Travel Agents: Real Life Experience Beats Web Browsing

By: Ken Fry

Travel agents are the leading distributors of travel products and services. They are generally geared toward long-term planning (one month in advance or more). Travel agents are an important source of business referrals for many hotel properties. These agents are the people who help us sort through changing airfares and air schedules, vacation packages, visa requirements and resort options.

Hotel
Frustrated with the recent rash of sold-out hotels and airline seats, travelers are discovering that for all the hype, web sites like Hotels are often not as efficient. A travel agent will solve all of your problems. They may also visit hotels, resorts, and restaurants themselves to evaluate the comfort, cleanliness, and the quality of specific hotels and restaurants so that they can base recommendations on their own experiences or those of colleagues or clients.



A travel expert might be able to find a way to help a family with small children get around the hotel policies of only 4 to a room. Agents can arrange all types of domestic and international travel, from hotel and resort accommodations to air and ground transportation, including car rental needs and tour packages. They are more than helpful.

Agencies
To pump up the volume and make more money -- particularly in these tough times -- agencies tend to channel their business to as few suppliers as practical. Agencies in which ticket sales and reservations are a major portion of the work often hire former airline ticket or reservation agents, then shop around at other agencies to compare prices and choices. The minimum requirement for those interested in becoming a travel agent is a high school diploma or equivalent; although many travel agencies prefer applicants who have a college degree and business or travel experience. Courses in accounting and business management also are important, especially for those who expect to manage or start their own travel agencies.

Travel agents are here for the clients before, during and after their trip. They are experts in helping tourist with how to move within the country, where to stay and what to do. A recent study confirms that travel agents are still held in high regard by many travelers, due to their personal service, knowledge, flexibility and choice of vacations they offer. There is a host of compelling reasons to use a travel agent: Travel agents (a.k.a.) life savers are out to find the consumer the best rate available.

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