There’s nothing like a handy little list to remind agents just how integral they are to the travelling process, and why we shouldn’t consider leaving home without one.
US trade publication, Travel Market Report, has crafted a list of 10 reasons why, from a customer’s perspective, you still need travel agents.
It comes just after our exclusive chat with Spencer Travel’s Penny Spencer, who gave clear reasons why agents are still in business, and Travel Counsellors’ MD Fred van Eijk revealed the one thing that will stop agents being replaced by technology.
Check out their top 10 reasons:
Per TMR, an agents’ job is getting scrutinised every time they book a job, meaning if anything goes awry, they’ll be held accountable.
Travel agents have a boss to answer to—or they are the boss—and they are real-life people (not machines) that clients can speak with to work things out.
According to TMR, travel agents know all the ins and outs of the industry, especially when they’ve been doing the job for years.
- Value for money
When booking an expensive trip, travellers don’t want any shortcuts, and want to make sure they see everything and experience the best a city has to offer.
Per TMR, having a travel agent guarantees you’re not blindly feeling your way through a destination, and will ensure you get all the hot tips on local treasures to discover on your journey. 4. Setting an Itinerary
Perhaps those who enjoy “winging it” won’t be the best targets for agents, says TMR, but if you’re after clear guidelines, personalised touches, and secure records of everything you’ve paid for, then you’ll want an agent.
According to TMR, working with a travel agent means they’ll be able to help map out exactly how much a trip will cost – no surprises in store!
Does that excursion on Monday include lunch, for example, or do you have to buy your own? Is it worth paying extra for the all-inclusive on a cruise ship? Book with an agent and all these things are considered.
Things happen, writes TMR, but travel agents make sure you’re not alone when it happens. They also have a spate of insurance providers to recommend for you, depending on your needs.
They also insure that travellers have the correct travel documents, so they don’t end up missing their plane or cruise.
At the touch of travel agents’ fingertips they have resources a traveller simply does not, writes TMR, and boy do we know it. American Express Travel recently shared just what kinds of things agents know that the ordinary traveller doesn’t.
Let’s face it, we all like to be treated special, and with an agent, everything gets the personal touch, from your preferences when you arrive at a hotel, to the tour timings that suit your sleep patterns.
Per TMR, a travel agent knows the new destinations and the new places in them —and often they can get their client in through their partners and connections.
- Time savings
Spending hours and weeks researching the perfect trip can take up a ton of time during a busy work week. And as Penny Spencer says, agents sell time.
Per TMR, Travel agents will spend a little time getting to know their clients and what they are looking for, and then put together an entire vacation customized for them.
Can’t book a room at a place you really want? Had a last-minute addition to a trip but all the rooms are booked? No problem.
According to TMR, travel agents spend years developing long-term relationships, and use this leverage to get what they want for their clients, with a far greater success rate than a general consumer.