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NYT: More Consumers Seeking Live Travel Agents

August 4, 2009 By: Kirk Cassels

As the ongoing battle of humans (real travel agents) versus machines (online travel agencies) continues to rage, the New York Times is reporting some good news for living agents. Citing a soon-to-be-released study by Forrester Research, the article covers how consumers are growing weary of using the Internet to book their travel arrangements and beginning to seek more personal service.

According to Henry H. Harteveldt, a travel analyst interviewed for the story more travelers would gladly use an "offline travel agency" if they can find one. “The fact that there are more people now who would consider using a good offline travel agent is telling me people are saying, ‘Enough already,’ ” he told The Times.

Seems like a loud call for agents to bolster their marketing and advertising campaigns to grab consumers' attention. If you're looking for some selling points on why it's best to use a travel agent, check out Ruthanne Terrero's "Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent" column. Need some tips on how to use the Internet in order to beat the Internet? Then check out our webinar on how to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and AgentNation your way to top dollar business.

Another interesting nugget of the New York Times article is the fact that poor airline service, in addition to fees, remains one of the primary reasons that consumers would prefer booking their trip through an agent. And to think, after several months of bashing Delta Air Lines or getting angry at United Airlines, the carriers may be doing agents a service with their poor customer service and confusing booking/pricing methodology. Is it worth it?

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