Benefits of Using a Travel Advisor
Why Use a Travel Advisor?
A few years ago my friend’s husband told me that he was leaving his corporate job to become a luxury travel advisor and my first thought was, isn’t that a dying business? With the abundance of online suppliers and search engines, this was an industry everyone, including myself, assumed would disappear. Surprisingly, the industry is alive and well, and my friend has been extremely successful with his company Cartology Travel. There are several reasons why this is the case.
Travelers are still looking for someone they trust to assist with recommendations and travel bookings. Travel regulations are designed to protect consumers and booking through a travel advisor adds a level of comfort. When a client books with a licensed travel agency, their funds are segregated and held in trust. Therefore, their funds are protected in the event that something should happen to the agency or the suppliers prior to or during the trip. There are also provincial funds set up in Canada which protect customers who book through these advisors to reimburse clients in the event of an unexpected event such as a natural disaster.
Although online booking sites do sometimes offer great deals, travel advisors can often find the same deals but with added amenities as a result of their relationships with hotels, cruise lines etc. Most clients will get more for their money by booking through an advisor because advisors have direct access to supplier “agent” websites and are members of these suppliers’ loyalty programs. Often the online “consolidator” websites will have access to some of the least desired rooms or cabins and the supplier will not honour the clients’ loyalty points if booked through a third party.
Another big perk is that if something does go wrong during the trip, the advisor can work behind the scenes to re-arrange the trip so the client doesn’t have to spend their valuable vacation time on the logistics.
For longer, more complicated trips, travel advisors can assist with everything from transportation to restaurant recommendations and design a complete itinerary for those who may not have the time to plan the details. Unless the advisor chooses to charge a planning fee to the client, their fees are actually paid by the suppliers in the form of commissions, and not the client.
I have recently passed my TICO (Ontario travel regulator) exam and completed the training with our host agency Nexion Canada (part of Travel Leaders Group). All of Movement Travel’s retreats will be booked through these entities which will ensure our clients’ funds are protected. Our client’s will also receive all of the benefits of our affiliations with these large travel networks. TICO as well as the other provincial regulatory bodies are really cracking down on anyone who is selling travel/retreats without a host travel agency or license which is a big change in the retreat industry.
Co-Founder, Movement Travel