Travel agents can save their clients a lot of time and money.
I’m sure this will not come as a surprise to you. But, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has now proven it once and for all in their latest report, Best of Both Worlds: Quantifying How Travel Agents Save Consumers Time and Money.
Consumers report that travel agents save them an average $452 (R6714) per trip, and four hours in travel planning. Perhaps most importantly, consumers said that agents help them avoid costly mistakes.
“At this point, consumers have tried it all – they’ve booked online, they’ve gone direct, and they’ve used a travel agent,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA CEO. “This study dispels once and for all the myth that booking direct with suppliers or spending hours online yourself gets you a better deal or gives you a happier travel experience. In short, if you want a better travel experience, use an agent.”
Customers are flocking back en masse to the travel agent, according to the report. In the past year, a quarter of consumers booked through online travel agencies while 23% booked through travel agents, the highest share reported in three years.
When looking back on their past travel experiences, almost two thirds of agent users said that using a travel agent made the overall trip experience better, while 69% reported that agents save them time in planning and booking. Also when it comes to price, agents stand out with 66% saying travel agents help them avoid costly mistakes and 64% reporting that agents find the better deals.
So, if travel agents want to persuade potential clients of their worth, they should focus on the value they provide to the consumer, from saving the client money to helping them avoid mistakes.