USA Today Promotes Travel Agents

by Richard D’Ambrosio
USA Today Promotes Travel Agents

Brianna Glenn, Milk + Honey Travels, Los Angeles, was one agent featured in the USA Today article.


The positive evolution of travel agents from order takers to consultants was promoted in a recent USA Today article that also highlighted how agents add value to consumers throughout their travel experience.

In a June 11, 2017 article, the newspaper quotes a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA), suggesting that the title "travel agent" is favored by only 13% of members. USA Today called the title “close to obsolete” based on everything good agents do today.

Roughly half of the respondents to the NACTA survey said they want to be called "travel consultant,” while about a quarter like "travel professional." USA Today quotes Brianna Glenn, owner of Milk + Honey Travel in Los Angeles, as saying she prefers "personal luxury travel consultant."

"It's far more than just booking travel components. It's about listening to someone and understanding what they are after and helping them create that,” Glenn told writer Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler.

He wrote: “The best travel agents do more than book airline tickets or rental cars. They find lost IDs for their clients, ensure your favorite chair is in your hotel room, and even lobby for laws that benefit you. When was the last time your travel site did that for you?”

Featured in the article are Kerry Mooneyham, a travel agent with Midwest Travel Solutions in Parkville, MO, who talked about how she met a client at the airport in New Orleans after he left his ID in a taxi on the way to a cruise vacation. She helped arrange for a courier to deliver the documents to the port.

Also highlighted is Melissa Gutting, a travel professional with Travel Leaders in River Falls, WI, who arranged to have a special reclining chair available for a multi-generational vacation at a Mexico resort.

Elliott also wrote about how agents advocate for consumers on issues like taxes. Jay Ellenby, chairman of the American Society of Travel Agents and owner of Bel Air, MD-based Safe Harbors Travel, recounted his work at the state and federal level trying to combat a variety of laws and rulings that could work against consumers.

At the end of the article, Elliott offers tips to consumers, including asking for references and contacting them. “The best agents and advocates will gladly offer a list of references and invite you to contact them,” he wrote.

He also promoted ASTA’s Travelsense.org consumer website, to search for an agent by specialty.

  1
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Top Five 2017 Travel Destinations

1. Havana, Cuba

2. Cape Town, South Africa

3. Merida, Mexico

4. Denver, Colorado

5. Vancouver, Canada

Source: Forbes

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Rise Of Independent Hotels: An Opportunity For Travel Agents
Rise Of Independent Hotels: An Opportunity For Travel Agents

Travel professionals understand what a client wants and what a hotel has to offer -- and that makes for a perfect match.

Travel Agents Are In Vogue. Literally.
Travel Agents Are In Vogue. Literally.

The industry is abuzz as the famous fashion magazine says the use of travel agents is back in style among the world's cognoscenti.

California Invests In Agent Tool To Help Sell Curated Trips
California Invests In Agent Tool To Help Sell Curated Trips

The state's tourism agency has upgraded its training and sales tools because it feels travel agents are best able to sell authentic experiences.

Industry Mourns Passing Of Pallavi Shah
Industry Mourns Passing Of Pallavi Shah

A beloved travel industry fixture who connected people to each other, and to destinations all over the world, Shah is being remembered fondly this week.

Travel Agent Bonanza Continues With Strong Summer Vacation Season
Travel Agent Bonanza Continues With Strong Summer Vacation Season

Best summer ever should buoy travel consultants, especially those in the luxury sector.

AIG Travel Rolls Out Customizable Insurance
AIG Travel Rolls Out Customizable Insurance

Destination wedding canceled because groom got cold feet? Stranded on the tarmac for two hours? New Travel Guard products address issues not typically covered by travel insurance.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: American Queen Steamboat Company