Travel Agents

Why people still use travel agents, according to Forbes

First it was Vogue giving travel agents a plug (or should we say ‘travel designers’ like this piece), and now it’s the esteemed publication, Forbes.

In a new article, Forbes looks at why people would still use travel agents in the modern day and age.

“If you’re like many budget travellers, you probably started booking your own trips yourself online in the early 2000s and thought travel agents went extinct. That’s actually the farthest thing from the truth,” Forbes contributor Johnny Jet wrote.

He quotes research that shows 34 per cent of millennials actually use real world travel agents – yes, not the internet – and that there’s still plenty of reasons everyone should still use agents.

You can read the full piece here, but here’s a bit of a summary.

1. Expert Advice

According to Forbes, “If you have never been to another continent, what looks appealing on the Internet doesn’t always work out so well once you arrive and begin to play tourist.”

Simply put, travel agents know their sh*t, and yes, the internet does too – but it is also full of misleading sites and companies. Beware!

2. Competitive price

Whether agents charge or not is one thing, but in reality you’re not saving much (if any) money using an OTA instead of an agent.

As Forbes puts it, “Travel agents do receive a small commission from the airlines and hotels when they book your trip, but, this helps keep your travel costs down.”

3. Trips aren’t easy to plan

Why would you risk trying to piece together an elaborate trip using multiple online sites and booking companies, when one single agent could do it all for you? And assure you that yes – you’ll make that flight connection, and if something goes wrong, they’ll be there to help you with zero hassle.

“If you don’t have the time to research or simply can’t seem to put all the pieces to the travel puzzle together, don’t be afraid to call a travel agent,” Forbes claims.

“After all, it’s their job to book these complex fares so that you can have the trip of a lifetime. How often would you regret not going on a complex trip because you were afraid to ask for help?”

The flip side – why you won’t use an agent

For all its praise, Forbes also had a couple of reasons you might not use a travel agent. These include:

  1. You want to earn rewards by booking direct with hotels or airlines
  2. There’s still plenty of free advice online

Thankfully, that was it, and the article ended on a positive note.

“The Internet has made it easier than ever for you to book your own travel, and in a lot of cases, you may never need a travel agent,” admits Forbes’ Johnny Jet.

“But, booking travel is the sole profession for travel agents and the good agents can be extremely helpful when you have complex routes or simply don’t have the time to research and book the travel yourself.”

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