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AGENTS GETTING IT RIGHT

As Travel Counsellors sees it, developments in technology don’t spell the end of the travel agent, rather it says those developments will “help to ensure there is a future for those that get it right.” In fact, Travel Counsellors said that it strongly believes that technology can never replace the role of a travel agent no matter what advancements are made. However, it did warn that agents will need to utilize technology to ensure they are always able to offer better service than the internet alone. And it point to examples of advancements in social media which shouldn’t be seen as a danger to agents, but instead be used to communicate with customers on a personal level in order to meet and exceed expectations as well as the value that an agent adds. David Speakman, chairman of Travel Counsellors, said: “We believe that the recent advert by http://www.staff.com in Australia suggesting that travel agents will be extinct by 2025, and widely reported around the globe, is a simple misreading of the industry. As a company we believe in building relationships with our customers based on offering impartial advice, and providing excellent personal service all within a context of trust. Speakman continued: “As a forward looking global company, we are aware that there is a polarization in the industry. Developments in technology will mean some of the population will be driven further towards booking solely online. In the future computers could answer the phone and lead customers to product. But, what the online channel alone can’t do is be impartial, or give tailored detailed advice, and it certainly can’t become someone to trust. And the travel company warns that booking a holiday is and will always be an emotionally purchase that is rarely about money alone, and this is why technology can never hope to cut out the agent. Speakman pointed out that: “Technology can never supersede an agent as it cannot deliver on the emotional side of booking of holiday. Technology and the online channel in general will continue to drive down prices, stripping out all emotion and what you’re left with won’t be what many customers want. They will want to see what they’re getting for their money is right for them and technology alone won’t be able to explain this or even deliver this. Connecting emotionally with customers will form the cornerstone of success for agents in the future and agents that do this well are those that have an assured future. This is what a Travel Counsellor excels at and we predict that demand for this service will continue to rise.” For more, go to http://www.travelcounsellors.ca .

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