In late August, we were looking for a few people to be in a focus group for us. We wanted to see what our current clients’ and fans’ impressions were when it came to working with a travel professional. I can tell you that we were very surprised by the responses. It was clear that many people really don’t understand a lot about the travel agency business from how we work to the value that we provide.
This made me reflect on the industry and how, over time, we have gotten away from what it means to be a professional in this business. I came to the realization that our industry has done a lot of harm to the professional agencies and agents out there.
There are too many people who I have talked to over the years as a business owner who have said “I want to be a travel agent, you guys all have so much fun.” or “I plan things for my friends already, why shouldn’t I get paid for it?”. While it might be true that anyone can hang a shingle up and call themselves a travel agent, it takes a real dedicated individual to be a true professional. And this doesn’t come cheap.