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

That’s how you get to know your clients better, the nuances of their desires. Here’s a trick – story begets story. So, if what you want from them is a story, give them a story and they will give you a story back.

Kindra Hall, Steller Collective

Daily Top List

Best Spots for Cliff Jumping in Ireland

1. County Antrim

2. County Donegal

3. County Sligo

4. County Galway

5. County Kerry

Source: CNN

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=0dc070f2-85e6-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

Beyond Booking Travel: Where the True Impact Lies

In an industry that advances thanks to the traveling public’s leisure choices, some travel players are doing their part to ignite positive change that will have long-lasting effects.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Three Online Booking Horror Stories That Show the Value of a Good Travel Agent
Three Online Booking Horror Stories That Show the Value of a Good Travel Agent

While the OTAs promise consumers big savings on travel, there are many accounts of travelers being left stranded in far-away locales or having significant expenses added to their travels

Crystal-Balling the Travel Industry: Agents Give Their Predictions for 2019
Crystal-Balling the Travel Industry: Agents Give Their Predictions for 2019

As we enter the final quarter of 2018, Travel Market Report asked our readers what they predict the future will bring and what they are doing to prepare for 2019.

Supplier ‘Come Back’ Programs Raise Ire of Destination Wedding Specialists
Supplier ‘Come Back’ Programs Raise Ire of Destination Wedding Specialists

Travel advisors share their dissatisfaction with supplier programs that encourage guests to steer future bookings away from their agent.

Despite Record Disruptions, Most Travelers Still Don’t Opt for Insurance
Despite Record Disruptions, Most Travelers Still Don’t Opt for Insurance

One out of two vacationers still don’t purchase insurance, despite three out of four having dealt with flight delays, and nearly half having their luggage delayed or lost.

How to Use Stories to Sell Travel in Three Easy Steps
How to Use Stories to Sell Travel in Three Easy Steps

A motivational speaker urges travel advisors to grow their sales by honing their strategic storytelling skills.

Travel Industry Assesses Impact from Midterm Elections
Travel Industry Assesses Impact from Midterm Elections

Top Washington, D.C.-based associations begin to chart the impact on travel.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Tauck