Despite the continuous rise in technology that allows travelers to plan and book their own vacations, new research from AAA Travel shows that American travelers still see the value in working with a travel advisor.
According to the study, 75 percent of Americans would consider working with a travel advisor to plan their vacations, while 27 million travelers already plan to do so within the next year. And research shows that these numbers are coming from more than just the older generations. AAA Travel’s research shows that millennials are just as likely as baby boomers to say they are planning to use a travel agent for a trip in the next 12 months.
“Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, first time overseas or an annual family getaway, travelers want to make the most of out of any trip and are relying on travel agents to ensure that happens,” said Bill Sutherland, senior v.p. of AAA Travel, in press materials. “Although travelers today have myriad ways in which to book their vacations, they recognize the value of working with a professional, experienced travel agent to make sure there is a return on their travel investment and a lifetime of memories to be made.”
Survey respondents cited ensuring a smooth experience on more complicated and expensive trips as a reason to work with a travel advisor, as well as a desire for expert recommendations, and help with arranging special activities and experiences. Finding the best deals, securing upgrades and additional money-saving travel perks were also among the reasons travelers listed for wanting to work with a travel advisor. The AAA Travel survey also shows room for growth in the industry as nearly half of travelers (49 percent) would consider working with a travel agent for an international vacation, but just one-quarter (22 percent) would do so for a vacation within the United States.
“Even when staying stateside, travelers can benefit significantly from working with a travel agent,” added Sutherland. “AAA recommends consulting a knowledgeable travel agent before starting to plan your next vacation.”