cruise travel agent

No busman’s holiday for this travel agent

Ever wonder how travel agents keep up to date? It’s not easy I can assure you. Apart from the absolute plethora of brochures that land on our doorstep, mostly unannounced, there are what in the trade is called ‘product nights’ or ‘product launches’. I don’t actually think of travel as ‘product’ but that is the trade jargon. This is the time of year when these launches and nights are frequent. As with all such events – and having been in other industries before travel I have experienced them elsewhere – some are actually informative, some make you feel like you are back in school, some feed you well, others offer you a nibble if you are quick! A few are really interesting and very rarely one stands out for its originality and class.
Last night it was Tauck, a company that offers tours and cruises to all corners of the world; last week it was Qantas (and a chance to check out the latest exhibition at Sydney’s MCA); later on this week it will be Abercrombie and Kent, another company that offers luxury travel – there are more but I’m only thinking a week ahead at the moment.
Recently I have been thinking I would love to get away for a week or two – a busman’s holiday perhaps? – but even that is too difficult – too many launches, too many brochures! All important so I know what I am talking about when you come into the agency – but I’d love a holiday!

How cruising has changed – but travel agents still feature

“Most group travel, most cruises, many complicated itineraries and even the majority of lodging reservations still are booked through travel agencies” according to Douglas Quinby of PhoCusWright, a travel industry research company who is quoted in a recent SMH Traveller story on The Decade in Travel. However cruising has changed hugely in the last ten years. I often write about a new ship that has just been, or is about to be, launched.
Ten years ago cruising was not a choice many travellers considered. In the 1970s the industry began to recover from the decline caused by the increased availability of air travel when Cunard introduced one-class travel across the Atlantic and provided entertainment that made the 4-day trip an experience in itself. In the 1980s bigger ships with more facilities were built but as cruising moved into the 1990s ships were built to cater to different markets. Today we have cruise ships that are built to cater for families or for discerning couples, we have ships that are built for expeditions and ships, like Oasis of the Seas, that are floating cities with parks and wave pools and much more. If we in the industry are flat out keeping up to date with what the cruise companies are offering, it is no wonder the traveller who wants to cruise chooses to go with a cruise travel agent.