Travelers Value Skills and Knowledge of Travel Advisors: ASTA

New data from the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) shows travelers are increasingly looking to travel advisors to book their next trip, with 27 percent of member advisors saying that over half of their clients are working with a travel advisor for the first time. In addition, over two-thirds of advisors are saying their clients are more likely to travel to an international destination than last year, while 43 percent say that their clients are more likely to travel to an exotic or “bucket-list” destination. 

In 2018, ASTA rebranded from “American Society of Travel Agents” and encouraged the use of the term “travel advisor” to emphasize the professional service element of the profession over a transactional relationship. Recent data shows that change is resonating with travel consumers, with over 50 percent of advisors reporting that their clients are more likely to pay professional fees and over half of advisors charge those fees based on research, consultation, planning, ticketing, or flat fees. The majority of those advisors who charge fees charge between $100-$300.  

Eighty-one percent of travel advisors have reported an increase in sales from last year.  

Other Key Findings: 

  • Sales for ocean cruising are on a positive trajectory, showing promising growth into 2024. 90 percent of travel advisors sell ocean cruises. And of those travel advisors, 70 percent have ocean cruise bookings well into 2024.  
  • 46.7 percent of travel advisors have clients booked on river cruises in 2024. 
  • 86.8 percent of travel advisors fear flight delays and cancelations will affect client’s travel plans, more so than inflation and the rise of cost to travel. 
  • Top destinations travel advisors are selling include Europe, Caribbean and Alaska

Additional intel: Alaska this year surpassed Mexico and Hawaii among the top North American destinations booked by travel advisors. The top European countries booked by travel advisors are Italy, France and the United Kingdom, while the top Caribbean islands booked by travel advisors are the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos and Puerto Rico.   

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