Travel agency myths. (photo courtesy Avoya Travel)
There are many myths and rumors about travel these days, especially about the role of the travel advisor (and why travelers should use them). People like to say that there is no longer a use for travel advisors and that it’s an easy task to plan a trip on your own—the Internet has wiped away the need for advisors who just book tickets and hotels.
Not so! Any traveler with a trip on the books during the pandemic likely knows the value of professional travel planning these days and why travel advisors are so critical to the vacation experience.
Here are four of the biggest travel agency myths and how travel advisors can combat them in sales pitches to potential clients:
Travel Advisors Are a Relic of the Past
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“Old school” and “outdated” are terms that wrongly describe the role of the travel advisor in this age. Travel advisors have learned to adapt with changing times and are more adept than ever at booking the vacations travelers want to take most.
In fact, travel advisor services are needed now more than ever, especially with the changing future of the travel industry.
Advice for travel advisors: Your services are not relics of the past. You are the expert in every category of travel, providing knowledge for your clients that a simple Google search cannot. Think of your services more as “adventure advice”, guiding clients through every turn of their booking journey. Use this language while communicating with potential clients to convey the value of your services.
Every Travel Advisor Is the Same
Another falsehood. There’s a travel advisor for every type of travel and, these days, many advisors specialize and become experts in specific types of travel in order to differentiate themselves.
Just like a client, there is no “one size fits all” for a travel advisor. That’s why it’s important to pair a client with a travel advisor who specializes in their specific vacation.
Advice for travel advisors: Take steps to differentiate your travel business. What booking categories are you most familiar with? Let this be the focus of your business and make it known to your potential clients—you’ll find your client matches in no time.
It’s Cheaper and Faster to Plan It Myself
Definitely a myth. Travel advisors have the upper hand when it comes to finding the best deals for any specific type of vacation. Their affiliations with travel networks, credentials and certifications allow them to plan dream vacations for clients within their budget. Booking with a travel advisor is truly priceless.
Advice for travel advisors: This is the perfect time to convey your expertise! Explain to your client what credentials you have and the discounts they will receive by booking through you vs. by themselves. While technology may lend a hand to clientele booking by themselves, your expertise is invaluable.
A family working with a travel advisor. (photo via South_agency / getty images)
Clients Have Little to No Control Over Their Trip
This is false. Clients of travel advisors can be as hands-on or as hands-off as they want.
If a client has a specific vision in mind, it’s the travel advisors’ job to see that come to full fruition. The level of how much a customer would like to be involved with their vacation planning is completely up to them.
Advice for travel advisors: Be sure to capture your client’s vision of the booking experience from day one of communication. Have them rate the level of their involvement wishes from 1 to 10 and plan their trip accordingly.