Many predicted that access to easy online booking would make travel agents and advisors less relevant. But a recent article on Skift.com highlights the different ways agents and advisors have reinvented their roles in response to the pandemic and made themselves indispensable to travelers today.
Pointing to data from the American Society of Travel Advisors, 76% of agents/advisors saw an increase in customers vs. pre-pandemic, and 81% said they were hearing from consumers who had never used an agent/advisor before.
Travelers use advisors for different reasons, but the increasing complexity of travel is a common theme. It takes more time to plan and book a trip. Some destinations still have different requirements and cancellation policies. And flight schedules are more fluid than ever. Travelers are looking for help sorting through it all, and someone to provide some peace of mind, according to Skift.com.
Flywire has seen a similar trend in the luxury travel segment, where high-end travelers are increasingly seeking out advisors and agents to take on a lot of the work that goes into planning the perfect getaway. For our research report The Luxe Life: Luxury Travel’s Role in the Industry’s Recovery, we surveyed 648 luxury travelers from the United States regarding their attitudes about traveling post-pandemic. More than half of those we surveyed said they planned to use a travel agent/advisor for 2022 trips, and many viewed them as indispensable:
- 88% see travel agents as a one-stop point of contact for their trips
- 85% believe they are the best way to get a personalized travel experience
- 74% believe it’s the only way to get a true luxury travel experience
Those luxury travelers who planned to use an agent/advisor also cited specific benefits such as better organization, valuable information about traveling, increased safety and comfort, and the ability for agents to find better deals.
You can download the complete report here. In addition to examining why luxury travelers are turning to agents and advisors, it also looks at how luxury travelers are making decisions, where they plan to go, and how luxury travel preferences have changed.