A recent study confirms that people booking through a travel agent believe the practice saves money now and frustration later.
A recent PhoCusWright’s Consumer Travel Report found that 80% of people who book through a travel agent do so for two reasons.
- Either because they want personal interaction with their agent.
- Or because they believe agents can positively influence pricing now, and problems encountered on the trip.
The study found that 8 of 10 consumers who book their travel offline value face-to-face service:
- 3 in 10 want personal service.
- 2 in 10 believe they get better customer service if something goes wrong.
- 2 in 10 believe they get better deals if they visit with a travel agent.
- 1 in 10 want to use a particular travel agent
Privacy and safety issues are no longer the major driver for why people don’t book online.
In fact only 7% of travelers say they would not book travel online because they didn’t want to submit their credit card information online.
There are several insights that leisure marketing pros can extrapolate from this study:
- The demise of the offline travel agency has greatly exaggerated.
- Travel agents fill an important role for people who prefer human interaction over hours spent alone planning their trip online.
- Face-to-face interactions between travel agents and consumers build trust and belief in the agent’s expertise and ability to provide better pricing and service over online options.