Customers are flocking back to the travel agent, according to a recent report in Travel Market Report. The article identified six reasons why travellers opt to book through their travel agent:
We offer guidance
Even the most seasoned travellers get a little nervous in these scary times where they are faced with Zika, terrorism and Ebola. They appreciate our advice.
We offer savings
Agents have access to deals and promotions travellers do not, so we can still save our clients money.
OTAs are no longer flavour of the month
Travellers are frustrated with hidden fees and charges when they book through online travel agencies. There is just too much information out there to sort through.
We offer customer service
Travel agents help during the booking process and stay with you to make sure all goes right. And when there is a problem, we are there to intervene.
Deep knowledge of the destination, and personal understanding of your interests.
Agents often specialise in niche markets, so they can offer even more insight into a specific destination or segment of travel, like LGBT or destination weddings. And they spend a little time getting to know the customer, so they can make recommendations tailored to what you want to do. “It’s almost like your best friend is booking a trip for you,” says DiBernardo.
Travel agents’ customer base is skewing toward Millennials.
The percentage of travellers under the age of 35 who prefer to book their vacations through a travel agent increased 50% between 2014 and 2015, reports MMGY Global. They don’t have time to wade through all the options, and they understand there is only one chance to make a vacation perfect. Just as they hire an expert to do their taxes or maintain their garden, they want a knowledgeable professional to help them make this most important decision.