We could all use a little mental calm this year.
When we thought the holiday meltdowns were over, the FAA’s systems malfunctioned, causing a lengthy nationwide suspension of air travel. And just when we think the war in Ukraine is about to come to an end, another horrifying missile attack shocks everyone who is considering travelling to Europe.
According to Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion Travel Group, “travel continues to be complex.” By offering the tourist expert advice before, during, and after their journey, a travel advisor will still be valuable in 2023.
But not everyone needs a travel counsellor. You may be able to avoid hiring an advisor and avoid paying the hefty booking costs if you only require a simple domestic flight ticket or a room at a roadside motel. A professional is required if you’re organizing a more involved vacation, such as a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, an Antarctic cruise, or a safari in Kenya. more than ever before.
But in 2023, what’s new in the world of travel agents?
They can hardly be destroyed. Today’s travel advisors have seen it all, as my grandma would say. That covers the epidemic, the savage agency commission cuts, the revolution in online travel, and 9/11.
They have picked up new skills and honed new specialities.
These days, travel consultants tailor everything, including your lodging, activities, and mode of transportation. With technology, they’re doing it better.
They’ve advanced their knowledge of travel by studying nations, cities, and even communities. With that, Google cannot compete.
Additionally, in 2023, travel advisors will continue their educational journey as they continue to improve.
Travel experts are prepared for any challenge:
If it’s been a while since you’ve organized a trip, you’ll appreciate the expertise of the best travel agents.
According to Claire Riley, owner of Duende Travels in La Jolla, California, “one of the major benefits across the board is that we’re into the fourth calendar year of planning a vacation with COVID-19 still in the picture.” “Over the past few years, a significant portion of the job has involved dealing with last-minute trip adjustments, coordinating with travel insurance providers, and managing traveller concern around impending journeys in the COVID era. And with that expertise comes a tonne of fresh information that, in my opinion, is improving the sector as a whole.”
In 2023, travel agents will have greater training.
Keep in mind that travel advisories have endured lockdowns and travel restrictions. What did they do when they had free time? Well, several of them returned to school to improve their craft after assisting their clients in receiving reimbursements.
The CEO of Special Needs Group, a supplier of medical equipment, Andrew Garnett, claims that “they focused on learning through training certifications.” Therefore, they are better able to assist passengers in achieving their dream vacation thanks to their experience and recently obtained knowledge, as well as the added security of knowing what to do in case something goes wrong while they are travelling.
They can provide advanced customization.
According to Shane Mahoney, CEO of Lugo’s Travel, “Travel advisers will be offering more customized and bespoke trips to their clients than ever before in 2023.” According to him, there are new programmes that enable advisors to learn more about their client’s interests and travel plans.
For instance, he explains, “We have very advanced algorithms that can build trip itineraries in under five minutes. These plans create a highly tailored and carefully curated itinerary by taking into account the interests and aims of each customer, rather than just generic paperwork listing usual tourist attractions.
A website cannot perform that level of in-depth customization, at least not yet.
“Hyperlocalized” travel professionals
Travel consultants have long had a niche. But according to analysts, they’re going to a completely new level in 2023.
Go Ask a Local travel site owner Manny Salorio provides a case study of “hyper localization.”
According to Salorio, Luca Dolfino, an Athens-based travel agent who has been organizing island-hopping trips for ten years, is the person to contact when planning a trip to Greece. “Use Nicholas Cino’s twelve years of knowledge in adventure planning and design if you’re going to Peru. Andrés Helguson, a travel advisor based in the Reykjavik countryside who has spent almost two decades working as a driver-guide and agent, will be in charge of organizing your vacation to Iceland.”
Throughout the entire sector, this trend is developing. Some travel consultants and brokers concentrate not just on a nation but also on a single city. and maybe even a small section of a metropolis. You’ll gain from their assistance if you’re going there.
In 2023, travel advice will still change.
Kenroy Herbert, the creator of Leviticus Lifestyle & Travel, a concierge company that specialises in renting out luxury homes, aircraft, yachts, and private islands, agrees. According to him, this year will see an acceleration of the transition from transaction-focused travel agents to professional advisors that provide recommendations on your next holiday.
“They get to know customers better, and the relationship goes beyond that of an agent, but also that of a trusted friend,” the author claims.
Finding a travel agent in 2023
How can you locate a travel agent who is developing their talents, is extremely knowledgeable, and is extremely sensitive to your trip requirements?
Ask a friend, relative, or coworker who already uses a travel advisor for a recommendation. Ask for references and look up the advisor’s internet reviews and endorsements.
Ensure that your travel expert is well-versed in the locations and travel experiences you are interested in. It is fair to anticipate an itinerary with thorough details and suggestions based on the agent’s personal experiences and investigation.
Investigate joining a specialized organization, such as the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) or the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA). Both of these groups hold their members to high standards and can offer the advisor more resources.
Will there be travel advisors in 2023?
Travel agents, as they were known back then, and I recall having a contentious discussion about going beyond transactions and becoming actual authorities in their profession. The agents claimed that the method functioned well, but 20 years later, I believe the advantages prevailed.
But these professionals can be pricey. Typical advisor costs range from $25 for a straightforward airline ticket to more than $500 for a complex foreign trip. The fees are typically charged for services like booking flights, hotels, and rental vehicles, as well as designing personalized itineraries and offering general advice. They may be a fixed amount or a percentage of the entire cost of the trip.
Additional fees for services like passport and visa help, travel insurance, and emergency travel support may also apply to the services provided by travel consultants.
The expense of a fee might be reduced by the commission that many travel professionals also take. Always inquire about the financial details of a travel transaction before making any reservations.
The year 2023 might be the year that travels advisors—sorry, agents—arrive as the experts they were always supposed to be. The winners will be travellers like us.