A ballroom full of travel agents, that may or may not exist, at the CruiseWorld Travel Weekly Tradeshow.
There are still travel agents? I hear that almost every time I tell someone what I do. If you drive around the Greater Toledo area where I live, you pretty much just see one or two brands of travel agency storefronts. However, the yellow pages online today says there are 72 listings in the Toledo area.
In the last decade, many brick and mortar storefronts began sending their agents to work from home as a cost savings measure. Many agents became independent like myself. Because you don’t see us, that adds to the perception that we are not there.
And then there’s the internet, which affects all of our local businesses.
Thanks to the internet, and sites like ehow and youtube, etc., we all know you can attempt to do just about anything yourself. Write your own will? Sure. Got an ailment, find the diagnosis. How to fix the breaks on your car? Possibly, wouldn’t suggest it though. Do your own taxes, buy auto insurance in just minutes, oh yeah, and search hundreds of thousands of hotel room rates on just one site. It can be done on your own. But should it?
People seek out assistance from an expert when they value their knowledge and personal connections in the industry in which they work, and smartly, when they value their own time and money.
My hope is that when you are in a conversation, that you help to educate that person that there are still travel agents, attorneys, CPAs, insurance representatives, painters and more, local in your town, working hard to earn your trust so that they can share the expert skills and service that they have to offer, and surprise! Not for more money, or huge fees. Special bonus? Your personal time to do what you love instead of searching the internet, and fixing those breaks on your car.
And if you would like to have a better travel experience, contact me in the Greater Toledo area, or one of my accomplished colleagues in a town near you.
Sarah Krafty from Krafty Travel.