If anything good has come out of this pandemic, it is that Travel Agents are a vital part of the industry and key to customers’ peace of mind when booking their trips, post-COVID-19.
Dear travel agents,
You are knowledgable, you are valuable and you are needed, more than ever, in the travel industry.
It has certainly not been an easy ride for you, but you are resilient and hopefully, this report from Travelport will put a smile on your face.
The report reads ‘since the beginning of the crisis, travel agencies have played a key role in acting as trusted advisors in a rapidly changing situation — providing updated policy information and facilitating journey changes and cancellations.’
‘And now that people are willing to travel again, the priority for agencies is shifting once more — to assure travelers that it is safe to travel. They are doing this by providing information on the supplier safety and hygiene measures that travelers confirm are key to influencing bookings.’
Guide to travel recovery
Travelport’s ‘Guide to Travel Recovery‘ report saw 1,000 travellers from each of five markets (USA, UK, India, Australia, and New Zealand) surveyed in July 2020.
The respondents were asked to identify what safety measures travellers need travel companies, such as airlines, airports, hotels, tour companies and car hire, to have to ensure they feel confident enough to book a future trip.
The survey found that 33% of people are now more likely to book using a travel agent, with 82% being either more likely or the same as before.
65% say the information and insight agents can provide is their most crucial draw; confirming that travel agencies will be instrumental in communicating their safety measures and policy updates.
Almost a quarter (23%) of travelers are drawn to agents for their ability to change a ticket and 39% of young travelers (18-38yrs) are now more likely to use a travel agency to book their trip, representing the biggest change.
The study determined that the majority of travellers are ready to consider travel, so long as certain measures are in place. These peace-of-mind measures include fully flexible or refundable flight tickets, enhanced cleaning, social distancing, contactless services and mandatory face masks.
Based on the collected data, some of the forecasts that Travelport is predicting include the US market to be the first to recover, due to its large domestic market, Europe will likely benefit from close international cooperation to deliver regional recovery, and all-inclusive resorts could potentially replace cruising.
It is also predicted that full international travel will be the last market to return, so a focus on domestic and ‘bubble’ travel will be key to getting people moving again.
Overall, our findings suggest that people now value travel agencies more than ever in the booking process, and that — as recovery gets underway — they will have more influence beyond retailing alone. This will now extend to guiding travelers as they book and manage their journeys.
Click here to read the full report.
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