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Showing posts with label Why a Travel Agent?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Why a Travel Agent?. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Corroboree 2019 - Welcome to Perth

So what exactly is this conference that brought me to Australia you ask, and why Perth?

The conference itself is called Corroboree West 2019 and is designed to provide continuing education and familiarization to travel professionals from assorted Western nations. It takes place every two years and is put on by the country's tourism authority, Tourism Australia, in an effort to help non-Aussies better know and understand what they are recommending to their clients. The reality is that you can't Google experience, and who better to invite to the country than the people working hard to sell the country to tourists? Here's a little bit about the conference itself.

"CW19 is a combined training workshop and familiarization event held exclusively for Aussie Specialist advisors from our Western markets. Here, Aussie Specialists will meet with around 100 Australian tourism operators during the workshop and networking events, followed by a six-day/five-night famil in a different part of Australia." 

And then here's a little bit about "why Perth". 

"Perth is the ideal location to host Corroboree West 2019 as it is regularly ranked in the top 10 most liveable, friendly and attractive cities in the world. The sun shines for an average of nine hours per day and finding ways to enjoy them is easy, with a huge variety of things to do. New attractions, accommodation, restaurant and food & wine offerings, cultural and entertainment precincts are continuing to change the face of Perth."
The conference is divided up into a combination of seminars, one-to-one networking opportunities with tourism suppliers and operators, and getting out to explore and see the city. Each day of the three-day conference will feature a little of all three of those things, as each smaller sub-group, named for native land or marine animals found only in Australia (my group is the DINGO group), will gather and do some local exploring of assorted sights in and around the greater Perth area. And then at the end of the actual conference, we'll head out for our familiarization throughout the Northern Territory and the Outback. 

On the first day of CW19, the Dingos enjoyed a tour of King's Park & Botanical Gardens, one of the largest inner-city parks in the world at over 400 hectares filled with towering trees, lakes, views of the city, WWI and WWII memorials, and the gardens feature 3,000 of Australia's 12,000 plant species.

After Kings Park, we ventured into the heart of the city to try our hand at a Segway tour, but first a little practice is required!



Following our quick training and practice, we set out to explore the city! Our Segway adventure around Perth this morning was such a kick!




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Harvard Business Review Recognizes the Travel Agent's Worth!

Thank you, Harvard, for recognizing the value of using a Travel Agent for booking those unforgettable experiences. I do my very best to help my clients have the most wonderful vacation experiences....whether on the land, sea, or on a river. Live is short. Acquire memories, not things.

Harvard Business Review Cites Travel Agents As Example For Salespeople To Follow

In an article titled “B2B Salespeople Need To Act More Like Travel Agents,” authors Nicholas Toman, Brent Adamson and Cristina Gomez note that “Having more information doesn’t always make it easier to decide. Consider what’s happened with travel: With the explosion of internet travel sites in the 2000s, consumers took charge of their own travel, and travel agencies hemorrhaged business. Fast forward to today. According to the travel and leisure marketing firm MMGY, the use of travel agents increased by 50% from 2014 to 2015. Why? Because consumers, overwhelmed by information and inundated with choices, are again turning to travel agents to take the work out of travel planning.”

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thank You, Jimmy Fallon, For Recognizing Our Worth!


“Of course I use a travel agent. Travel agents get you the best rooms and the best rates. I was friends with a travel agent growing up in Saugerties, NY; I’ve used a travel agent my whole life. I don’t even know how to book my own trip.” - Jimmy Fallon

I enjoy his positive enthusiasm and energy with his show. He cracks me up many times with his different sketches and ensemble musical bits, and when I saw this in an article promoting the new "Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon" attraction opening at Universal Orlando this spring, I was delighted. It's always nice when people recognize the value and service that TA's provide. DIY really is for crafting projects like you see on Pinterest - not for experiences utilizing potentially thousands of your hard-earned dollars. Professional Travel Agents are like your own travel concierge and work hard to ensure you have a fantastic experience and really do treat every trip request as if it were for their own family (at least I do). Thanks
Jimmy Fallon
for the shoutout! Those of us in the industry appreciate positive comments like this.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

You Use a Professional for your Health, Finances, Insurance, Legal Concerns, and Even Your Hair...You Should for Travel Too!

