Its been 2 years since The Travel Desk opened it’s doors, and so far so good! Many people have asked Alison and myself (Ned) why we chose to open our own business when people “don’t use Travel Agents anymore” and I’d like to dispel a few myths about that subject.
It is a misconception that the public no longer uses Travel Agents, it often depends on the type of traveler you are referring to. Destinations and demographics play a big factor in that, whether it is a simple point to point airfare, or an African Safari, some people what the customer service, knowledge and persona experience to help create a complex trip. Despite being extremely web friendly, oddly it’s the millennial generation that are some of the strongest supporters of Travel Agents, quickly followed by Baby Boomers.These days more people use the Internet for research, so they are more educated and prepared but still prefer a human to help them through the booking process, and ensure no errors are made.
Booking a simple flight in Canada or even the US, is a fairly straightforward process, and sometimes it will be cheaper online if an airline throws a sale out. For some clients, booking an all-inclusive to Mexico can be uncomplicated; for others just how familiar are you with the destination and the 400 hotel options that all say they are 4* beach front. There is a big difference from Ocean View to Ocean Front and other room categories that can get convoluted if you are not familiar with them. If you are booking a more complex itinerary that involves multiple destinations, modes of transportation, sightseeing, possibly involving visa’s, border crossings and vaccinations; often that is too much research that the average person has time for. Good Travel Agents are trained in these, often specializing in specific styles of travel and/or destinations and if they don't have the answer, know where to get it and quickly.
We Un-Clutter the endless info on the Internet:
Direct knowledge is a bonus; Alison and I have travelled to over 60 countries collectively, all 7 continents and we both have a lot of hands on advice that we offer our clients that the Internet can’t always do.
Guidance and Customer Service:
Our job is to give you guidance, to help you find the right vacation for you. Having experienced a variety of travel styles we can offer suggestions, some you may have not even heard of. We have a deeper knowledge of destinations and a personal understanding of your specific interests in mind when we make recommendations.
Travel agents give value add:
A lot of suppliers will give discounts or value add to travel agencies to pass onto their clients when booking trips. Whether it’s additional shore excursions, room upgrades or extra savings we often have those options available.
Have you ever tried phoning an airline when you are stranded in the middle of a snowstorm? 4 hours later and you are finally put through and then subsequently hung up on by mistake? We take care of those things for you.
We help you build your dream vacation:
We learn your likes, dislikes, and know what your dream vacations are and help you save and plan for them. We can keep an eye out for best booking times (early or last minute) depending on destinations, and coordinate long term plans.
To summarize, our tag line: “Your Dream is Our Design” is how we truly see ourselves. Our clients want to feel confident as they make complex flight connections in places where people don't speak English, all while pursuing once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Only an experienced, connected agent can provide that support and that is what The Travel Desk provides.
Ned and Alison firstname.lastname@example.org