Are Travel Agents Dead?
Sure, I feel the travel agents are dead because Agents are order takers and online booking engines now do that very very efficiently. But a travel professional, a travel consultant or a travel service provider does exist. And you may not be as familiar with a travel professional because they have disappeared from the main stream but they do exist and provide tremendous value. Some of the main reasons why they are so important are
- Knowledge: Travel experts have specialized understanding of destinations, things you can do, travel spots to visit,
the very best places to eat and more. Can dozens of years of expertise ever be changed by information extracted from Gen Y brains or only salespersons ?
- Time: Consumers increasingly place a higher value on their time, where a five-minute call to a travel professional often avoids literally hours of mind-numbing on-line searches, awaiting on hold phone calls and ending up with a person ,if you are lucky to get their name!, who provides zero authority to do anything anyway or works min another department!
- Price: Travelers are even more aware than ever that a travel professional has usually better rates or the same rates offered by a supplier but with other valued added items, lining parts together, assuming responsibility and accountability for that item and also bouncing your desires, wants and (maybe) other discreet information that just humans can share.
- Advocacy: If things go wrong on a trip: a missed flight, an unpleasant experience, an emergency during the trip and more snafus that require assistance. More and more, travelers have learned that without a travel pro, they are on their own. Absolutely nothing can replace lost time, a bad encounter or being stranded in a foreign land or airport or hotel lobby or cruise port with no legally binding contract to help.
No more being called merely travel agents; the new age word must be Travel professionals .