More Millennials Look to Travel Agents

A new survey from ASTA highlights good news for travel agents By: Chelsee Lowe
Busy millennials want easy and satisfying vacations. // © 2015 Thinkstock
Busy millennials want easy and satisfying vacations. // © 2015 Thinkstock

The Details

A recent American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) study highlights the increasing number of millennials working with travel agents, as well as their high vacation satisfaction rate.

Why It Matters:
ASTA’s “Traveler Decision-Making Survey” gathered data from 3,000 U.S. consumers and dug into key industry trends. Data showed that 92 percent of those who use travel agents expect to work with one in the future and that 41 percent of participating millennials used a travel agent in the past 12 months.

Driving home the value of agents, 59 percent of those millennials felt they got a better deal and had a better travel experience than they would have if they had planned their own trip.

Those who reported not working with a travel agent did not cite performance-based reasons for their choice; they typically felt that booking a vacation was something they could do on their own.

Fast Facts:
- The survey was conducted online and polled consumers ages 18 and up. Participants also had a household income of $50,000 or more and had taken at least one leisure trip in the past 12 months with paid-for accommodations.

- Top benefits associated with using a travel agent included: “They make travel planning easy,” “When something goes wrong, they can take care of it” and “Travel agents are good for booking special trips.”

- Travel agent users in the study tended to be younger, more affluent and more frequent travelers, among other traits.

- 61 percent of leisure travelers in the study used a travel agent in the past five years.

- Participants reported that their key information source for selecting an agent was word-of-mouth.

What They Are Saying:
“This study confirms what we found in another independent study we commissioned last year — when you use a travel agent, you have a better experience,” said Zane Kerby, CEO and president of ASTA. “We know from the U.S. Travel Association that 429 million vacation days go unused by Americans every year. That means that when it comes to using those hard-earned days off, no one has time for a vacation do-over. Using a professional travel agent is critical to taking the risk out of travel planning.”