Us travel agents got a little love from the New York Times last week.
In an article headlined ‘Are Travel Agents Back?’ (just for the record we didn’t go anywhere) the Times looked at the numbers and found that travel agents are having a strong rebound as many travellers return to agencies after going it on their own online.
But why are travellers coming back to agents?
One reason is that arranging travel plans online can be time consuming.
A survey of more than 2,000 passengers conducted by Steve Peterson, the global travel and transportation leader for the IBM Institute for Business Value, found that 20 per cent of respondents said it took them more than five hours to arrange their travel online.
Another reason the article points out is the information overload the Internet provides.
You can find out pretty much everything about a particular location or accommodation online but too much knowledge can be overwhelming.
Traveller review sites like TripAdvisor, while valuable to an extent, can add to these headaches as half the posts will rave about a hotel while the other half will implore you not to step foot inside it.
Travel agents can cut through all that clutter and give you an honest assessment as to whether a place is right for you.
A common misconception that leads some people online is that it costs more to book through a travel agent.
That’s rarely true.
Sometimes a fee may be charged for putting together complicated travel plans or booking plane tickets but many times booking through a travel agent can actually save you money as we have a variety of resources at our disposal to hunt down the best prices for your travel arrangements.
And perhaps the best reason to use a travel agent is the personal touch. We get to know our clients and can recommend locales and hotels because we know who you are and what you love to do. Plus it’s always nice to have someone in your corner in the event something goes wrong.
The Internet is a great tool for travellers and travel agents and should be used to its full potential but many times the full potential of your vacation is reached with help from a travel agent.
(New York Times)