Travel Agents Share Their Wish Lists for 2018

by Kerry Tice
Travel Agents Share Their Wish Lists for 2018

Photo: Shutterstock.com


As the new year approaches, we all have our desires for a prosperous 2018. Travel Market Report asked the agency community what was on their wish lists for the future, in terms of their businesses. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“I’d like travel agents to get to a place where we can be confident in the value that we provide, knowing that we’re professionals and that it’s a professional service we offer. As digital commerce has evolved, a lot of agents have taken the perspective that any business is good business, and I don’t believe that’s true. My biggest wish list is that our confidence grows.”
Jason Merrithew, president of Merit Travel, Toronto

“I’d like to make money. And in this business, volume is king. So, my goal is to expand. Agents need volume to be in a position to negotiate better terms for themselves and for their clients — because the more I give to one supplier, the more they will give me. Travel agents today need to invest in technology and social media and employees, which is expensive. The only way to get that money is to generate more revenue. But a small agency can’t do that, so you have to be in a position to do that.”
Tony Fragapane, owner/manager of Voyages Concierge Deluxe Travel, Quebec
 
“I wish people would be less fearful of international travel because there is so much to learn and enjoy by interacting with people throughout the world. I encourage people to continue to travel and not let world events keep them from expanding their horizons. If you have the money and means, it’s important to get out and travel.”
Dawn Snyder, CTC, luxury travel advisor, World Travel, Tulsa, Oklahoma
 
“My wish is that the economy stays strong and airlines pay commission.”
Paula Killion, DS, CTC, The Travel Center, Hanover, Massachusetts

“My number one item on my wish list is for the tourism boards and tourism authorities in tropical locations to reach out to the Grand Cayman to learn from them how they eradicated ZIKA in their destination and develop a plan to do the same … My second item on my wish list would be for ASTA and travel industry organizations to push for a baseline of policies that license a travel agency/agents nationwide ... I think a nationwide licensing program would weed out the fly-by-night agents and the less-than-honest agents that do the wrong things … We need consumers to have faith in travel professionals, and with every negative story written, the more honest agents have to work to restore consumer confidence.”
Jennifer Doncsecz, CTIE, president of VIP Vacations, Inc., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

“I’d like to see some of the technology that is out there really help streamline work flow and save time. I’m also hoping to see more positive press on the value of a great travel advisor/professional/consultant/agent — whatever you prefer to label us as. I consider myself all of them, by the way.”
Colleen Gillette, New Paltz Travel, New Paltz, New York

As 2017 winds down, this is a good time to sit back and take stock. Travel agents and agency owners would benefit from looking back at what worked and what didn't this year; deciding what they want to accomplish in 2018; and setting new goals and strategies to bring those dreams to fruition.

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