Travel Agents

The real reasons people don’t use travel agents

Hannah Edensor

A new spot of research in the US has pulled the lid off the question many in our industry have pondered for years: why doesn’t everyone use travel agents?

The study, conducted by Signature Travel Network and The Center for Generational Kinetics, asked 1000 American travellers ages 21-65, what barriers stood in the way of them turning to travel agents for advice.

Well, as it turns out, perceived cost is the biggest barrier to using an agent across the generations, from Baby Boomer to Millennial.

Related: 66% of travellers would pay to use a travel agent

There is a real concern among travellers, particularly Gen X travellers (born 1964-1976), that they will end up paying more for travel through a travel consultant than if they simply plan the trip themselves.

In fact, the study found that paying more for leisure travel is the top concern of travellers when it comes to using travel agents. Fifty-one percent of travellers overall and 61 per cent of Gen X travellers say this.

But cost isn’t the only barrier.

The perception of “one-size-fits-all travel” is another barrier to travel consumers choosing to use travel agents.

In fact, the study found that nearly one-third of travellers list ‘the inability to customise their trips the way they want’ as a top concern with using travel consultants. Travellers of all ages want to plan a trip that fits them uniquely.

The research also showed that 28 per cent of travellers are concerned that using a travel consultant means they will be sold a travel package that isn’t unique or tailored to them.

So what else is stopping people from using agents?

A further 26 per cent of Millennial travellers list having an overly “touristy” trip as one of their biggest concerns about using a travel agent.

Related: Which generation is most likely to turn to travel agents?

On top of that, Millennials are more than twice as likely as Boomers and Gen X to list being unable to experience the local culture as a top concern about using a travel consultant.

Luckily, the research also found a few incentives that would convince travellers to use a travel agent.

How to lure these travellers in

The study found that 52 per cent of travellers say that special pricing on trips will absolutely convince them to contact a travel consultant to get more information, and 44 per cent reckon information about how much money can be saved by using an agent will convince them to do the same.

But it isn’t just dollars off the cost of a trip that will inspire potential customers to contact a travel advisor.

They are also very interested in amenities. In fact, 37 per cent of travellers say that special amenities such as free breakfast or other upgrades will convince them to contact a travel consultant.

The national study also found that 85 per cent of travellers would be more likely to contact a travel agent if they knew they could get a quote for their trip.

This means that website features, such as showing how much money can be saved by using a travel consultant, detailing possible amenities that travel professionals can obtain, or offering a free trip quote are also very effective ways to inspire potential customers to reach out for more information.

Travel consumers are also ready and willing to pass along recommendations to their friends and family when they’re happy with your service, and the good news is that there are concrete actions that will drive these referrals.

The national study found that 46 per cent of travellers would tell their friends and family who are planning a leisure trip about an agent who can add special amenities to their travel that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.

Travellers are also appreciative when a consultant contacts them when a price changes and they are able to get a better deal. The national study found that 45 per cent of travellers would recommend a travel consultant who did this.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “The real reasons people don’t use travel agents”

  1. My experience, TAs were definitely trying to rip me off. I already saw a quote for a certain flight on their website and came down to talk to them in person and that guy added $100 on top of their online quote for no reason. I’m looking at you STA.

Leave a Reply

Destinations

WA bans NSW travellers, as state and territory borders tighten for Sydney hotspots

by Ali Coulton

States and territories have placed tight restrictions on Sydneysiders, with Marky Mark McGowan slamming the door shut on the entire state of NSW.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise suppliers hit Canberra to talk domestic resumption

Australia’s capital has been paid a visit by a group of suppliers impacted by the cruise ban. However, that’s not to suggest they used any mafia-style tactics.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

YIKES: Plane collapses, injuring two at Heathrow Airport

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner bit the dust at Heathrow Airport over the weekend, injuring two and causing damage to both the plane’s nose and ego.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Even more speakers announced for Travel DAZE 2021!

While Travel DAZE 2021 is only weeks away, that hasn’t stopped us from adding several more speakers to the line-up (which is bulging with talent, might we add)!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas and Jetstar set for bigger domestic fleets and more flights

Get ready to see a few more shadows of a flying kangaroo from above, with the national carrier set to increase its domestic presence.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Surge in unruly passenger behaviour sparks inflight booze bans

If you thought the increase in stories about unruly passengers of late was just because we find them mildly entertaining, you’re only half right.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Reimbursement scheme for Kiwi travel agents extended by six months

Wondering how agents across the ditch are being supported by the NZ government? Here’s your answer.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Singapore to be “first country outside of NZ” slated for Aussie travel bubble, says ScoMo

The PM said the bubble will kick off with a “pilot exercise” giving priority to international students from Singapore.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Celebrity Cruises names former fashion industry exec as new CMO

Celebrity’s new marketing chief has swapped designer clothes for bows, sterns and decks.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Virgin website taken down by mass tech outage that also hit three major banks

Our deputy editor was relieved to learn the tech difficulties she has been experiencing were caused by a mass outage and not all the coffee and cookie crumbs she spilled on her keyboard.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Flight Centre Travel Group finds new tech partner for corporate brands

FCTG has deleted its Tinder and Bumble accounts after finding the perfect match for its global corporate brands.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Europe to reopen its borders to US travellers with or without COVID vaccination

While ScoMo has doubled down on Australia’s hard border stance, the EU has reportedly added six new countries to its list of desired travellers.

Share

CommentComments