A new study by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) found that over the last year, 22 per cent of consumer booked their vacation through a travel agent – the largest amount reported over the last three years.
The study, titled “Best of Both Worlds: Quantifying How Travel Agents Save Consumers Time and Money,” was sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines. The core objectives of the study, which reached more than 14,000 U.S. households, included finding patterns related to overall travel agent usage; factors related to how a traveler chooses a travel consultant; and for what occasions travellers use an agent.
Agents, travel suppliers and other industry players will find benefit in the study’s results through actionable insights and data coupled with common reasons given for using or not using an agent. These factors plus key demographic trends will help pivot industry marketing strategies towards the strength and value of the travel agency channel.
Key insights of the report, which was conducted by market research firm TNS Global, include:
- In the past 12 months, 22 per cent of consumers booked through a travel agent, the highest share reported in the past three years.
- With Millennials leading the way in both travel agent usage and likelihood to recommend their agents to friends and family, no industry player should risk ignoring the tremendous opportunity this generation represents. Capitalizing on the optimal way to sell to Millennials through the agency channel will be crucial to growing agency and related supplier business over the next five years.
- When looking back on their past travel experiences, almost two-thirds of agent users said using one makes the overall trip experience better, with multiple other benefits of using a travel agent captured in the report. Conversely, to persuade non-agent users to consider using one, travel agents can focus on specific value provided to the consumer, which might range from saving clients money to helping them avoid mistakes and more.
The full report is available for purchase on the ASTA website.