Travel Agent NewsBusiness is booming as clients see the value of an ‘advisor’ rather than an ‘agent’.

Travellers are turning to travel advisors now more than ever

Business is flocking to US travel advisors as clients seek to travel the world.
Business is flocking to US travel advisors as clients seek to travel the world. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/ThorstenSchmitt

When, in 2018, the American Society of Travel Agents rebranded and encouraged the use of the term “travel advisor” something wonderful happened.

New data from the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) shows travellers are increasingly looking to travel advisors to book their next trip, with 27% of member advisors saying that more than half of their clients are working with a travel advisor for the first time.

The new title emphasises the professional service element of the profession over a transactional relationship, ASTA says.

Now, data shows that the name change is resonating with travel consumers, with more than 50% of advisors reporting that their clients are more likely to pay professional fees and over half of advisors charge those fees based on research, consultation, planning, ticketing, or flat fees.

Most of those advisors who charge fees charge between US$100-U$300.

And there’s more – 81% of travel advisors have reported an increase in sales from last year.

In addition, over two-thirds of advisors are saying their clients are more likely to travel to an international destination than last year, while 43% say that their clients are more likely to travel to an exotic or “bucket-list” destination. Cue Phuket, Penang and Bali.

“These numbers are positive and bear out what we hear from our members almost every single day,” said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors.

“Business is booming, and travel advisors continue to be a vital part of the travel industry. Advisors continue to bring their clients elevated experiences, peace of mind and unmatched customer service. Those will never go out of style.”

Other Key Findings from ASTA:

  • Sales for ocean cruising are on a positive trajectory, showing promising growth into 2024. 90% of travel advisors sell ocean cruises. And of those travel advisors, 70% have ocean cruise bookings well into 2024.
  • 46.7% of travel advisors have clients booked on river cruises in 2024.
  • 86.8% of travel advisors fear flight delays and cancellations will affect client’s travel plans, more so than inflation and the rise of cost to travel.

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