The Year of the Travel Agent

Dear TA’s,

Before the pandemic, travel agents’ job prospects were declining, thanks to online travel agencies making it easier for travelers to handle their own arrangements. Now,  it feels as if the role of a travel advisor has a new relevance. Many travelers who have previously booked their own travel are turning to travel agents to assist with their upcoming vacations. The pandemic has led to a feeling of uncertainty, and constantly changing rules and policies have left travelers unsure of navigating the post-Covid travel world on their own. They are now seeking the expertise of a travel advisor to guide them through the process.

After a year during which so many travelers were burned, it just makes sense! Travel advisors are advocates for their clients. They provide travelers with advice and guidance based on their experience, knowledge, and industry insight. A recent survey indicates that 33 percent of travelers anticipated an increase in their use of travel advisors because of the pandemic.  Even a demographic who was not likely to use an agent in the past (travelers aged from 18 to 38), say they are more likely to book upcoming travels through an agent.

People often seek the advice of a professional when they are making  big purchases such as homes or cars. Travel can be one of the largest expenses people have in a year. If there is a possibility of borders closing or flights being canceled, there is a feeling of safety knowing that your travel advisor is on top of issues that might affect you, and is working to reschedule your trip or get your money back.

Travel agencies across the country are already seeing unprecedented levels of interest. Business is booming for agencies because of pent-up demand for travel, combined with  confusion caused by complexities involved with traveling right now. It seems that travelers feel safer booking with an agency that will provide the latest travel safety information, can change or cancel tickets if necessary and help get them home if a problem arose. 

This does put additional strain on the agent. Due to Covid-19 restrictions and regulations, some itineraries require frequent changes. Some borders have not reopened as planned, and ever-changing travel restrictions affect a destination’s ability to welcome incoming travelers.  Add to that, calming the nerves of clients traveling for the first time since the pandemic – the job of an agent has become more challenging than ever before.

It’s a challenging yet exciting time to be in the travel field.  Especially for agents who are dedicated to their clients and making sure they get the most out of their travels.

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