Report Shows Growing Value of Travel Agents

Travel agent clients travel and spend more per year than other consumers By: Mindy Poder
Travel agents’ clients travel more and spend more. // © 2016 iStock
Travel agents’ clients travel more and spend more. // © 2016 iStock

The Details

What:
Travel agent clients are more likely to take a higher number of trips, travel longer and spend more in comparison to consumers who book their own travel, according to Travel Weekly’s 2016 Consumer Trends report.

Why It Matters:
“Are travel agents relevant?” might still be a common question — but hopefully not from suppliers. Consumers who book with travel agents continue to prove themselves more valuable than consumers who book on their own, and this has a major impact on the bottom line: Leisure clients spent an average of $10,808 per year, versus $4,745 for those not using an agent. The report also found that among consumers surveyed, satisfaction with using a travel agent has improved steadily, from 49 percent either somewhat or extremely satisfied in 2012 to 66 percent in 2016. One way to test whether there is a correlation between the upward spike in client spending and client satisfaction? Keep your clients happy.

Fast Facts:
- On average, agency clients took 5.1 trips vs. an average of 2.90 for other channels.  Last year, agents sold 1.31 additional trips (versus this year’s 2.16 more).

- This year, agent-sold trips were 2.25 nights longer than clients who booked themselves (7.75 nights vs. 5.59). Last year the difference was only .11 more nights (by agents).

- This year, leisure travelers using agents spent an average of $10,808 per year, versus $4,745 for those not using an agent. The difference (in favor of agents) increased from $5,904 to $6,063.

What They Are Saying:
“Some agencies take it for granted that suppliers want to work with them, but as more focus is put on direct sales channels, it's increasingly important to be able to articulate your value proposition to them,” said Arnie Weissmann, editor in chief of Travel Weekly and editorial director of Northstar Travel Media’s Travel Group.

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