Although the Internet-based booking sites such as Expedia and Travelocity put a major dent into the travel agent industry over the last twenty years, travelers have steadily been returning to travel professionals.
Travel Advisors/Agents provide those traveling an abundant source of information and a problem solver during a crisis situation. Once again people are turning to travel advisors’/agents’ expertise and reliability in providing guidance as to a particular individual’s specific interests and therefore offering options for the right place and right time. The travel professional alleviates the guest of time-consuming, pain–staking research and comparison shopping.
The two demographics which in recent years have most looked to travel agents are the younger generation’s “millenials” and individuals earning more than $50,000 per year. MMGY, a travel and hospitality marketing firm, reported recently that 34% of millenials consulted a travel agent – the highest age group demographic, which consisted of those 18-34. Those with annual earnings at least $50,000 were seeking international or more complex vacations.
Although the cost of bookings has risen at approximately 5% per year, travelers are willing to pay for the travel industry professional’s expertise with the understanding their overall experience will be more beneficial.
In crisis situations, the travel advisor/agent is there for their client. Whereas, the Internet-based sites may not be available due to cancellations for various reasons, the advisor/agent is just a phone call away. Travel professionals can promptly rebook travelers’ flights and/or cruises.
Today’s travel advisor/agent is more specialized than those of yester-year. Specialization has become key in providing more than a technology-based website may provide. The travel agent has the ability and capability of optimizing the travelers’ vacation planning. Predictions outline a progressive increase in the return to individuals reaching out to travel professionals for their vacation planning.
A soon to be released study by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) indicates that travel agents/advisors save consumers an average of $452 per trip. The study reinforces the above information provided by USA Today in regard to not only monetary savings, but time in travel planning – an average of four hours per trip, and benefits of preventing costly mistakes. In addition, new research stated in the travel marketplacearticle entitled, “Why You Should Use a Travel Agent Now More than Ever”, stated a quarter of the people using third-party booking sites were scammed resulting in a loss of more than $5.7 billion dollars.
ASTA’s study, “Best of Both Worlds: Quantifying How Travel Agents Save Consumers Time and Money,” will be available on theASTAwebsite on May 30th.
Furthermore, Travel Professionals are a true asset to their clients in keeping them informed of changes in documents needed to travel, or travel visa requirements. The prefect embodiment is the upcoming REAL ID deadline of October 2020.
Special Needs Group® CATA® Certification
Special Needs Group is in the eight-year of its Certified Accessible Travel Advocate program since inception; the program educates travel professionals in the accessible travel industry and special needs market.
SNG is the leading global provider of wheelchair rentals, oxygen rentals and other special needs equipment rentals for travelers worldwide. We are recommended by the world’s major cruise lines for superior service and value. Special Needs Group also serves guests visiting hotels, resorts, and convention centers. To locate one of the 6,200 certified CATA professionals in your area, please click on the link below.
Special Needs Group (SNG) is the leading global provider of mobility, oxygen, and other special needs equipment rentals for travelers.SNG is dedicated to serving the mobility challenged, mature and special needs market segments.Recommended by the major cruise lines for superior service and value, we also deliver to hotels, resorts, and convention centers.SNG is dedicated to fulling the requirements for persons who want to travel but may require special needs equipment.We make travel easy, comfortable and convenient.Our trained agents provided service last year worldwide to 215 metropolitan areas in 68 countries.