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a significant portion of this group.
Nearly four out of 10 (38%) Internet travelers in this survey agree very
much or somewhat that agents have
access to deals not available on the
• Though it is difficult to match
the perceived ease and convenience
of the Internet, promoting the assistance that agents can provide in
arranging the many details of more
complicated trips may strike a chord
even with this group of travelers.
• If travel agencies want to capture more clients, both committed Internet users and those who
still use agents for some bookings,
they must demonstrate that they
truly are professionals, that they
have superior knowledge and skills
that can help clients plan more difficult itineraries and select the best
travel suppliers. This requirement
demands more training for agents
and a constant dedication to con-tinuing-education programs and
Agents need to
• An important message that resonates with Internet travelers is that
travel agents stand behind their clients when something goes wrong.
Almost all travelers have experienced situations in which a hotel’s
front desk can’t find a reservation
or a flight is canceled and all other
flights are booked. Agents have more
clout than individual travelers to resolve these situations and get a positive outcome.
In general, travel agencies are
adapting to an era of low airline
commissions by emphasizing high
commission products, as these data
show. Total revenue of agencies is
increasing, profits are up, and the
future looks brighter than a few
With this newfound confidence,
travel agencies can more comfortably promote their message that
travel agents provide useful services
that cannot be matched by the Web.