An Optimistic Take on 2012
While I don't agree with the title "Travel Agents Set to Bounce Back in 2012" of this article written by Adam Leposa, it's always refreshing to read anything that validates what it is we at Elite Travel International do for our clients! I've long believed that even our most tech-savvy and sophisticated clients fully understand and appreciate my expertise and continue to witness how our extensive worldwide connections benefit them as they jetset around the globe. An excerpt of the article is below in case you missed the link on my Facebook page or Twitter feed.
According to Adam Leposa of TravelAgentCentral.com: "Travel agents received a nice Christmas present when the Miami Herald spoke of their successes. The Herald cited a study by Forrester Research that found the number of leisure travelers who enjoyed using the Internet to book travel fell from 53 percent in 2007 to 47 percent in 2010, as well as a survey by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) that showed 44 percent of agents said they had more clients in 2010 than in 2009."
“[Travelers] don’t have hours to spend on research to compare multiple flights, multiple cruises, multiple packages,” Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at Forrester Research, told the Miami Herald. “It’s not unlike doing your taxes. Depending who you are, what your priorities are, there are some people who will choose to do it themselves or to use a professional.”
2011 also garnered increased publicity for travel agents after President Obama made comments implying that the Internet had replaced travel agents, sparking a flurry of counterarguments by industry groups like ASTA that underscored just how important the travel agent industry is.
“Travel agents work as personal advisors to provide their clients with the best travel experience before during and after their trip,” ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar wrote in a letter to the President. “Thanks to their in-depth knowledge, experience and industry connections, travel agents are able not only to save their clients money, but their most valuable possession—their time.”
Looking ahead, organizations from around the industry are forecasting positive trends for 2012. Travel Leaders’ annual Travel Trends Survey shows that over 91 percent of Travel Leaders members expect clients to spend the same or more on travel in 2012 as compared to 2011. The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) in its annual member survey revealed that 75 percent of its members are confident of sales growth in 2012. Finally, in the 2012 Travel-Ticker Traveler Intentions survey of consumers 44 percent of respondents planned to travel more in 2012 than 2011.
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