DIY can be great for many assorted projects - Pinterest has flourished for that reason alone - but when it comes to things like your hair, your health, your finances, insurance, legal advice - and YES - your travel plans - you really should seek a professional who does it day in and day out all year long for that one vacation per year you take. Why spend hours upon hours searching through too much information available online when you can easily turn to a professional to take care of you. Nolan lays out the reasons plainly and simply.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tips on Thursday - Myths About Travel Agents

10 Myths About Travel Agents

1.    Myth: All Travel Agents and Agencies are the Same

Fact: Every travel agent is different and has a different area that they specialize in. So, depending on what type of trip you are looking to take one travel agent will suit you better than another. That’s why it is important when planning a trip to find a travel agent that specializes in where you want to go.

2.    Myth:  No One Uses  Travel Agents Anymore

Fact: Travel agents still sell 51 percent of all airline tickets, 87 percent of all cruises, 81 percent of all tours and packages, 45 percent of all car rentals and about 47 percent of all hotels.*

3.    Myth: Travel Agents are Trying to Cheat Me if They Don’t Quote Me the Cheapest Price

Fact: Travel agents know the ins and outs of different itineraries. While you might find one that is a little bit cheaper, that cheaper itinerary might involve a whole slew of headaches.  For example, longer waits at the airport and odd travel times.  A travel agent will be looking to get you the best value for you money spent which should include the most direct and time friendly itinerary they can find. – Unless you have told them you would prefer to have the cheaper options presented as well expect value to be a factor included in the trip they plan.

4.    Myth:  It is Expensive to Use a Travel Agent

Fact:  The fee a travel agent charges really depends upon the agent. While some of the more luxury agencies have higher fees, the average fee is quite marginal. Some travel agents will even drop the fee or offer a discount once you have finalized your trip with them. Plus, you can always ask an agent upfront what their fees are and decide for yourself if it’s worth it. Also, it is important to remember that a lot of online booking sites, such as Orbitz and Expedia, charge a booking fee as well.

5.    Myth:  I Can Easily Book the Same Trip on My Own Without Using A Travel Agent.

Fact:  Although travel agents have access to all of the same outlets you would use when looking to book travel, they also have access to exclusive pricing and package deals that are most times not available to the public. Your travel agent also has more leverage in helping out in situations such as hotels claiming to be booked, when in fact they may still have rooms available that are on hold for travel agents reservations. So when everyone else is telling you “No” your travel agent can help turn that to a “Yes.”

6.    Myth: Travel Agents Don’t Have Information as Updated as the Internet

Fact: Travel agents obtain some of their information from the same sources as online booking sites such as Orbitz and Travelocity. They also receive daily emails and faxes with new specials from resorts and hotels that may not be published on the internet. Travel agents can also call a place directly to see if they can work out other kinds of special deals for you, something an online site can’t do.  

7.    Myth: Travel Agents Are a Waste of Time

Fact: Although you can find much of the same information that the travel agent provides for you on your own, you are going to spend a lot of valuable time doing so.  A travel agent can actually save you from hours of painful research and price comparison shopping.  They have up-to-date prices, hotel conditions, and interesting new activities. Their prior knowledge and experience gives them the upper hand in trip planning.

8.    Myth: Travel Agents Have Lost Their Clout

Fact: Travel agents book hotels, cruises, and activities every day. The companies that provide these services know that and want their business and will work to keep that business coming back. So while a place might be telling you “Sorry we are booked,” for your one time trip, they are more likely to make an exception for the travel agent to insure that the agent sends them more business in the future. 

9.    Myth:  Good Travel Agents are Hard to Find

Fact:  While there are some below par travel agents out there, sources such as Tripology are great outlets to go to find reliable specialized travel agents that will match your needs.

10.    Myth:  Travel Agents Can Only Book My Flight and Hotel

Fact:  Travel agents can arrange car service, personalized tours and activities, in addition to all the basic travel services they provide. They are also excellent sources of information concerning good restaurants, good sites to see, and tips on what to pack.

*Source: American Society of Travel Agents

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Savers - More VALUE Found in the Travel Advisor Community

Again in researching information to provide for Saturday Savers, I found another great article to demonstrate the VALUE that a good Travel Agent can bring to the table for their clients.  Click the link and check out this article below and let me know what you think.  

