Why a Los Angeles Travel Agent Should Consider Advanced Dispute Resolution

Los Angeles ADR Attorney

 

The coronavirus crisis and accompanying government-mandated shutdown has wreaked havoc on the travel industry. Canceled flights, delayed cruises and resorts that have completely shut down have ruined the plans of many would-be travelers. And their travel agents are left to deal with the mess. Let’s learn why a Los Angeles travel agent should consider advanced dispute resolution to handle legal problems.

It Is Cheaper

There has been a sixty percent decline in international tourism due to the coronavirus that could hit eighty percent if the government-mandated shutdown extends too long. Domestic tourism has crashed, though not as badly. This is leaving many travel agents and the service providers they hire short on cash. That’s why you should attempt advanced dispute resolution instead of taking things to court. The costs are far lower than what you’d pay if you went to court.

mediation

You Have More Control

The courts may not have any solution for the customer except to order you to pay what you can. Or they may demand that you pay money you don’t have. If you go to mediation, you have far more options. You could offer a rain check on a cruise, helping them book their dream trip to be taken next year instead of returning the money for this year’s canceled cruise. You could turn their beach vacation into a luxury stay at a lakeside resort that is open. Or you could help them find a remote working venue in the area they’d love to visit. Now they could stay in an upscale hotel or short-term rental for several weeks while enjoying hiking, biking or beaches. You can’t control airlines going bankrupt or resorts closing due to a Wuhan virus case. But you could use ADR to push clients into accepting a new travel itinerary with destinations and travel options that are open, so you don’t have to pay out for canceled tickets. A side benefit of booking a Los Angeles advanced dispute resolution service is that you don’t have to travel to the courthouse.

It Is Faster

The travel agency has been hammered on all sides. You may be faced with hundreds of angry clients and dozens of lawsuits. Alternative dispute resolution is much faster in every regard. You may settle an individual case in an afternoon. You can book mediators in your area who are available when you are, allowing you to deal with cases as soon as possible. This eliminates the looming threat of future court dates with uncertain outcomes months from now.

advanced dispute resolution

It Is Confidential

A Los Angeles advanced dispute resolution case is confidential. You don’t have to worry about lawsuits against you becoming public knowledge. Furthermore, you can require them to maintain confidentiality as a condition of the settlement. Now you don’t have to worry about a former team member’s false promises becoming news fodder.

It Is More Likely to Preserve Goodwill

There are people who will want to fight tooth and nail. However, the adversarial nature of the court system leads to many cases becoming combative that do not have to be so. Going to arbitration and involving your client in a settlement improves the odds that you’ll preserve the relationship. And this means they may book a future vacation with you, while they’re much less likely to seek vengeance by posting very negative reviews online.

How Does a Travel Agency File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

traveling agent filing bankruptcy chapter 11

 

The coronavirus from China has wreaked havoc around the world, and no industry was as hard hit as the travel industry. Canceled flights and cruises were compounded by resort closures and people staying home for fear of their lives. This has caused travel agencies to see revenue collapse. Yet travel agencies have very low overhead expenses, so they have the potential to bounce back when things reopen. This means they could survive if they can refinance or shed debts, while liquidation bankruptcy isn’t of much benefit. So how does a travel agency file Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Submit a Bankruptcy Petition

A chapter 11 bankruptcy can be filed by the debtor. It can also be filed by creditors in certain circumstances. They would do this to force the business to continue to operate and, ideally, meet its legal obligations.

Any business can file for Chapter 11 unless they have had a prior petition dismissed because they didn’t appear in court or failed to comply with prior orders from the courts. If you’re a sole proprietor, you may be required to seek credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency.

If the courts think you cannot successfully reorganize the business, they may reject the petition. Then your petition is converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

chapter 11 bankruptcy for a travel agency

You Continue Business Operations

In Chapter 11 bankruptcy, you continue to operate the business under supervision of the courts, assuming a short list of exceptions isn’t met. For example, if your creditors file a petition claiming fraud, theft or gross incompetence, they may ask the courts to appoint someone else to run the business. In every case, you’re allowed to continue operating the business, though you’ll run major decisions by the court-appointed trustee.

