Good Press Continues for Travel Agents

newspaperTravel Agent kicked off the new year with a look at an upswing in the travel industry when a favorable piece in the Miami Herald and surveys from Travel Leaders and the United States Tour Operators Association pointed to a positive 2012. Now, in the week since President Obama announced his new travel and tourism strategy for the U.S., a new surge in media interest looks to be keeping travel agents in the public eye.

Forbes started things off when contributor Larry Olmsted posted a two-part blog series recounting reasons why consumers, especially high-end and luxury travelers, should use an agent:

Why You Need A Travel Agent, Part 1
Why You Need A Travel Agent, Part 2

Olmsted highlighted many of the qualities travel agents have been promoting themselves on for years: insider expertise, personal attention and the ability to be there when things don’t go according to plan.

“The bottom line is that they [agents] know more than you do, they are better connected than you, they have access to benefits you can’t get otherwise, they can often beat any other prices available (even online, yes), and after you have planned everything, they provide a safety net during your trip that you simply won’t get by booking yourself or buying insurance,” Olmsted wrote. “Having a top travel agent can also make you an instant VIP – free room upgrades, hard to get restaurant reservations, cutting lines, access to otherwise closed stores and exhibits, private guides, and cheaper – often much cheaper – premium airfares.”

The travel industry as a whole also continues to enjoy positive coverage. The New York Times has reported that hiring in the travel and tourism industry continues to lead the economic recovery. Meanwhile, Travel Leaders just released another part of their annual Travel Trends Survey, which reports that their members expect business travel to match or exceed last year.

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