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We live in a technology era where everything is at your fingertips, even your next trip to Europe or Africa. You can easily book travel through one of the many online travel sites. Knowing this, you’d think the travel industry would see a decline in travel agents. Think again.
According to ASTA’s 2015 Traveler Decision Making Study, sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, “Customers prefer to use travel because it makes things easier. They appreciate that agents can trouble-shoot and take care of any problems they may have. Respondents also believed that travel agents could get them better deals when compared to booking trips on their own.” Furthermore, 41% of Millennials used a travel agent in the past 12 months. It’s no wonder that they’re becoming travel agents – their generation (77 million strong) uses them.
It seems like an oxymoron that Millennials, a group that is online the most, are ones that would likely use travel agents. Read on to learn the top reasons why.
Top Reasons Millennials Are Becoming Travel Agents
Travel Agents Have Experience
According the 2015 Ensemble Insights Survey that analyzed the booking trends and activity of Millennial travelers, 47% wanted to book travel with an experienced travel professional. Why? Because of his or her knowledge and experience about the industry and destinations along with the amount of time that may be saved compared to searching and booking travel on their own. Millennials who’ve traveled throughout the world can capitalize on their experience. They can book trips that clients will love and save them time and money in the long run. Plus, Millennials want authentic travel experiences so they’d make sure their clients have immersive trips where they interact with locals and become a part of the story.
Millennials Use Travel Agents
If Millennials use travel agents to book their vacations, it’s a no brainer that some are considering becoming travel agents. Let’s face it. Who better to book travel for their generation than Millennials? Not only would they have the travel experience (some take gap years before heading off to college or skip it altogether because of the fear of student loan debt), but they would have interesting stories to share with clients. Whether they use Snapchat or Instagram or even Facebook, Millennials can tell and show their stories in pictures and videos. Done right, their social networks could be the best marketing tool they have.
Travel Agents Have a Favorable Reputation
Keep in mind that the ASTA’s 2015 Traveler Decision Making Study found that travel agents have a favorable reputation. Travelers believe an agent can make planning a trip easier. Agents can also book special trips like honeymoon, anniversary and more and take care of problems if they arise. Millennials who’ve booked their own travel know what it takes to plan a trip (love immersive excursions), find the best deal and accommodations, and handle flight and other issues. They know how to trouble-shoot most travel situations and can be invaluable to their clients.
Travel Has a Diverse, Young Market
Millennials are the most diverse generation compared to previous generations. With 24% of the U.S. population, Millennials who want to “be the boss” and own their agency (brick and mortar or home based) could make a great living by becoming a travel agent. Some may prefer to work for an established agency because of the opportunity to learn all there is to know about the industry from seasoned travel agents. Who knows? You may become a partner.
Are You Ready to Become a Travel Agent?
Are you a Millennial who’s been thinking about becoming a travel agent? If you answered “Yes,” it may be time for you to consider a career within the industry. So why not invest in becoming an agent?
Imagine booking travel for your friends and family and their friends and family. You take the pain out of planning the trip and get them the best deals possible. If you specialize in a particular area, let’s say European travel, you can become the ‘go-to millennial’ travel agent.
Whether you become a work at home travel agent or work for an established business, consider signing up with a host travel agency like Travel Planners International. We can help you navigate the sometimes tricky waters of travel. You can learn how to market your business effectively and network with seasoned professionals who show you how to grow your business and career.