How will the travel agency of the 2020s differ from that today?
Within the next decade, there will be significant changes in how the travel agency looks. It’s all good news for the consumer and you’ll see more really good travel agents than you see today. This is because it’s a fun job, clients smile and laugh with you and it can be lucrative.
You’ll see less store front locations and your city’s one “big” agency (or agencies if you’re in a big city) will shrink. Because new younger agents are more entrepreneurial, don’t want to fit into an employee role and because it’s so easy to work almost anywhere you’ll see them working out of their homes. And since they’re remote they can associate with a ‘host’ agency anywhere, from across town or across the country.
This creates two issues that need to be addressed, one critical (supplier relationship) and one I think which just makes good business sense.
Suppliers will have to adapt with sales reps reaching out to agents where they live, where they can meet them for coffee and talk business – not based on their IATA location. And since they’d likely be from the same geographic area, they’d be better able to connect at a personal level. An agent in San Francisco won’t find it as easy to connect with a sales rep in Georgia as he/she would with one in his/her own area. That’s not hard to understand. It’s human nature. It’s Clinton vs Trump.
Kudos to Classic Vacations, Globus, Crystal Cruises, SeaDream, Starwood & Hyatt who get it. Smaller companies tend to be more adaptable and also get it – like Belmond, Oetker, Rocco Forte, Mandarin Oriental and Dorchester.
Some agents will want to work alone in their homes, but some might, given the opportunity, work in a shared location. This would be quite different from a traditional agency as you’d have a group of entrepreneurs, tied to no one, creating something together — this is not an industry created or improved upon in a vacuum. Comradery day in and day out. There is something to be said for the water cooler.
The scenario might look like this:
- Share an office of travel agents and suppliers. There are already a lot of hoteliers and other suppliers working from their homes. What a concentration of knowledge in one spot!
- Share knowledge on day to day travel agent issues, from airline ticketing trouble shooting to hotel recommendations to “onsites” overseas.
- Marketing together. Co-host a consumer night on Europe with each agent managing an area of their expertise. Hoteliers are right there to participate. Generate buzz in the community as a group.
josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals. His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays. He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.
His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.
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