Happy new year! It’s time to get excited about what lies ahead for 2018 as well as reflect on what an epic year 2017 really was for the travel industry.

So how was your break? Feeling rested?

We certainly hope so because us folk at KarryOn reckon 2018 is going to be an absolute whopper of a year for savvy Travel Agents everywhere – and here’s why.

But first, a quick glance back to 2017 (Hard to believe that was literally only two days ago right?).

The good news was that while the industry saw the usual rollercoaster of highs and occasional lows, overall it was a solid year for most travel businesses with sales buoyant and Aussies travelling in high numbers.

2017 saw an actual 6.3% rise in total outbound international travellers from Australia: The highest growth figure since 2012 according to AFTA.


Airfares remained low and ultra-competitive and new routes seemingly opened up left, right and centre with so many new products and experiences coming online across all sectors of the industry.

Some destinations boomed (hello Japan, Sri Lanka and Canada), while others dropped off a little in favour (We’re sure you can work those out for yourselves) and will no doubt return soon with new reasons to visit.

And while safety was an issue at times (We purposely stopped reporting on terrorism events in 2017 because we felt there was enough bad news doing the rounds), the good news is that this ‘new norm’ meant people just changed their plans rather than stopped travelling altogether.

The way people travel began to change too with health and well-being becoming more of a priority and increased demand for adventure and active travel.

2017 was the official UN ‘Year Of Sustainable Travel’ and it was amazing to see the Australian travel industry stepping up to ‘Travel to change the world’ too alongside our KarryOn focus and increasingly drive positive change with awesome initiatives such as The Flight Centre Foundation, The Travel Corporation’s Treadright Foundation, G-Adventures Planterra Foundation, The Intrepid Foundation and Chimu Adventures MAD Project to name but a few.

Travelling with purpose became more about actively helping the people and the places we visit and the long-term viability of the travel industry rather than just donating money to feel good about ourselves. This is a trend that is only going to continue to rise in popularity in 2018.


Travel to change the world…

But most of all, Travel Agent’s continued to become more relevant than ever, as online Travel businesses copped plenty of customer service flak and more customers wised up to the fact that having an actual human being organise their travel, not just to save them money but be their own personal ‘Travel Insurance policy’ too was an incredibly valuable thing.

Our ‘9 Reasons to use a Travel Agent in 2017’ and cheeky ‘7 reasons why you should NEVER book with a Travel Agent’ stories were some of our most read articles of 2017 that were shared out with travellers everywhere on Social Media.


Did someone say “I need a Travel Agent!”

All of this looks extremely promising for agents in 2018, and already I’m calling 2018 ‘The year of the Travel Agent’.

Why? Because for all that happened in 2017, one thing is sure:

“Booking travel has got a whole lot more complex and confusing for the average traveller thanks to the plethora of new routes, products, travel types and destinations on offer as well as enhanced safety concerns that came into play in 2017.”

Which means opportunities aplenty for those savvy Travel Agents that rise to meet the new demand in 2018.

Bring. It. On. We’re with you all the way.

READ: 2017 will go down in travel history as the year…

READ: I got screwed last night booking travel online

READ: 5 things Travel Agents really want from Santa this Christmas

READ: The BEST Travel Agent pics of 2017

READ: Online Travel Agencies take a big hit and Travel Agents are laughing

What do you think 2018 will bring? Share your thoughts below.