Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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You Deserve It

With so many countries opening up again for travel,

Katie Hultgren

it is essential that travel agents stay on top of the regulations and requirements of each destination they are sending clients to.  This was a big enough challenge in pre-Covid times; ensuring clients obtained the proper Visas, met vaccine requirements, had current and valid passports. Now, with the Coronavirus causing counties to shut and reopen borders, each with their own requirements for entry and proof of vaccination or testing, a whole new layer has been added to an already detail oriented job. 

 

The advent of the internet and online booking made many travelers question their need for a travel advisor. They began booking online with no assistance, but also no support and no one to call when things went awry. If there is a bright spot to come from the pandemic, it is that travel agents proved themselves to be essential in handling the crises their clients were facing.  Agents came to the rescue of people stranded in certain countries far from home or on cruise ships as the pandemic hit. Those who had travel insurance policies purchased through their travel agents were the lucky ones.  As it turns out, travel agents are unsung heroes!  

 

During the first few months of the pandemic, after getting stranded passengers back home, agents dealt with the cancellation of almost a year of bookings. Each client’s situation was unique.  Some clients wanted refunds, some wanted to postpone, some needed to get somewhere no matter what.  Throughout the pandemic, agents have tried to remain positive knowing travel would come back, and that the travel industry has been through challenging times before. 

 

Considering all that travel advisors do, and how it has recently been proven once again how essential they are –  a service fee seems like a small price for a traveler to pay. Travel advisors are professionals who deserve to get paid for the hours of work, years of experience, vast knowledge, as well as all the research that goes into booking a custom trip for their clients. More than half of all agents are now charging a fee – will you be next?

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