How are travel agents doing in the internet age?

This article talks about something that has become kind of a recurring theme on this blog – the role of travel agents. Here, they argue that travel agents are more relevant than ever and that the internet has helped travel agents by allowing them to work from home (although they do acknowledge that some agencies have gone out of business due to the internet).

So, if it’s not airline bookings, what’s generating sales in this market? According to the experts, a shift into niche and specialty markets has proved very profitable for travel agents. There are certain kinds of travel excursions that people aren’t going to plan without consulting someone with experience, said Mike Pina, director of public relations at AAA. Some of these specialty travel areas include adoption travel, health travel, volunteer travel and grandparent travel — all of which require detailed itinerary planning and instruction, he said.

Now if grandparent travel just means traveling with grandparents I don’t see why you need any special instruction. I went on a cruise with my grandparents years ago and it was pretty much the same as going on a cruise without them in terms of planning. I suppose if it were climbing a mountain or something you would need to be extra careful…

Anyway, not too long ago we had an example of a successful travel agent. And as many of you know I found that I needed one to figure out how to use my travel rewards from NCL (turns out they gave me the upgrade without charging me any points so I still have lots of points left).

Still I wonder if kids in high school and college now or adults looking for a new career should consider becoming a travel agent considering the challenges and change facing the industry. What do you think?

Filed Under: Travel & tourism jobs

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