In this age of technology and "dot-com" travel agencies, people may question the need for a travel agent. But ASTA (the American Society of Travel Agents) created a new slogan that succinctly describes the answer to this question. The slogan, "Without a Travel Agent, You're On Your Own," is even more true today.
Agents, also known as consultants or specialists, work on behalf of their clients. Just think, when you book online, exactly who are you going to call when you realize your "Room with a View" actually means "Room with a View of the Dumpster that gets emptied at 3:00 AM every night?".There are many compelling reasons to utilize the services of a travel agent, also known as a consultant or specialist. And contrary to popular belief, these services are often completely free! Let's explore some benefits of partnering with a travel agent.
1. Personalized Service: A good travel consultant is someone who takes the time to listen to exactly what it is you want. But it is not only what you "say" you want. In the process of working together, the agent should also hbe able to understand the experience you are searching for. Service could also take the form of a thoughtful thank-you note, or a surprise cake on your cruise to celebrate an important event, or even the gift of a personalized photo album. No matter how advanced technology becomes, the Internet will never be able to provide this level of personalized service.
2. Expert Guidance: Travel agents are able to provide valuable advice and expert guidance because they deal with travel every day. Additionally, a great agent also networks with other agents, benefiting from their experiences and expertise. What a shame for the clients who have always wanted to take a romantic cruise and decided to book a beautiful ocean view stateroom online.
It sounded perfect on the Internet, however, imagine the disappointment when they arrive and discover their "Ocean view" is completely obstructed by a lifeboat!.3. Customer Advocacy: If you encounter problems with any part of your travel experience, a travel consultant is there to advocate for you.
I once had clients try to check in to their Cancun Resort, only to be told that the resort had overbooked and they would have to be accommodated at a "nearby" property. In the end, the resort was able to find an available room. Because of such an unpleasant start to their vacation, owever, I advocated strongly on behalf of my clients. This included numerous phone calls and emails, but in the end, I was able to obtain a $500.
00 voucher for my clients to use worldwide, at many different resorts, not just this specific chain. Try and get that response with an Internet booking!.4.
Time: With the wealth of information available online, you could spend hours in front of your computer searching for that perfect getaway. And unless you have booked this trip on your own a hundred times before, utilizing the knowledge and expertise of a travel specialist is a far better choice. It will also save you hours of work and perhaps help you avoid making a costly mistake.5. Unbiased Information: Agents work for their clients, not for any travel supplier.
Because of this, they are not tied to any one source. Instead, they can search many different suppliers for the best value. And don't forget, value doesn't always mean "the cheapest deal.
"..Deena Gainor is the owner of a Homebased Travel Agency, Global Getaways International Travel Consultants. She is an Accredited Cruise Counsellor, a Cancun Specialist, a Certified Sandals Specialist, and a Holland America 5-Star Agent. To find out more about Global Getaways and the amazing destinations, cruises, villas, and resorts offered, please visit Global Getaways.
By: Deena Gainor