I say it with some cautious optimism, but I feel that good days are ahead for the travel industry, in large part because the post-pandemic traveler is a new breed—more savvy, more sophisticated, and more interested than ever in maximizing the enjoyment they can get from a well-earned vacation. This presents a great opportunity for Travel Advisors.
As the powers that be continue loosening travel restrictions, those of us bitten by the travel bug are especially keen to get out, see new places, and experience new things. As most people have now returned to their normal nine-to-five grind, they’re also gaining a new insight: Leisure time should be leisure time. If traveling is stressful and chaotic, is it worth the headache? Most of us have more than enough stress and chaos in our everyday lives already.
Here’s a fun fact—people in the millennial age range are now more likely than the generations before them to work with travel professionals, and their appreciation for the industry has only grown in the past few years! This doesn’t surprise me because younger people, in general, have a deep appreciation for self-care. Whereas in the past, young people might have been more likely to take the DIY attitude towards travel and leisure, those who have tried this approach realize that it often leads to needless confusion and inconveniences that can ruin an otherwise good trip. We also know that younger people are deeply influenced by recommendations and weigh them heavily in their decision-making. Younger travelers are looking to advisors for their expertise, so those who can display glowing recommendations are more likely to stand out.
Here is where Travel Advisors should take notice. Young travelers want to get the most out of their leisure time, but doing so can be quite a challenge if they’re not working with a professional. It’s now clearer than ever that working through an agency has value well beyond booking. With the wide variety of travel restrictions across different states, regions, and countries, some being lifted, others staying in place, and others being reimposed, it’s easy to see how much consternation all this can bring to a young traveler who just wants to relax and get away from it all.
So, the message is clear – doing it all yourself might sound easier in theory, but in reality, it can take all the joy out of what is ultimately supposed to be a joyful experience. This presents a golden opportunity for Travel Advisors to show off their knowledge and expertise. We aren’t just the people to whom busy travelers can outsource their booking and scheduling. We’re the professionals who make the travel experience smoother, easier, and more enjoyable. Regardless of age, that’s something we can all appreciate!