‘Askholes’, as defined by the meme-iverse, are people who seek out a Travel Agent’s advice but then go home to their computers and use that information to book their trips online.

Travel Agent encounters with these leeches of information and time have increased over the last few years as keyboard confidence amongst consumers has grown.

In fact, these visits have grown so rapidly in recent times, consultants say they’ve had to devise various techniques such as charging by the hour, to avoid falling into pirating traps.

Even more concerning is that Aussie Travel Agent, Kaylee, said there’s an evolved version of the ‘askhole’ emerging in agencies across the country, whereby they seek out professionals after booking for help and/or a brochure.

They’re almost a plague for Travel Agents with Cara saying there’s “far too many of these people about”, while Muffy referred to them as “stupid askholes”!

But before we judge these information-thieving types, it’s important to understand why they behave as they do.

KARRYON put a shout out to experts on the subject of ‘askholes’ (you) on a highly performing Facebook post as to why they think this type of traveller exists, and here’s what they had to say:

 

“The perception is a better deal is found online”

Askhole meme

Nick said he believes that the rise of ‘askholes’ emerged from a “disintermediation, which has caused the breakdown with transitional bricks and mortar retail”.

He continued, saying that “the perception is a better deal is found online aka aggregators such as Trivago etc appear to offer the best deals. Another challenge is the lack of regulation with any person being able to list something online with little or no overhead. Check out Uber or Airbnb for classic examples… Travel Agents need to adjust their methods for ultimate long-term success”.

 

“They want to ‘validate’ their research”

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Christine took a similar stance to Nick, saying that she believes ‘askholes’ are on a mission to find the best deal, and think they can find it by talking to consultants and searching online.

“I think some people just want to make sure they really are getting a good deal”.

She continued, saying that in addition to pricing, consumers ultimately know that consultants are travel experts and so they seek their advice as a means of validating their research.

 

“Because they can”

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If the Internet has given us one thing, aside from easy access to Kardashian gossip, it’s freedom. Freedom to choose how we buy groceries, communicate with family and friends and even, book our travel.

While this freedom may seem like a threat, it’s actually an opportunity for consultants to create solutions that’ll convince these ‘askholes’ to book with them rather than over a computer.

READ: Travel professional hailed a hero after posting honest response to online booker

READ: Is online still blowing the mind of traditional consultants?

What can Agents do to convert ‘askholes’ into customers?