8 Benefits of Booking With Your Local Travel Agent
With the rise in online travel agents, visiting your local travel agent can seem unnecessary. But is it?
Once upon a time, almost all holiday makers relied on travel agents to make their travel bookings, be it for transportation, lodging or admission to entertainment activities. Agents offered advice on destinations, trip itineraries, safety, security, weather and more. This remains true but today’s local travel agent brings even more to the table. This is due in part to the vast amount of new travel information available.
Why book with your local travel agent
Tourism trends and practices are changing constantly. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) estimates that internationally there were just 25 million tourist arrivals in 1950. Today, this number has increased to 1.4 billion international arrivals per year – a 56-fold increase. Destinations have changed too. In 1950, two-thirds of tourists arrived in Europe but today that number has declined to around 50%. Instead, tourists are exploring Asia & Pacific, Middle East and Africa more and more.
With this change comes a lot of new information to filter through. For the average holiday-maker or business traveller, this information is too much to take on. For your local travel agent, however, filtering and deciphering the information is their job and they can make sense of it better than anyone. Once your agent has determined your wants, needs and preferences, they can use their specialist knowledge to arrange the perfect trip, making them invaluable.
When you choose to work with your local travel agent to book your travel, be it for pleasure or business, you:
1. Benefit from a one-stop shop
There are many variables that make planning and booking a perfect trip complex, such as multiple destinations, multiple travellers, transfers, visa and entry-requirements. Add to that kids and pets, medications, flight changes, oversized baggage and lots of activities and things can get complicated.
The last thing you want when you’re away is to realise you’ve forgotten something important. That’s where a one-stop-shop travel agent comes into play – helping you simplify the planning and booking process to ensure that every requirement is met. Booking things all at one time can also save you money.
2. Support the local economy
When you choose to do business in your local community you ensure that more of that money stays within your community. Local businesses hire local workers and as well as staff for the store, a business will hire local architects and contractors for building and remodelling, local accountants and insurance brokers to help them run the business, and local ad agencies to promote it. This all supports a thriving and close community and boosts the local economy.
3. Discover things you might not have considered
When delving into a new subject matter you’re not expected to know everything. You might think you’ve found the perfect hotel but without knowing the area well you might not realise it’s on the wrong side of town and you’ll have to cab it everywhere instead of enjoying leisurely strolls to restaurants and cafes.
You could find a steal of a deal but forget that it’s wet season or you might think a place is safe because you haven’t heard about the recently issued travel warning. When booking travel it’s easy to get caught up in hotel photos, guest reviews and perceived ideas and when these let you down it can be hugely disappointing. Remember, if your travel agent hasn’t been there they will likely know someone who has been there and that means real, genuine advice.
4. Enjoy personalised service
With so much experience and a commitment to quality service you can rest assured that by choosing to work with your local travel agent you will benefit from a personalised experience. Travel services can be highly individualised and tailored to your exact needs. This means you can enjoy the wonders of your holiday stress-free and focus on the experience as opposed to the booking process.
Travel agents understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all package and that each traveller is unique. The more you use your agent, the better they’ll get to know you and the kind of experiences you love.
5. Get 24-hour help
When you book with a travel agent there will always be help available should you need it. This is one of the major benefits of booking in person. Your travel agent’s emergency travel experts are available 24/7, 365 days a year to provide around-the-clock support for you, ensuring you’re never alone no matter where you find yourself.
This makes a travel agent your ultimate travel partner, helping you to determine the best options in the event of a long delay, cancellation, safety or security risk or sudden change in plans.
6. Can book now pay later
For holiday makers wanting flexibility and financial freedom, your local travel agent can offer you a range of payment options. This means you can book your dream holiday when deals come up, secure the best hotel at the best price, stay longer or upgrade your accommodation and then pay later.
With a travel agent you have the freedom to say “yes” to unmissable moments and can book right at the last minute without taking a hit to your bank balance.
7. Have access to exclusive rates
Global connections can mean travel agents have access to exclusive client benefits such as upgrades, added inclusions and discount rates. Agents who send clients to the same properties get to know the staff and by forming relationships they can ask for favours. Favours might come in the form of a free massage, bottle of champagne, room credit, nicer car or a larger room. A travel agent is more than just a credit card to a hotel or travel operator and they tend to take care of agents better for hope of repeat business.
8. Save time
To plan and book your own trip you have to set aside hours of time you might not have. There’s so much information out there it’s hard to know what’s important and you can easily miss a key detail. A travel agent will manage your most valuable and non-renewable asset: your time.
Travelling with a group? A travel agent is especially great at organising group bookings and will save you the time and effort it takes rounding up exact requirements from every traveller. Travel agents do the work for you and will do everything in their power to make sure they give you the experience you want.
Need more convincing? Simply visit our fantastic travel agents – Flight Centre & Travel Associates at Marketplace Gungahlin to experience first-hand the passion and expertise of local travel agents.