Most people do not realize that with every travel transaction, a commission is generated. Hotels, vacation package suppliers and cruise lines figure in a 10-15 percent commission when pricing out all their products so the consumer is paying commission regardless of how they book. Consumers then decide who gets that commission whether they book directly with the hotel or cruise line, purchase on the internet or book using a local travel agency. They will pay it regardless because there is no wholesale travel available for sale on the internet.
Travel Advisors work to earn the trust of their clients providing a true service for that commission that otherwise the consumer does not receive from the internet or the hotel directly. Travel agencies also build relationships with hotels and suppliers to be able to offer competitive pricing and perks that the consumer cannot usually cannot get on their own. Multiple travel transactions at one particular resort, for example, gives the travel agency an edge over a single transaction from one travel consumer. Many consumers don’t realize what a reputable travel agent can negotiate on behalf of their clients with extra amenities, free upgrades, gifts in rooms, rooms with best views and the ability to resolve point of service issues when they arise. A travel agency that has good working relationships with suppliers and a highly-trained independent contractors can usually help the consumer avoid common pitfalls when booking travel. Vacations are expensive, and you cannot return a bad one.
Sometimes the joy of going on a vacation is planning it. Travel agents love clients who can articulate when and where they want to go. Do your research, decide where you want to go, but then call a reputable travel agent to book it for you. Partner with them, shop local and gain the benefit of years of knowledge to make your trip a reality. You are in control, your agent works for you and is available while you are traveling as your advocate to correct any unforeseen problems that may arise.
A savvy traveler uses a travel agent because he understands that his hard earned dollar can be maximized by involving a professional who understands his needs and desires. The time spent planning a vacation is time away from friends, family and work. A savvy traveler delegates this to his travel advisor so he can direct his attention towards other important things in life.
Kim Sims is the co-owner of Magnolia Travel Group, LLC headquartered in Madison, Mississippi. Magnolia Travel Group has branches in North, Central and South Mississippi, as well as branches in Fairhope and Huntsville, Alabama, Columbia, Tennessee, Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles, California.