ASATA Colum: Travel agents a safety net for business travellers


Missed your connection? Need to change your travel plans to attend a last-minute meeting? What about someone to call when things don’t go quite as expected?

If ASATA’s 21st Century Travel Agent Study is any indication of what business travellers want, it’s to have someone on call when things go awry. And that someone, is your travel agent.

The preliminary results of ASATA’s updated study indicate that travel agents add the most value to business travellers when travel plans need to change, but it doesn’t end there. Travellers believe their travel agent should offer them the best prices and deals, ensure they have as safe a trip as possible, and also help them to accumulate their loyalty points.

The revised study has also given us further insight into the specific needs of travellers, with stark differences between the different generations.

Every business traveller demographic involved in the study regarded a travel agent as a safety net when something goes wrong. However, Baby Boomers expected their corporate consultant to have excellent product knowledge and destination information and wanted a personalised experience. They use a travel agent for complex itineraries, professional expertise, and to save time. Gen Xers, meanwhile, want an even more customised experience. They expect their travel agent to get to know them on a personal level to meet their specific needs.

Overall, mobile technology, digital payment systems and internal communications were identified as the most critical services a travel management company can offer business travellers.

When it comes to sourcing advice or recommendations, helping to change travel plans and offering advice when something goes wrong, business travellers turn to their TMCs for assistance.

The value your TMC brings comes from their ability to pre-empt potential pain points along your journey and to stop these in their tracks to ensure you have a pleasant travel experience. With their specialist knowledge, supplier relationships and genuine care for your personal preferences, your TMC is on hand to catch you when travel mishaps happen, as they often do.

Rely on your TMC. There’s no smart reason to manage your travel requirements alone.