Now that summer is officially here, it seems the media has once
again discovered America’s love of traveling. You’ll see summer
travel stories in almost every newspaper and magazine and all over
radio and television, covering every
conceivable destination, tip and mode of transportation.
Unfortunately, in this avalanche of media coverage the one thing
you probably won’t see is an acknowledgement of the important role
travel agents play in making these vacations successful.
Last week there was an article in the Los Angeles Times about
finding discount fares to Europe. The writer provided seven tips
including checking on charter flights, researching tour packages,
searching online sites and more but never once suggested readers
contact a travel agent. This despite the research that proves that
agents save travelers money while providing better service.
To be fair, the article did say it was for those travelers “not
using a travel agent,” however, the writer ended the piece by
saying: “I tried everything to find a ticket & Then I gave up,
though I was sure there was a reasonable fare out there somewhere,
if only I had the time, energy and good karma to find it.”
What about a good agent? Isn’t that the point of a professional
travel consultant regardless of the client’s karma?
While I found this omission annoying, it was hardly surprising.
As summer kicks off, agents once again face
the near certainty that they will be left out of the
mainstream-media hype. It would be nice, of course, if agents
managed to insert themselves into the public consciousness so that
when the idea of travel comes up, the next thought is of travel
agents, but that won’t happen on its own. As important stakeholders
in the travel industry, it’s up to us to remind those in the media
that they had better think twice before overlooking us yet