The court will have to approve the selling of assets unless you’re selling them as part of ordinary running of the business. This means you’ll need permission to sell a company car but not little trinkets in the front office. You’ll need court permission to enter or break the lease, though renegotiating a lease can significantly lower your overhead expenses. You must have court approval to enter a new contract or modify existing licensing and vendor contracts. You’ll have to have court permission to shut down the business, too.

Creditors can support or oppose actions submitted to the court for approval. Fortunately, they really only have a yeah or nay decision when you submit the initial Chapter 11 plan. And they’re not likely to complain if you ask for permission to break an expensive lease so you can move to a smaller, cheaper office or break a union contract and lay off 20 people to lower costs.

loan restructuring for a travel agent

Submit Regular Reports and Pay Your Bills

Under a Chapter 11 plan, you’ll submit financial reports that tell the court and your creditors how much money you bring in and how much you’re paying out. This allows everyone to know how much money is available to pay your debts.

Furthermore, you’re obligated to pay your creditors. The creditors may only be paid a fraction of what they are owed, but the bankruptcy plan will distribute the money paid to each creditor in what is considered a fair way.

Secured creditors must be paid at least what the item secured by their loan is worth. This category includes liens and mortgages. Fail to make payments, and they can go back to court to get permission to seize the underlying asset.

Unsecured creditors are paid in accordance with the bankruptcy plan. They are probably going to be paid much less than they are owed, but this is why unsecured debt has a higher interest rate.

Complete the Bankruptcy Plan

Studies suggest that less than fifteen percent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans result in a functional business emerging from bankruptcy. Then why do businesses do it? Filing for bankruptcy automatically stays or stops collection activities like foreclosure and judgements. This may give you breathing room to decide what you’re going to do next. That next step may include the orderly shutdown of your business and dividing up the proceeds between your creditors. In fact, that may be part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan approved by the creditors. By ensuring clients make it home and collecting revenue while winding things down, they get more money than if you just closed your doors.

Why a Travel Agent Would Need an SEO Training Course

seo expert

 

Search engine optimization is not just something you need to learn if you’re working in marketing or sales, though travel agencies should see their job as including these things. Let’s learn why a travel agent would need an SEO training course.

Local SEO Matters as Much as Conventional SEO

Travel agents need to use local or location based search engine optimization far more than the average business. When you’re posting on social media about a great vacation package, you need to include hash tags and search terms related to the destination. This is on top of the local SEO required to attract local clients to your service-oriented business.

why travel agents need seo training

You Have to Differentiate Your Business from the Competition

The travel industry is diverse. You’re competing against airlines, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and travel bloggers for traffic. This is why you need to be able to do detailed analysis to find out what key search terms are used by your target audience, whether it is college kids planning a Spring Break trip or retirees ready for the trip of a lifetime. You can’t risk your ads and content being outranked by RVers with better social media branding or travel bloggers who make money from paid endorsements.

Furthermore, you want to stand out relative to the competition based on your distinguishing characteristics. It doesn’t matter if you offer unique luxury trips or budget travel. Ensure that your key characteristics are prominent in your SEO so that you capture the right audience. Travelers who want to travel in luxury who land on a budget travel service homepage will bounce away, hurting your reputation with search engines.

travel agent SEO marketing

SEO Is Essential in Visual Marketing

Visual marketing engages the audience, because humans are a visual species. Here is the high resolution picture of the view from our resort. Here’s the amazing cliff diving, scuba diving and fishing available on our premium package. This is the theme park within walking distance of our luxurious hotel rooms. You’re posting pictures. However, it is has tags and keywords included in the description of the post and its title that will bring people to your visual marketing pieces. If you rely on one or two place related hash tags, your visual marketing will literally be lost in a sea of images.

It Is Cost-Effective

Online ads are expensive. Paid placement of links can be expensive, and it isn’t always effective. Upping your SEO game is one of the most cost-effective marketing solutions available. If you attend a SEO training course, you’ll be able to improve the SEO of everything from new marketing content to social media posts to your homepage.

Furthermore, you can go back and improve existing content based on what you’ve learned. Tweak a title. Change the first few sentences to better impress readers and increase your search engine results page rankings. Or learn how your content generation needs to change so that you’re not downgraded because of a spam penalty. This can happen when you stuff the content with too many keywords, especially if it interferes with the readability of the content. Learn how to add related keywords that help search engines show your article in relation to people planning a trip to Athens, Georgia instead of Athens, Greece.