The straight answer is: The travel agent profession is a service that WILL NEVER DIE.
Although Internet companies like Hostelworld, Agoda, and Booking.com have made it forever easier to cut out the travel agent and book directly with airlines and hotels, or even with locals, as in the case of Airbnb.
But with that comes informational overload.
With the onset of many online travel booking engines today, travel agents have got a different role.
People prefer simpler booking online while complex bookings with the help of travel agents.
In almost all cases, it’s true that travel agents won’t get deals on hostels, backpacker tours, train tickets, or beat those budget airline carriers.
Moreover, backpackers, adventurous, and independent travelers research and design their itineraries by themselves and book everything online.
While travelers like business, family, honeymooners and aged travelers prefer booking through travel agents.
Hence in the case of a huge group with dozens of flight tickets, a honeymoon, a complex itinerary, or an expensive trip, a travel agent is a good idea in most cases. Travel agents will make life easier, get bulk discounts, and be there in case anything goes wrong.
Even more, the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened the need for travel agents.
According to Skift, a global travel industry intelligence provider “the value-add that agents can bring to the travel experience will be difficult to obviate completely, either through disintermediation or automation.”
Here are the top 6 reasons travel agents will not die anytime soon
1. Destination Insider Information: Travel agents are always learning new things about travel destinations, and have insider firsthand information with the help of local experts. They are always updated with anything happening at that particular destination that may affect the travel plans.
2. Access To Bulk Deals: Travel agents have personal connections with the vendors and their destination partners such as hotels, airlines, and other travel-related service providers. Hence travel agents know how to find the best deals and have personal access to more deals and bulk buying options that a single person can’t.
3. Expert In Handling Complex Travel: Travel agents specialize in handling complex travel such as multi-flight plans, honeymoons, luxury, corporate, group, cruises, and other expensive trips. For example, If you’re traveling with a group of 25 people for your mother’s birthday on a luxury cruise, a travel agent can definitely get a better deal than you can find yourself online.
4. Saves Time, Energy, and Money On Travel Planning: Planning travel is a time-consuming process, and travel agents have seen a rise in usage over the last few years, especially among millennials who try to outsource time-intensive activities.
5. Make Sure Everything Goes Smooth: Travel agents have a network of other travel professionals who can help you out if anything should go wrong during your trips, such as booking a doctor or a replacement flight. Most of those DOTCOM travel sites are not based in the country and don’t really care if you have the best price or customer service should something go wrong or if you have questions.
6. Reliability And Booking Confidence: Travel agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to take care of your trip. When you’re in trouble, there is no substitute for a knowledgeable, reliable, and leveraged travel agent.
It is important to have someone who knows the ins and outs of the world to help you plan your trips and make sure you don’t get ripped off.
It is also important to have someone who can help you find the best prices for your trip, or the cheapest flight or hotel.
They are also the ones who will help you with any questions you may have about traveling.
Travel agents are going to be in demand for a long time. It seems as if we are becoming more and more reliant on technology, which is great but it also means that we are losing the human touch.