Sunday, March 17, 2013

Why would I use a travel agent?

Someone asked me this week why anyone would use a travel agent when all the information is available on the web. I started to talk about how all the information isn't on the web, I have access to special databases, etc. But then I realized what they were really asking was what value I brought to the conversation. 

The best analogy I can think for the reason to use a travel agent is a real estate agent. Most MLS bookings are available online. You can search state or county databases to get comparables or appraisal information. You can buy or sell a house all by yourself. 

Yet, when thinking about buying or selling a house, the vast majority of people contact a realtor because they have specialized training, a knowledge of the market, and will be your advocate in the process. In the same way, travel agents have the training and the knowledge to be your advocate in the travel planning process. This month, I have lowered cruise fares, secured VIP status for client's romantic getaway, matched a family with a great location for their summer family trip, secured $100 in future credits for a client who had a major flight delay and helped a large family reach consensus on their Disney vacation. Even better, you don't pay more to use my services. Travel can be a major investment and many people just want someone on their side.

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