A trend toward a greater use of traditional travel agents is among the insights in the MMGY Global 2013 Portrait of American Travelers. Here is a sampling of survey results detailing the intent to use a travel agent.
* Use of the services of a traditional travel agent currently is highest among Millennials (14%) and Matures (14%).
* Intent to use the services of a traditional travel agency in the next two years is growing and highest among Matures (23%), Millennials (18%) and Boomers (18%).
* 23% of leisure travelers with an annual income of $250,000 or higher intend to use the services of a traditional travel agent in the next two years.
* Leisure travelers who intend to use the services of a traditional travel agent are far more likely to take a family vacation (51% vs. 42%), take a theme park vacation (25% vs. 15%), take a cruise vacation (23% vs. 9%), take a vacation to an all-inclusive resort (13% vs. 6%).
* 77% of leisure travelers who intend to use the services of a traditional travel agent (vs. 60% of those who do not) took a vacation to celebrate a life event last year.
* Leisure travelers who intend to use the services of a traditional travel agent consider the agent’s advise most influential in the selection of: the hotel/resort (71%), vacation package of tour (67%), airline (65%), destination (63%), and cruise line (55%), and are most interested in visiting: Hawaii (62%), the Caribbean (55%), Western Europe (50%) and Canada (46%). In addition:
* 52% of them (vs. 35% of those who do not use the services of a traditional travel agent) have visited an online community, forum or blog to seek information about a destination or travel service provider during the past year.
* Only 51% (vs. 72% of non-agent users) visit TripAdvisor to seek or review information on travel service suppliers on a regular basis.
* 28% (vs. 13%) have authored, commented or posted content to a travel-related social media community, travel forum or blog during the past 12 months.
* 43% (vs. 34%) have downloaded a travel-related app to their smartphone to find restaurants or shops (49%), use a GPS functionality (38%), look for ratings/reviews of restaurants/hotels (36%) and monitor flight delays (35%).
* 49% (vs. 29%) look at travel offers they get in the mail.
* 37% (vs. 16%) look for travel deals in the newspaper.
* 69% (vs. 48%) are willing to pay the full price on the items they purchase, as long as they are guaranteed the quality and service they deserve.
* 26% (vs. 4%) have selected a travel destination based primarily on the information, photos or videos they viewed on a social media website.
* 25% (vs. 4%) have selected a travel service supplier based primarily on these same sources.
* Leisure travelers who intend to use a traditional travel agent do so because they believe agents provide a better level of service when things go wrong (90% vs. 73%), have good knowledge of the destinations (88% vs. 72%), take the hassle out of booking travel (87% vs. 72%), have better connections to assure bookings (87% vs. 62%), get better prices on the total cost of the trip (80% vs. 57%).