• Travel agents still thrive in the era of online travel

    2014-07-17

    When it became possible to make travel plans quickly and easily on the Internet, many people assumed that travel agents would become a thing of the past. However, like modern-day record collectors or black-and-white film enthusiasts, some people see value in things that others have left behind. According to Thrillist, one-third of the revenue generated by the travel industry each year still comes from travel agents. In fact, between 2002 and 2011, spending on travel agencies nearly doubled.

    Boost from boomers
    The service is not being used uniformly by travelers. The Boston Globe reported that the current popularity of travel agencies is being fueled mainly by baby boomers. Some of that may be because they're more familiar with travel agents than people who came of age with the internet, but it also has to do with the kind of vacations they're taking and what they're willing to pay for it.

    Younger travelers tend to prioritize economy, since that's often the only way that they can take a vacation at all. Older adults with more money in the bank may instead prefer to go all out, spending more money but taking longer, more involved trips. While a week spent on a friend's couch could make for a great vacation to recent college graduates, older travelers gravitate toward trips to more exotic locales that incorporate comfier accommodations.

    Areas of expertise
    Online travel planning can lead to more spontaneous trips, leaving travelers bouncing from one sight to another based on whim and circumstance, but travel agents specialize in meticulously planned vacations. For some, the chaotic flavor of self-planned travel is appealing, but others prefer to maximize their time out of town and see the best of the best. Thrillist reported that travel agents' value comes from their experience. While an individual traveler may arrange a dozen trips in his or her lifetime, that's all in a day's work for professionals. That expertise means that they know the ins and outs of the industry and have inside knowledge of how the get the best deals on everything from flights to hotel rooms.

    Agents often have contacts in the cities where they frequently send travelers and can use them to help clients get around like locals. Their relationships extend to services such as airlines as well, meaning that tourists can bank on their travel agent's reputation to score the best prices on getting there and back again.

    See also...  

Questions?
Call us at 1.800.826.4919

Non insurance services are provided by Travel Guard. 
This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip.
You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer or insurance agent or broker. Coverage is offered by Travel Guard Group, Inc (Travel Guard). California lic. no.0B93606, 3300 Business Park Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54482, www.travelguard.com. CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-HELP. This is only a brief description of the coverage(s) available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Insurance underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania insurance company, with its principal place of business at 175 Water Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10038. It is currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. NAIC No. 19445. Coverage may not be available in all states. Your travel retailer may not be licensed to sell insurance, and cannot answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. The purchase of travel insurance is not required in order to purchase any other product or service from the Travel Retailer.