The Magnificent Seven

What’s in a number? Plenty. After all, the world is full of wonders, but it’s only the top seven that get the attention.

By: Kenneth Shapiro

What’s in a number? Plenty. After all, the world is full of wonders, but it’s only the top seven that get the attention.

Whether you agree with the choices or not, the New Seven Wonders of the World, featured in this issue’s cover story (“The New Seven Wonders,” page 14), have generated a lot of buzz in the media. For travel agents, it’s a natural sales opportunity. If nothing else, every agent should have sent their top clients article clippings asking them how many wonders they’ve already seen and which ones they want to experience next. Be sure to see the list of 14 other finalists that didn’t make the cut. They might not be part of the lucky seven, but there are plenty of wonders that will get your clients excited about traveling.

People love travel lists like these from best-of lists to collections of places to see before you die, consumers enjoy seeing where their travel experiences rank. One notable example of this is the Travelers’ Century Club (TCC). Founded in 1954 by a travel agency in Southern California, TCC is made up of a group of travelers that have visited at least 100 countries. The TCC has created its own list of over 300 “countries” (loosely defined, some are island groups or other destinations) and it allows even the briefest of visits (including refueling stops) to count.

Several members have actually checked off all 300-plus places, and not surprisingly, many of them are in the travel industry. One of the benefits of joining is that members can share travel tales with people who have similar experiences.

“You don’t like to talk about your travels to exotic places when the person you’re talking to has only been to Las Vegas,” said Christopher Hudson, a vice president of the organization, on the group’s Web site. “In TCC you have a forum where other people are as crazy as you are and everyone shares the same enthusiasm.” To see where you stand on the list, visit www.travelerscenturyclub.org. (I have a mere 30 or so countries under my belt, so unless I plan to live to be 120, I had better get going!) In the meantime, maybe you can encourage a client or two to try for membership. K.S.

 

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