Travel agents vs . Online travel booking

A Travel Agent is a person whose job it is to arrange travel for end clients (individuals, groups, corporations) on behalf of suppliers (hotels, airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, railways, travel insurance, package tours). Travel agents may specialize in leisure, business and/ or other niche travel markets. Planning a trip is a time-consuming and complicated process. Travel agents simplify this process for their customers in addition to providing consultation services and entire travel packages. They may book flights, cruises, rental cars, and hotels, as well as resort stays and events.

There are benefits of a travel agent:

  1. They save you money

         Travel agents who have been in the business long enough have access to rates the internet will not offer you. Think about it this way – giant corporations have corporate rates for their employees with built-in discounts to save costs for company travel. The same is true for travel agents. Their prices for hotels are at least the same as the internet, and often better. Which leads me to my next advantage of using a travel agent.

  • Added perks

         Many agents have built relationships with hotel chains or cruise lines and may have built-in perks that are automatically included in the overall rate. For example, every trip I’ve booked through my travel agent has always included free breakfast and a resort credit of some kind to use towards food or the spa. Typically their rates are better than the internet, but even if they are the same, having these perks automatically saves us money. Another one of the big travel agent benefits is that they sometimes are able to negotiate a room upgrade for a better view or a bigger room prior to your arrival!

  • They aren’t just for people who don’t like to plan

If you are a schedule oriented person, then this is for you! Get your entire trip down to the smallest degree all laid out. You can plan everything from the time you leave your front door, to the return trip home. Of course, don’t forget everything in between!

  • You can’t VIP yourself

An Internet booking engine (IBE) is a website that allows consumers and travel agents to book flights, hotels, holiday packages, insurance, and other services online. An IBE is installed on the home page of an airline to enable easy access for customers. When shoppers enter their travel preferences the IBE contacts the GDS or CRS/HRS (computer reservations system) to receive the relevant information which is then shown to the user in an appropriate interface.

Also, online travel  booking has advantages such as:

●       Your business is always available for reservations.

●       An online booking system will reduce no-shows.

●       Online booking means faster payments.

●       Less phone time.

●       You get valuable insight into your business.

When booking online, you can save more money, be flexible about what you see and do and make changes on the fly. It’s easy to comparison shop. You don’t have the pressure of someone trying to sell you something.

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