Travel Agent, Travel Advisor – what’s the difference? Aren’t they both sellers of travel? No lovely, the digital age hit the travel industry like a bulldozer & forced Travel Agents to evolve into an entirely new being.
While a Travel Agent was the go-to for anything travel-related in the 90s (and earlier), the internet shifted the way they do business because, as you probably well know, travellers have access to a world wide web of travel information.
Not only that, with a click of the laptop touchpad, travellers can book their own flights, organise their own accommodation, seek out their own tours and even, organise unique local activities.
Technology practically made the traditional definition of the Travel Agent redundant, but it didn’t have the empathy and personal approach to replace human touch altogether, which saw the birth of the Travel Advisor.
The new breed of Travel Advisors don’t just sell travel; they go above and beyond to offer expertise, advice, assistance, added value and more to give their clients a complete holiday experience, not just an A to B itinerary, Forbes.com reported.
Beyond that, Forbes.com found five ways for travellers to determine whether they’re dealing with someone who’s just selling them travel and someone who’s advising them on how to have an epic getaway:
THEY DON’T JUST SELL TRAVEL
As mentioned earlier, the 90s Travel Agent was all about selling travel; the Travel Advisor sees selling travel as the “framework” to build great experiences and make contacts.
THEY’RE DESTINATION OR CRUISE EXPERTS
What you may or may not have realised is that Travel Agents use their free time to complete specialist training courses that make them experts in select destinations and sectors of travel.
For example, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has an extensive training platform that thousands of consultants have completed in order to become ‘cruise experts’. They use this knowledge to place different personality types on the right cruise.
EVERYTHING IS UNIQUE
Travel Advisors don’t just book you on the flight that’ll give them the highest commission or the tour that seems close to what you’re looking for; they’ll customise your itinerary with the attitude that one size does not fit all in travel.
THEY’RE THERE ALMOST 24/7
Although they’d love to switch off at 5.30pm every day, Travel Advisors will always attempt to be available for their clients, particularly when something goes wrong abroad.
THEY KNOW THEIR WORTH
If you’re dealing with a Travel Advisor don’t be surprised to find that you may need to pay a service fee. They’re experts in their field and they know that they’re worth a couple of extra dollars.
CLICK HERE to read Forbes.com’s full story on the evolution of the Travel Agent to Travel Advisor.
- READ: “Why I took myself off travel brochure distribution lists”
- READ: Flight Centre waves the rainbow flag in Adelaide
- READ: Why new-to-cruise customers are an Agent’s asset
What other differences are there between the Travel Agent & a Travel Advisor?
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