The keynote panel on travel industry trade day at the New York Times Travel Show in Manhattan this past weekend was made up of travel agents and their representatives, and they had one plea to the public: We haven’t gone away!
Apparently a good percentage of the public thinks travel agents have gone the way of the dinosaurs or at least print newsweeklies, on the seriously endangered list.
Stark statistics were presented: while use of traditional travel agents for booking trips is up 18 percent over the past three years, only 13 percent of the public uses them to book leisure trips, and only 16 percent use them on the business side.
The Internet, of course, is the culprit, encroaching more and more on travel agent territory since the late… Continue reading
Fortune has come out with an interesting follow-up story to our previous post about Sir Richard Branson’s out-of-this-world venture Virgin Galactic, which aims to bring space tourism to America.
Some 600 affluent travelers — including plenty of intrepid baby boomers — have plunked down up to $250,000 each to be among the first passengers on a commercial flight into space, which could happen as early as 2014, though previous target dates have come and gone. With six passengers scheduled for each flight, that would already amount to 100 sold-out flights.
According to Fortune, one travel agency — Virtuoso — has landed exclusive rights to book passengers throughout the Americas onto the flights.
Virtuoso — which bills itself as “the travel industry’s leading luxury network” — includes more than 330 agencies… Continue reading
Zicasso — an online service that matches travel agent specialists with luxury travelers to plan memorable customized trips around the globe — is touting five specially planned trips on five different continents to mark its fifth anniversary in business.
The five tours promise experiences and access beyond the ordinary. They include the “Gold Standard Culinary and Art Tour of Italy,” the “Ultra Luxury South African Safari,” the “Australian Family Adventure,” the “Insider’s Guide to Brazil,” and “Off the Beaten Path China.”
Along with the tours, Zicasso is offering an intriguing promotion: the first five travelers to book all five tours by the end of 2013 will receive free roundtrip airfare to all five. The airfare is in coach class and must be used by 2015.
Of course,… Continue reading
I hope that by now most travel agents realize the power of baby boomers in the travel market, but if not, I hope they’ll listen to these words from Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave (which has tracked boomer trends for decades), as he addressed a group of agents at a recent conference:
Baby boomers, Dychtwald told the agents, as reported in this piece from Travel Weekly, are the catalyst of “an entirely new era” for the travel industry.
Boomers have the money to travel, they want to travel, and they increasingly have the time to travel, as more and more reach retirement age, Dychtwald said. They bring their families along on their trips, too.
And boomers are looking for something different when they hit the road.
“There is an appetite for newness,” Dychtwald told the agents, “for different experiences that… Continue reading