Travel Agents vs. Online Travel Booking

Travel Agents vs. Online Travel Booking

The Booming Business of Travel Advisors: Navigating the Stress Out of Travel Planning


In a world where online options for booking vacations are flourishing, travel advisors were once thought to be sailing into the sunset. However, contrary to this belief, the business of travel advisors is booming. According to the American Society of Travel Agents, about 27% of its members have reported that over half of their clients are working with a travel advisor for the first time. Zane Kirby, President and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors, emphatically states, “Business is booming, and travel advisors continue to be a vital part of the travel industry.”

Embracing the Expertise

One key reason for this resurgence in travel advisors is their years of experience and knowledge about destinations, transportation options, and vendors. With an advisor by their side, travelers can eliminate hours of online research time. Moreover, their expertise and experience allow them to foresee and prevent potential problems that may arise during a trip. From weather delays and flight cancellations to lost luggage and natural disasters, there are countless situations that can derail a vacation. Travel advisors act as advocates for travelers, helping them navigate and overcome these challenges by making necessary itinerary changes.

The more complex or luxurious a trip, the more useful a travel advisor can be. These advisors have an inside track on deals and upgrades, ensuring that their clients get the best possible experience. Furthermore, in case of any issues or changes during the trip, travel advisors are known to be quick problem solvers, providing peace of mind for travelers.

The Cost of Convenience

While some travelers may be hesitant to work with a travel advisor due to potential costs, it is important to understand the various fee structures in place. In certain cases, travel agents do not charge their clients directly. For instance, an agent who books a cruise may earn a 10% commission from the cruise line, making it a win-win situation for both the traveler and the travel advisor. On the other hand, some travel agents do impose booking fees, such as $30 for an airline ticket, or require a deposit that they’ll keep if the traveler cancels.

Keeping up with the details of planning a trip is challenging enough, but the ongoing pandemic and related restrictions have added another layer of complexity. Travelers have faced difficulties with refunds and penalties for cancellations. In addition, starting next year, American travelers visiting Europe will need to pay a fee and apply for approval under the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). With changing protocols and regulations, travel advisors have the necessary skills and resources to navigate these challenges effectively, taking the stress out of travel planning for their clients.

In conclusion, the role of travel advisors in the modern travel industry cannot be underestimated. Their experience, knowledge, and ability to foresee potential problems make them invaluable companions for any traveler. Whether it’s a complex trip or a luxury vacation, travel advisors have insider access to deals and upgrades, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience. So, the next time you’re planning a trip, consider the assistance of a travel advisor and let them take the stress out of your travel planning.