WHY TRAVEL WITH TRAVEL AGENTS?
“Using a travel consultant is like great bottle of wine. You may never know all the love and attention that went into creating the trip- but you’ll definitely taste it”
They act like a passport to the world for all by connecting you to that destination that you never knew existed... They toil behind the scenes taking care of everything that is required for a perfect vacation. They save your productive hours with their expertise so that you can take care of what is essential. Yes they are TRAVEL AGENTS who with their expertise facilitate your approach to all the exotic wonders that this world beholds…
Bogged down by liabilities, challenged by Internet, used only for advise, under paid, heavily taxed, fighting for sustenance; are some of the challenges that the Travel Agencies today face yet they harbor the hopes of revival and are gearing up to serve all the travel hungry folks with zeal, passion, safety and dedication. In this article we would attempt to understand that WHY in this contemporary DIY Travel era enabled by high speed internet and affordable data prices one must still book with Travel Agencies…
Imagine after real long flight you are made to wait at the lobby of the hotel as your name doesn’t appear in the booking list due to some discrepancy. Now you desperately try to call the helpdesk of the DIY portal to check, only to be greeted by an unending IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System)… and finally when the voice of the unknown human greets you only to be oblivious to your sorry tale, will this not be INFURIATING for a weary traveler? Now imagine the same you who has booked via travel agent who is only a ping / message / call away and who will intervene on your behalf and ensure that issue is resolved at the earliest and you are comfortable... Many agents have actively intervened and assisted their clients who have been stuck in unpleasant situations like medical emergency on tour, missed flights, assistance for lost baggage or rescuing the stranded passenger, their availability for their clients throughout the journey cycle is what makes Agents like Moms who’ll answer the distress call even in the mid-night...
Want to book online a sea facing villa at French Riviera for your French holiday?? Imagine sifting through 5000 plus search results that Internet throws up and finally shortlisting one that suits your needs… Seems like a daunting task isn’t it?? Only search for it will take you a good two months of time with no assurance that you have bagged the best price… In such a scenario only Travel Agent can assist you and save your precious time, money, and effort due to their expertise. An opportunity cost is not lost all thanks to an Agent…
SHIELD AGAINST THE UNKNOWN CHARGES
Did you know that algorithm based online travel product offerings of the web portals undergo fluctuations multiple times resulting into frequent price fluctuations… What seems like best buy is not inclusive of taxes and hidden charges which pop up like a surprise by the time you finish your booking resulting into cost swell up. Agent can protect you against this as they can hold the prices for you for 24 to 48 hours; their pricing is transparent, devoid of any hidden charges and unwelcome additions.
CUSTOMIZED DESTINATION SUGGESTIONS
Imagine catering to a guest query which reads, I want to go to some nice place over the extended weekend, which is comfortable, not very expensive, exotic, luxurious, adventurous and serves hotdog enclosed in a pizza!!!! OMG now which places will you suggest to a guest who wants to travel to a destination offering all of it????
It is a proven fact that majority of travelers have NO SPECIFIC destination in mind at the inception. POTENTIAL THEORY ALERT!!! ;-) Did you know that people select the destinations for holidaying based on their personal attributes? In fact; Stanley Plog a renowned tourism theorist and practitioner has created the most cited and referred model in Tourism titled TRAVEL TYPOLOGY. It is a continuum which delineates the travelers based along a curve. Agents understand this and suggest the destinations to the travelers based on their likes, dislikes and personal attributes. Veteran agents ensure that no two clients are given same destination suggestions….
VENDOR RELATIONSHIPS & PERKS
Imagine entering your Hotel Room after checking-in and finding your photograph in a beautiful frame, or finding your photograph on the wine bottle in a form of a sticker… And, all this absolutely COMPLIMENTARY!!! No virtual platform can customize it for you to this extent. It can be only done by a humble agent with very strong Vendor relationships, who can create such WOW factors for their clients. Agents always attempt to maintain cordial relationships with their Vendors which also win them a few add-on’s that can be passed over to their clients... These add on’s can be in the form of complimentary shore excursions, discount coupons, promo codes, free safari, complimentary dinner, free activity etc… Their relations with DMC’s (Destination Management Companies) enables them to arrange best possible ground services to their clients like hiring of qualified Tour Guide, ensuring a confirmed seat at the cinema hall / concert, show or a restaurant etc... And as the Brick and Mortar v/s Web competition heats up, agents can certainly use this as a tool for positive leverage to withstand the virtual onslaught.
No matter how hard you try, you may never be able to know destination to the fullest, considering the humongous literature available online when you research. However, Agents undertake the in depth study of destinations, visit destinations as a part of FAM (Familiarization Trip) and maintain a structured database of the destinations, activities to be indulged in at the destinations and other trivia. This destination knowledge enables them to curate the experiences for the guests and enlighten their clients with crucial tips on the go. Many Agents these days carry Destination Expert Certifications as an assurance of the quality. Their knowledge helps them to acquaint their clients with nuances of the destination and simultaneously sell the additional excursions.
Agents are known to cater to some hilarious requests and create the WOW moments for their clients like; making an arrangement for an underwater proposal for marriage when scuba diving, diligently carving out the trip for a senior citizens, hunting down the restaurant that serves the specific food which guest wants and booking the table for guest there, taking care of the entire paper work for a journey or making an arrangement for the poolside dinner for a honeymoon couple with the guitarist playing their favorite numbers etc, the list is indeed endless… And creating a customized tour for different Group types is a task that only an Agent can handle.
Although technology is playing a considerable role in Travel it can’t win you concern free-holiday, spring up surprises in the form of perks like discounts and freebies, lend you a non judgmental ear when in trouble, give you access to the amenities that not everyone gets, save you some money, ensure maximum customization according to your specific needs.. It is only TRAVEL AGENT who can do all of it for you. So LOOK on internet and BOOK with agent. And now, save OUR CONTACT DETAILS and do not hesitate to call up and check with us as unlock 5.0 unveils.