You’ve probably read the articles. They shout “Travel Agents Are Relevant Again!” and it makes you feel good thinking that customers who once sought the ease of OTAs will come knocking on your door.
Are travel agents relevant though?
Do you find that people tilt their head and say “Do people still use travel agents?” when you tell them what you do?
The answer is: Yes. Yes, people still use travel agents!
And you can retort with any of these reasons to get them to realize the errors of their ways and knock on your door when they are ready to book their next vacation.
They Say: Why would I use a travel agent? I can book from my phone!
If that doesn’t scare them paint the scenario of them being trapped in a blizzard in New York with hundreds-of-thousands of travelers all scrambling to rebook their cancelled flights. Should they call the OTA and maybe reach a human being? Should they wait in line or call the airline? Or call you who has been tracking the storm, knows about the cancellation and knows how to rebook them on a flight with ease?
Or how, according to NBC News, about 6% of hotel reservations made last year were on fake hotel sites designed to look like legitimate hotels. FAKE HOTEL SITES…15 million reservations!
They Say: It takes me 5 minutes to get the best deal online.
Travel agents can get more access to deals and promotions. Tour companies, hotels, and cruise lines work with agents all the time and relationships are nurtured. It’s not unusual for vendors to give travel agents more access to upgrades, special offers, and more.
How much more?
ASTA said $452/per trip.
That doesn’t include all the time planning a trip and the possibility of making mistakes. A travel agent will be able to help you determine your trip based on your budget without any major surprises.
And those best deals online? Those fake hotel sites mentioned above use great deals and steal legitimate company logos to entice the consumer to “book”.
They may find a better deal in 5 minutes but it takes far longer than 5 minutes to plan, book, and arrange a trip.
They Say: Kids don’t use travel agents. They grew up on the Internet.
Au contraire. Millennials are increasingly using travel agents. In fact, according to an ASTA poll:
- Millennials are using travel agents more than baby boomers
- 30% of millennials who travelled between June 2015-June 2016 used a travel agent
- 45% of millennials would recommend a travel agent to a friend or family member
Millennials get it. Travel agents, or travel advisors as they are sometimes called, know how to plan complex trips, international trips, and have insight on places the traveler has never been.
When travel agents use Sky Bird Travel & Tours as their airfare consolidator, they are getting excellent customer care along with low net fares on all classes. Stay competitive and book with Sky Bird.