Agents will rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the c-word pandemic. I imagine them walking slow-motion from a mist of sanitiser strutting their stuff against the nay-sayers who foretold their death years ago.
When COVID-19 hit, agents were left with no product to sell, they were vilified for withholding refunds while working for NOTHING to get them.
But could the very thing that took so much, be responsible for jump-starting The Age of the Travel Agent?
It’s simple really: travel post-pandemic is not going to be easy. Navigating international entry requirements can be laborious at the best of times, how much more so post-pandemic? And do you really want to be the one trying to secure limited flights, or chase refunds from international accommodation providers?
“Travel will be more complicated and people will need an expert to navigate through that, while also relieving any uncertainty or anxiety relating to travel,” G Adventures Australia and New Zealand managing director Sean Martin told Traveltalk.
“Great travel agents are going to be critically important.”
“There will also be less travel agents out there, so the importance of an excellent travel agent will never have been greater.”
Martin has a hefty agency background, having been general manager at Flight Centre Travel Groups’ Student Flights and My Adventure Travel brands and he credits G adventures’ commitment to its agency partners for being one of the factors for joining the small group travel company.
According to Martin, despite the inevitable “challenging” nature of post-pandemic travel, the industry will adapt thanks in a large part to “travel agents being able to provide their customers with expert advice to build their confidence, and using technology to make it as simple and pleasant for customers as possible”.
“The best experience a customer gets is when they book through a travel agent,” he said.
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