A growing number of consumers are returning to travel agents, with ATAS to play a vital role in communicating their professionalism, according to Mobile Travel Agents boss Roy Merricks.
He welcomed the major changes that are taking place in the industry saying they are timely and “to the benefit of us all”.
While he recognised that there will always be consumers that prefer a “DIY approach”, many have attempted to go it alone have recognised the value offered by a travel agent and returned.
“As importantly, these returning clients recognise travel agents do not necessarily cost more at the end of the day,” Merricks said.
“There’s a great deal of work still to be done to ensure clients understand that we are professionals, and need to be paid as such.”
He urged agents to support the work of the new AFTA scheme with their own actions.
“There can be no doubt now is the perfect time to again introduce these appreciative clients to the concept of working together with us to research their travel experiences and to booking and service fees.
“We are not doing ourselves any favours if as professionals across our industry we don’t value ourselves and confidently charge appropriately.
“It’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.”
Client selection will also become more important, Merricks continued.
“We can’t allow the wrong people to waste our valuable time when there are so many who genuinely appreciate what we do.”