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They’ve more control, but travellers still want agents

Technology the key for agents of the future

A new Sabre Corporation study shows more and more travellers want to take greater control of their journeys. But agents can rest assured they're still needed, even by more independent travellers.


Using a “psychographic assessment” of jetsetters across 11 Asia-Pacific (APAC) nations, including Australia and NZ, the Sabre study reveals highly divergent traveller preferences in the region, and identifies several distinct traveller types. However, one group, called ‘Explorers’, stands out. 



Comprising 38% of those polled, Explorers are new travellers, who often go it alone, are open to fully immersing themselves in their destination, and look to connect with themselves. They also like to take control of their trips, and are most likely to plan their travels on the go.


But more control doesn’t mean less help, with the study revealing Explorers still demand external support and trip guidance offered by travel providers and agents.


To this end, Sabre is working with travel companies in the region on new technologies that will allow more independent travellers to still connect with agents and other professionals.  


“We’re encouraging our customers in the travel industry to ask, ‘how do I evolve my offering to connect with these travellers in the way they want?’ That’s how they’ll capture their attention, and credit cards,” Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific sales and market development vice president Todd Arthur says.


“They [Explorers] are the traveller type most likely to want to plan their trip on the go, so there’s a great opportunity today for the industry to provide consumers with technology platforms that offer on-demand trip planning and travel shopping services.”


In Australia and NZ, another group, called ‘Connectors’, is prevalent. Connectors are experienced travellers, who like to share their experiences across social media and other platforms. Importantly, seven in ten prefer to plan an itinerary ahead of their journey.


Overall, the study shows that the majority (64%) of travellers still expect to use a travel agency for their next trip.


Defining features of the four traveller types


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Written by: Mark Harada

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