It seems easy, right? Jump on your computer, open a browser and spend a few minutes on Expedia, Orbitz or one of the many other travel sites available, and bam! You’ve planned the perfect vacation, and saved yourself a bunch of money besides. No travel agent needed, right? Not so fast. The reality may be a little different. According to new research that will soon be released by the American Society of Travel Agents, travel agents save consumers an average of $452 per trip.
Your time is valuable
The savings don’t end there. According to consumers, in addition to the monetary savings, travel agents also save them an average of four hours in travel planning. When you add in the potentially costly mistakes that travel agents often help consumers avoid, the benefits of using travel agents for trip planning becomes clear.
By the numbers
Here are some hard numbers from consumers, based on their past travel experiences:
63% of those polled said using a travel agent makes their overall trip experience better;
69% said agents save them time in planning and booking;
66% said agents help them avoid costly mistakes;
and 64% said agents find them better deals.
A couple of other telling numbers: while 23% of those polled have booked through travel agents in the past 12 months, a full 47%, nearly half, who have not used an agent, said they would if the agent could save them money.
About the study
This study, “Best of Both Worlds: Quantifying How Travel Agents Save Consumers Time and Money,” was funded by Carnival Corporation. It was conducted by the market research firm TNS Global. The complete survey will be available on ASTA.org by May 30th.
Have you used a travel agent for trip planning? Tell us in the comments section below!
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