Why a Travel Agent and not book Online?
Personal travel needs can be met through a travel agent or it can be a DIY online experience. Unfortunately, it takes more than the ability to read a script off of a monitor to make one a travel agent. And, although buying an air ticket online is convenient and quick, there’s more than the actual air ticket to consider when spending your hard-earned money for leisure travel.
Travel agents are harder to find today than they were in the past. The airlines stopped paying commissions to travel agents quite a long time ago. This means that many travel agents and travel agencies were no longer able to keep the shop open. Commissions from airlines were how they made their money.
To survive, most (if not all) travel agencies now charge ticketing fees or service fees when providing travel services to their customers. Paying for travel advice and services is a new concept for a lot of people who remember the old days when consulting with a travel agent was a free service.
To further reduce the availability of personal travel service and expertise, the internet and supermarkets sprouted air ticketing and reservation systems that market themselves as cheap, easy, and fast. This is actually true. You can buy an air ticket online and at the supermarket quite easily and it’s likely the fare will be quite good in most circumstances.
So where do the remaining travel agents fit into the new way of making travel arrangements?
Here’s a few things to consider:
As in most situations, there’s nothing better than experience to help one make an informed decision. There’s nothing more useful and more likely to be of value to you than first hand knowledge provided in a personal and helpful manner. An experienced travel professional can give you inside knowledge and even foresee potential travel hiccups, and head them off ensuring you a great travel experience.
An online ticketing agency can certainly make a reservation and sell you an air ticket, but will they offer you regional or situational discounts that you may be able to take advantage of? No. Their systems aren’t designed that way. For example, if you live in Johannesburg, and wish to take a cruise out of Florida, you can buy an air ticket online and book a cruise in a matter of minutes. But in that process, there’s no one asking the cruise line agent if there’s a “Cruise and Fly Package”. Don’t laugh, such discounts DO exist. But you have to know to ask for them.
In addition to discounts, there’s a lot of other factors that DIY online services can’t provide. You can pick a hotel from a list and hope that the accompanying description and rates are accurate or you can speak to a travel pro who can tell you for a fact that the hotel hasn’t been refurbished in ten years or perhaps that it’s an underrated gem of a property that is as good or better than its competition. Geography? Political climate? Local customs? No, the DIY experience can’t provide that information without extensive thorough research that you may not have the time or desire to pursue.
If you are looking to have an unforgettable holiday experience, one that will provide you with treasured lifelong memories, be a good value AND meet your expectations without unexpected disappointments, you need a travel professional. There’s no better way to get from here to there without the planning, foresight, and the all important firsthand knowledge and personal service available to you when you use a travel expert.
We know. We have over fifty years of the experience that you are going to have working for you when you work with us. We are travel experts. We have visited over 100 countries and have been on over 20 cruises using many of the major cruise lines as well as seen many additional hotels in the countries we have visited. When we recommend a service, we are speaking from experience, and not from a Google rating. We also attend most of the big annual travel trade fairs worldwide, so our knowledge is constantly kept up to date with the actual suppliers concerned.
By delivering World Class Incentive Travel, we have the capability to use our incentive travel prowess to provide exceptional personal travel arrangements. We’ve met and worked with the best hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and local guides in the world. We can use our connections and insider know-how to ensure you a flawless holiday experience that will EXCEED your expectations.
The next time you need to get away from it all, don’t leave anything to chance. Call Unique Destination Management to help you plan and enjoy a weekend escape or a major holiday. We’ll make magic and help you live the dream!