Why The Future of Travel is Travel Agents
Recently, we asked you to share with us an encouraging travel agent story from the COVID-19 outbreak — and the stories came pouring in. You shared how you went above and beyond to take care of your clients and make sure they got what they needed. You also shared stories of clients reaching out with encouragement: leaving rave reviews for your company, or sending you flowers and gift cards. We even saw some amazing stories of clients insisting that you keep your commission, despite not being able to take their trip. Why is this? Why are travel advisors inspiring this much loyalty?
You are the veritable heroes of the travel industry because you know your clients and you truly care. Airlines know this. Travelers know this. Throughout this crisis, your clients have learned that you have their backs. When the tourism industry bounces back, travelers will be looking to advisors for guidance. Here’s why travel agents will be more important than ever.
You’re the advocate during a crisis
“Many travel agents have found that their quick responses and knowledgeability during this crisis have earned them loyal clients for life.”
Everyone hopes for smooth sailing, but the reality of travel is that bumps happen. When the flight is delayed or the passport is stolen travelers realize that having a kind and attentive travel agent on the other end of the phone is priceless. This became more evident than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. You worked tirelessly to get stranded travelers home, dream vacations rebooked for the future, and refunds issued. Many travel agents have found that their quick responses and knowledgeability during this crisis have earned them loyal clients for life.
? Related: How Will Travel Change After COVID-19?
You’re the expert with the answers
“Your ability to understand your travelers’ goals and refine them with your professional knowledge will continue to attract clients seeking that one-of-a-kind trip.”
Now more than ever, travelers are looking for a unique, authentic experience. In other words, they want something to write home about. As a travel agent, you’ve dedicated your career to learning the industry. You know which layovers to take and which to avoid. You know how to make the most out of frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. You’ve gained connections with vendors, hotels, and tour operators that can only come through years of loyalty. And most importantly, you travel!
A travel agent is really never “totally on vacation.” On every trip you take, you are scoping out new destinations, packing your schedule with events and experiences so you can bring all the insider details back to your clients. This is something a traveler can never get booking through an OTA. Your ability to understand your travelers’ goals and refine them with your professional knowledge will continue to attract clients seeking that one-of-a-kind trip.
You’re the memory-maker for the milestones
“From the babymoon to the retirement getaway, from the destination wedding in Cancun to the family reunion in Oslo, you are there to make milestones memorable.”
You could sell clothing or jewelry, or even technology and it will be out of style next season. Even a brand new car will get replaced by something better in a few years. But what travel advisors sell is very personal. Memories. Experiences. Family time. A trip is not just another thing to buy. It is the mother and daughter taking that graduation trip to celebrate years of hard work. It is the newlywed couple taking their long-awaited honeymoon and the couple taking a 50th-anniversary cruise. From the babymoon to the retirement getaway, from the destination wedding in Cancun to the family reunion in Oslo, you are there to make milestones memorable.