Summertime Blues

Kenneth Shapiro 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 transportatio

By: Kenneth Shapiro

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 again.

>