Some say 2019 is the year of the ‘Pig’, others say it’s the year of ‘women’, while we agree that 2019 will be both those things, we also truly believe it’ll be the Year of the Travel Advisor.

That’s right lovely Travel Advisor – this year is YOUR year and it’s all about clients returning to you in larger numbers, more-so than in the last few years.

Why is this the case? These are just a few of the reasons…

 

ONLINE BOTCHES

Let’s start with the scare factor – online errors.

Did you know that 40 percent of people (according to a Skyscanner study) confessed to messing up their travel plans while using an online travel agent (OTA) last year?

Consumers are now more than ever, or since the birth of OTAs, realising how easy it is to botch their travel plans when using a digital-only system. In fact, they’re so terrified of making an error that they’re spending more than 15 minutes double checking and reviewing plans before pressing the ‘book’ button.

The reason for this fear is not only because their holidays are at risk, but attempting to correct an online mistake is as difficult as pulling out a baby tooth in the first few weeks of ‘wobble’. You’ll need a string, a door and a whole lot of bravery – and it still won’t work.

Although Travel Advisors aren’t without their flaws (there isn’t one that hasn’t accidentally booked the wrong flight, wrong room or mistaken dates), travellers are increasingly seeing how much easier and stressfree it is booking, making last minute changes and correcting any last minute surprises through an actual person.

This growing awareness is all thanks to…

 

ADVISORS EMERGING AS HEROES

When online bookings stuff up, who you gonna call? Almost every time, it’s a Travel Advisor.

Travel Advisors are proving to be industry heroes who, despite not making money on the original booking, will open their doors to support and assist travellers in an online kerfuffle.

Although dozens of instances can be named, the two that stand out are the time consultants were called up to help rescue hundreds of Bali-stranded holidaymakers during Tigerair’s early 2017 suspension and more recently, Bestjet’s collapse.

Again, while consultants didn’t stand to make much money from stepping in at the last minute, they did earn respect from the Australian public and more than likely gained new, appreciative clients for life.

 

COLLABORATION WITH ONLINE

karryon_handshake

Collaboration between Travel Advisors and the online world may have seen extremely unlikely in the past, but it’s now becoming a requirement in order for both parties to grow.

Agency groups such as TravelManagers, italktravel and Travellers Choice were among the first to acknowledge the need to work with online travel agencies by teaming up with the likes of Luxury Escapes and TripADeal. Over the last year and through these relations, the agency groups have gained access to a market of travellers who would have otherwise gone online to book packaged holidays.

It’s a win-win-win because the consultant gets the commission, the traveller gets the online deal along with the security of booking through an actual advisor, and the OTA gets their money.

 

DICK SMITH’S WORD COUNTS

karryon-dick-smith-travel

It may be have seemed a little wild to some watching Dick Smith blast OTAs for “extorting” Aussie hoteliers late last year, but the businessman made some valid points that left a lasting impression on the travelling public.

That impression is – OTAs are “leeches”.

Smith went on to encourage Australian travellers to make sure they’re either booking direct or working with an Agent. Both of which ensures Aussies are supporting local businesses and local jobs.

 

TRAVELLERS ARE GREEN, ADVISORS ARE TOO

We don’t need to tell you it, but sustainable tourism is not just increasingly becoming popular, it is popular. Holidaymakers want to travel to support local communities, keep the planet green and make a positive difference.

The only problem is that a lot of the time they don’t know which operators to use. Lucky for them, Travel Advisors do.

Thanks to guidance and education from earth-positive operators such as Chimu Adventures, Intrepid Travel and G Adventures, Travel Advisors are in-the-kn0w and will benefit from the rising number of ethical travellers.

Beyond that, travellers are also looking for businesses that share the same attitudes towards a greener future such as Michelle Desmarchelier and Samantha Smith who are both active in reducing wastage.

 

Why do you think 2019 will be the Year of Travel Advisor?