Travellers like travel blogs and the internet

It’s hardly news to anyone in the travel industry but today one of the travel newsletters sent to travel agents published research indicating that ‘Blogs [are] favoured over agents’ and that Australians ‘are enthusiastically embracing the internet to plan and book their holidays’. Of course you are. Australians love technology and they love DIY – and that includes holidays so it is not something new to travel agents, though it is always interesting to have one’s experiences backed up by research.
Travel agents must be trained in how to research holidays and how to use the tools that are available to the travel industry so that they can knowledgeably plan and book holidays.
Travel agents also use the internet – but the websites they are searching are mostly very different to the websites that you, the consumer/DIY traveller is searching. We are able to see much more of the back-end of travel and from that can usually find better deals. We also know the reliable suppliers and know what you can expect from the hotel/ tour operator/ cruise you are investigating. We are able to see whether that cheap flight you are looking at is what it seems or whether it involves sitting in a far away airport for half a day waiting for a connecting flight; and we can soon find out whether the hotel room that is cheaper on the net is actually the worst room in the house!
We are also in the know when it comes to getting what the traveller wants – and knowing whether a destination, a hotel, a tour or a cruise will meet you, our client’s expectations. A friend recently booked two weekends away – within driving distance of home – based on internet research – and neither has lived up to expectations. These are only cottages for a night or two away but on a minor scale they illustrate what can happen when you book from a website – what you see is not necessarily what you get. In one instance she even turned round and drove home! As we all know anyone can write and publish on the internet – and anyone can create a website for their business (bed and breakfast, hotel, tour package) with pretty pictures.
So if you want to be sure that what you see is what you will get, asking your travel agent to check your research and prices will often uncover a better deal – and may prevent you from suffering traveller’s disappointment!