Hurricane Sandy's Lessons to Travelers: Use a Travel Agent

Many of us plan out vacations to the nth degree, but ultimately life doesn't always happen the way that you plan. Things happen, especially when mother nature is concerned.  As this article from this past fall demonstrates, sometimes mother nature gets in the way and disrupts even the best laid plans.  Having a Travel Agent in your corner can truly be beneficial when things don't turn out the way that you imagined they would.  In the end, that can truly be translated... VALUE.  But only when you use the Travel Agent from the beginning to help you put together your fantastic plans.  When you trust them to help you plan things, and use their services to book your vacation, Travel Agents will be right there for you when things go a bit awry, and they just might end up saving you time and money and help you get home again instead of sitting in an overcrowded terminal for days as many people had to during the still recent events of Hurricane Sandy.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday Savers - The Value of Using A Travel Agent

As I have been researching new savings tips to highlight in order to resurrect in 2013 this irregular feature from 2012, I came across this terrific article that really resounded with the overall concept of the Saturday Savers column.  Savings isn't always translated into "dollars off" (or "cents off").  Sure that is the general connotation, but very often the VALUE that you receive from a special is much more important than the reduction in the price you pay.  Personally, I always look for the total VALUE of a purchase before merely saving a few bucks off of something's price. Check out the article and let me know your thoughts by commenting below.  And quite honestly, Travel Agents, Consultants, Advisors... whatever they go by, do bring VALUE to their clientele. 

Why We Really Don't Want Travel Agents To Die

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Why a Travel Agent?

Are Travel Agents Dinosaurs?

Absolutely Not!  You ask, “why should I call a Travel Agent instead of going direct?”  Good Question! About 5 years ago, it was predicted that being a Travel Agent was a dying profession, and in the age of technology, Travel Agents would become extinct. Well, here it is 5+ years later and the agent community is alive, thriving, and growing once again. Yes, it is true that booking an airline ticket is a commodity, so they’re not quite the order takers they once were. Today’s Travel Agent will help you figure out not only where your next vacation will be; they will help you weed through the piles of information on the internet and let you know what’s real and what’s not.

So let’s take a moment to examine Why you SHOULD use a Travel Agent

  • The biggest myth surrounding Travel Agents is that they “charge” for their services. And for the most part, their service is complimentary. Perhaps not for an airline ticket (because airlines have cut out paying any commission), but for travel – such as cruises, tours, and land packages, their commission is paid by the vendor. This means – Travel Agent’s Services are FREE to you!
  • You get the BEST DEAL by calling on a Cruise Planners/American Express Travel Consultant. We don’t work for any one Cruise Line or Tour Operator – we search all cruise lines to find you the best deal for the best available cabin at the time of booking. And the best part is a travel agent will continue to work for you even after the deposit. So, if a cruise line has a rate change, we call and lower your price. If you book directly with the supplier, does the cruise line call you to let you know there has been a price reduction? I doubt it!
  • A good agent will also provide advice – once you pull into a port of call, now what? Try to Google the words “Mediterranean cruise” and you will see 1.5 million results. Yikes! Where do you start to look? Who is legitimate and who isn’t? A good Travel agent will guide you and let you know which is the most popular site to see, or even some hidden secrets they’ve uncovered while traveling. When calling a cruise line directly, do you think the hourly person who answers the phone can offer the same advice?
  • If you run into trouble on a weekend while traveling, will the cruise line agent help? Most agents check their e-mail or voice mail during the weekend just in case of any emergency. 
  • Your time is valuable. Give an agent a call and let them know what trip you are interested in and let them do all the work. Why spend hours and hours searching the internet or calling each cruise line? Call a Cruise Planners/American Express specialists and will save you time and money.
  • Who has the best deals? If I call direct, will I get the best possible deal? Yet another myth is that many online sites run exclusive promotions or hold space months in advance. This supposedly gives them an advantage on certain ships and sailing dates. Travel Agents have access to all the best promotions as well. You might receive extra shipboard credit to spend onboard or pre-paid gratuities so all tipping is included. And on some itineraries a unique shore excursion is available. They aren’t available on all sailings, but if you book in advance you are more likely to enjoy a special extra perk.
  • A Travel Agent can help you customize your vacation! So you want to have a family reunion, get married, or renew your vows on board? Call your Travel Agent today! Don’t try and book this through the cruise lines or on your own as it will likely become a nightmare. By booking through a reputable agent, they will take the burden off of you and become the “party planner”. They can set up cocktail parties, beach parties, special shore excursions, wedding receptions, meeting rooms, dining arrangements. Leave it to the pros!
  • With so many travel options out there, it can be overwhelming. We work as your "value interpreter."  Using our expertise, we find amazing experiences that exceed your every desire, but not your budget. With our services, you can be confident that your vacation will be perfectly planned, hassle-free, and filled with moments you'll never forget. 

So why wait?  Call me today at 317.776.1733 to get your next vacation plan started… or visit my website.