Travel Agents are being used by more consumers to book their trips compared to three years ago and many of them feel that using traditional travel agents made their trips better. The American Society of Travel Agents released their research (conducted by market research firm TNS Global and sponsored by Carnival Corp), the independent study is based on more than 3,000 responses.
This most recent survey found that 22 percent of respondents reported booking travel through an agent in the 12 months, up from 14 percent three years ago.
The study divided data across four groups of consumers: Millennials, Gen X’ers, Baby Boomers, and Matures. The Millennial generation continues to draw the travel industry’s particular attention and the study found that 30 percent of Millennnials used an agent in the last 12 months while 45 percent said they are extremely likely to recommend their agent to family and friends.
ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby commented on the agent demographics and the fear many had that younger generations would use technology solutions versus travel agents: “We’ve talked about the aging of the agent community, but the good news is that people who come into the business will find customers who are young and who will stay with them,” said Kerby.
He added that he found two things out of the study particularly significant: The use of agents—across all generations—rises with consumers’ incomes, and a high level of travel is going on today, giving agents the potential to grow their business within each generation of consumers.
While it’s unrealistic to expect consumers to use agents to book all of their trips all of the time, “Using an agent to go anywhere new and to optimize a trip, seems to be what’s happening in the broader travel community,” said Kerby.
Another recent ASTA study—released last month—found that agents saved consumers $452 per trip and four hours in travel planning. It too was conducted by TNS Global.[Content for this article from TravelPulse]