I stumbled upon these on-line readings recently regarding travel, and I decided to share extracts and links that you may find useful:
Ruthanne Terrero the Editorial Director of the Questex Travel Group —which includes Travel Agent magazine, Home-Based Travel Agent, Luxury Travel Advisor, Premier Hotels & Resorts and Premier Spas & Romance— was approached by CNN recently to talk about how consumers can take advantage of the current situation in order to find the best travel deals.
The article reads:
Navigating the deals and best steals can be overwhelming, which is why turning to a travel agent for help can make a difference. A travel agent, for example, can sift through all the options, often secure different packages and can help prospective travelers figure out what destination is best for them.
"If you go to a professional, they can tell you what the traditional prices are ... and give you some good old-fashioned advice," said Ruthanne Terrero, a vice president in charge of content at The Travel Group, which puts out publications and websites for travel professionals.
She wrote a column before about: Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent
Christopher Dane from GLC News writes his own quite good 10 reasons that I am listing here (My favorite is #6):
10. You want "a single throat to choke" when something goes wrong.
9. Because you do not have the time or resources to keep up with this every changing travel environment.
8. Unless this is your one of your core competencies... forgettaboutit!
7. Much better chance of getting the best value through a reputable agency that you trust.
6. Why would you ever go to a doctor when you can research it online???? Same applies to travel.
5. Who gonna call... (when there is a problem) ...ghostbusters??? not!
4. You cannot book complicated itineraries online or with one supplier and feel assured that you got the best price/value.
4. For the most part they are an unbiased resource with far more tools at their disposal than you.
3. Because everyone feels about travel the way they feel when they buy a car... everyone else got a better deal than me!
2. It is always easier to second guess someone else.
1. Because I have people that can do that for me....having people is good! Besides there are many other things I want to do!
This is an excerpt from an analysis written by a travel agent elaborating a little more on the subject:
...people do not realize how much travel agents can help them. People also don't realize that the price on the internet is the same price travel agents can do the booking for. Our commission is already in the price that is on the internet, you don't pay anything extra.
Travel agents book travel everyday. We take our FAM trips all over the world so we are knowledgeable. Our sales reps come by and train us on what is new in travel. They are our "go to person" when we need something or have a problem to resolve. Travel agents book reliable companies that we can count on...
...We want your repeat business so travel agents will do the best possible job for you so you will come back again!
And another travel agent also comenting on the issue:
Consumers, especially under the age of 30, are under the false impression that internet travel always provides more for less. As a long time veteran of the retail travel industry, I find that many times people pay more for less online and get a less than satisfactory travel experience.
If consumers want to buy travel as a commodity and care more about price than the quality of their vacation experience, they can book online. If they want to have a superior experience, usually at the same cost, they should utilize the services of a travel professional.
A travel professional is someone whose occupation is as a travel consultant, not someone who 'Does it on the side'. Travel agents provide a great deal of information that the internet does not. We are constantly undergoing training and certification to provide our clients with the best possible information. If I want my car repaired I go to a mechanic, If you want a a great vacation, go to a travel agent.