It’s safe to say that the internet has affected many industries especially the travel industry. With websites such as orbiz.com, expedia.com, hotwire.com and others, its easy to believe that travel agents are becoming less needed in today’s society. More people seem to be going online to find travel deals to their favorite destinations. With that being said will travel agents be needed in the future?
According to the American Society of Travel Agents, the travel industry is doing very well. Contrary to your belief there are statistics that back up their claim. There are nearly 10,000 U.S.- based travel agency firms operating in 15,000 locations across the nation. The travel firms process more than $146 billion in annual travel sales accounting for more than 50 percent of all travel sold. Collectively their payroll is 6.3 billion and their industry produces 120,000 full-time U.S. taxpayers.
With these staggering numbers it’s likely that travel agents will stay around and be relevant for a long time. The travel agency industry seems to be thriving and a stable part in the vacation-goers minds. The travel industry remains a business built on personal relationships. Travelers like to share past vacation stories and memories with travel agents as they book their next vacation. Consumers like to purchase trips and vacations from experienced travelers who have in depth knowledge and experience. They also like the personal connection they get from a person who has industry connections and knows their travel wants and needs. Through a travel agent, they see their dream vacations become a reality while booking online can give consumers an uneasy feeling. Expect travel agents to be involved in vacation planning for a while.