients who get sent to resorts that aren’t everything they say they are.

Luxevo Vacations is seeking to revolutionize the travel industry with a culture that is customer-service based and specialization driven. In a marketplace where customer service is significant, and specialization is demanded, Luxevo Vacations may just have the key to standing out.

I Need a Vacation: Story of a Girl Tired of Adulting

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IF I WERE TO LIST ALL THE REASONS I need a vacation I would break the internet worse than when Kim Kardashian popped a bottle of champagne into a glass that was balanced on her booty.

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So here are 10 MINOR details from my daily routine that remind me, everyday, that I need a vacation because lets face it, adulting is hard…
Wake up, go through 75 outfit changes before deciding that it’s not the clothes that are misshapen, it’s me. Discard every single rejected outfit onto the floor and swear to pick it up later (I won’t). Also swear to make more time to go to the gym so I’m less misshapen, (again, I won’t.)Related image
Try to get ready. And by try, I mean try to scrub all of the imperfection off of my face via some cleanser that took 10 minutes to find because the bathroom counter looks like a 5 year old was trying to do a chemistry project. That chemistry project is my face. I am the 5 year old.
Next step is to apply make-up which first requires me to put my hair into some sort of obscene tribal bun on top of my head which qualifies me for renaming myself Chief Bun of Mess.

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Now to dig through the drawer full of various make-up tubes and palates ranging in shades all the way from irresponsible-80s-kindergartener to red-carpet-Golden-Globe-extra, just to resort to the same three products that I use very time.

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And one of those products includes my arch-nemesis.  Eyeliner. Don’t. Even. Get. Me. Started.  An overzealous raccoon could apply a thinner, more even, line than this.

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Time to revisit that hair and renounce my chiefdom.  But the problem is now my hair is bent in all sorts of weird ways and has wrapped itself around the hair tie and is holding on as tight as Rose should have been to Jack on the raft.

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This hair is absolutely hopeless now and I am now going to reinstate my chiefdom and resort back to the messy bun, which somehow doesn’t look as cute as when those Instagram chicks do it, I just end up looking ratchet.  (Which is a daily occurrence now, so I am contemplating just completing the look by going full on People of Walmart.)

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As I’m rushing around I now remember to feed my cat, because I am a responsible pet-parent, and also because I hear his annoying, incessant meowing for a more balanced breakfast than the trash that I just fed myself; which was some sort of half eaten pop tart from last night’s Netflix binge.

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Now that I have unearthed my keys and phone I can finally walk out the door. If I were to go by the clock in my car I would be on time, actually early, but I didn’t change it for daylight savings soooooo…. Late-fest.  Its actually surprising that I can even see the clock, because again, episode of hoarders worthy.  I’m just going to text my boss that I hit traffic, and will be late…and by traffic, I mean Starbucks. I’m going to hit up Starbucks.  Rule number one of adulthood, you are never too late for coffee.

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I literally haven’t even made it to work yet and I am already drowning in reasons why I should be drowning myself in Pina coladas on a beach somewhere. I need a vacation because adulting sucks, I’m over it, and that’s all the reason I need.

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