ASTA’s new survey, the “Value of Travel Agents,” is creating a buzz with their latest evaluation to demonstrate the value of using a travel specialist. In short, the study results showed that people who use travel agents are more likely to be happier with their trips than those who don’t.
Sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, travel consulting firm MMGY Global polled approximately 8,400 Americans with incomes exceeding $50,000 who had traveled within the last year.
Of those travelers, 13% (about 1 in 10) had consulted a leisure travel specialist for their travel plans, an increase of 2% from a few years ago. Of those who did not use a travel specialist, 41% were open to using one in the future.
So, who is calling the travel companies, and why?
- Baby Boomers – 22% of travelers
- Millennials – 29% of travelers
- Gen Xers – 50% of travelers
Over 50% of vacationers who used an agent said their had better experiences compared to those planned without a travel specialist, and the top uses for consulting a travel specialist were expertly planned trips and professional knowledge of destinations and suppliers. On the business travel side, about 2 in 10 used an agent to book their business travel and made more trips per year than those who didn’t consult an agent. Among those who chose not to call a travel specialist, more than half preferred control over trip research and organization, saying they simply “never thought to [use an agent].”
Steve Cohen, vice president of insights for MMGY Global, said the following to recap:
“People who use travel agents are happy about their use of them and happy in life. The problem is that not enough people recognize what travel agents can do for them. The opportunity [for agencies] isn’t to convince [consumers] why they’re better; it’s just to convince them that agents are still there.”
Do you use a travel specialist for your business travel?
Would you recommend other travelers to do so? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.