Online travel communities
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Nov 24, 2012 7:31 PM Last Post By: davelliot
Nov 19, 2012 10:29 AM
Nov 19, 2012 11:53 AM
Nov 20, 2012 8:41 AM
2For many of us here on the TT, I would think that most don't use travel agents. For me, I love the planning part of travel nearly as much as the travel itself. I would never think of using a travel agent, unless I really, really had to (going to North Korea, for example). We are the exception, I'd imagine. A large percentage of the population has neither the inclination nor the knowledge to book a trip, especially to somewhere 'exotic' like Europe. And don't forget that a large part of travel is for business people, and they usually leave that up to corp travel agents. So while I agree that for us, travel agents are not a part of our travel experience, they still offer a useful (and needed) service for a lot of people. Couchsurfing? Even I'll pass on that.
Nov 20, 2012 11:08 AM
Nov 20, 2012 1:14 PM
4For myself I can DIY. Yeah corporate travellers use agencies as partnered to the employer. I used do a bit of liasing with the agencies myself in securing airfares and accom for some employees ... It's not about price for them. Get the right time, right date, whatever price, just take it.
A significant portion of the population may not be computer literate or know how to prepare holidays. Many people haven't gone overseas in the last few years. I know those who don't even have a passport. Ie, my mum isn't computer literate, she cannot even send a TEXT. English not good. My dad got a passport which was a 10yr once never used it once. He got another and went overseas last year I think. Not this year though. They also just go back to see friends or family. They live with them so they don't need to organise accom. They don't really go to see/do tourist things, they just meet old friends/family in their houses, cup of teas, dinners, restaurants, do a bit of shopping. They may depart out the day 10am pick up a brunch down from the apartment, come back 6 or 7pm and prepare dinner at home or eat out. On some days they may even spend the afternoon at home.
If they go on tours, like they went to HKG, they may go with a few peopel to China or Malaysia for a wee holiday, in Asia they have a lot of competition - just walkin shops. They basically meet with you at the airport depart with you assisting you at immigration depart on the tour bus and go do the tour and fly back to say HKG with all the passengers... They went from HKG to KL (Malaysia), cannot remember the figure, got a hotel and all for a 5 or so days, probably off peak time, for ~$100 a day per person.
If it is the airfares which I book for them, when they go to the agencies, they say I want to travel from X to Y on the cheapest flight. Then they may say , I don;t like that route, I'll take that one and they pay the invoice ..
The other thing is that if you are travelling on things like luxury cruises maybe agencies may be better, they may have not got to so much cruises to get that experience.
Also if you are just going to travel in peak holiday like some people, ie Christmas. There may not be a lot of discounted fares. Agencies might get a bit better prices if they have some surplus seats maybe .. . Not very cheap but not too excessively expensive and most importantly to be able to get a seat or a few seats on that flight.
Some frequent fliers also use agencies b/c agencies can provide more system information. Like if they are a gold member, they may want to see how many R seats are available on that flight. The more the merrier b/c it means they have a higher chance to use their air mileage to secure free upgrade seats.
Some may just be not interested in booking stuff. They may work long hours, it's an annual Christmas trip or less less frequent than that. They don't mind if the agencies charge a bit more for that. Also, some may think that if something goes wrong, the agencies may put them on a priority waitlist and they can manage their VISA requirements too.... They may just go down to the agencies at their lunch break or call them. And they may just purchase a day tour or a few day tour package, stay at international hotels.
Nov 21, 2012 8:48 AM
5Hi Alice...just because something is available on line does not mean that people will use it to the exclusion of everything else. For example, I can buy shoes online, but that does not render shoe stores obsolete. Travel is the same thing. Some people, like me, don't use travel agents at all. Some people prefer the advice, help and resources a travel agent provides. There are lots of people who use travel agents for a variety of reasons. While the future of travel agents may not be as bright as it once was, they still serve a function for some people.
Nov 21, 2012 9:49 PM
6I would think that most don't use travel agents. For me, I love the planning part of travel nearly as much as the travel itself.There are lots of people who use travel agents for a variety of reasons. While the future of travel agents may not be as bright as it once was, they still serve a function for some people.They live with them so they don't need to organise accom. They don't really go to see/do tourist things, they just meet old friends/family in their houses.
Nov 22, 2012 1:49 PM
Nov 23, 2012 6:32 PM
8Some travel agents will sell internet fares so you don't have to give credit card details on the net or in case one doesn't have credit card. Those travelling in independent budget style - once upon a time Lonely Planets main audience - have always mainly used travel agents for tickets rather than planning - those sort of travellers normally didn't plan or book acommodation , they just winged it. In countries with cheap guesthouse acommodation many will not need couchsurfer type arrangements , in more expensive countries not everyone wants to stay with strangers.
The info on communities like this although often useful is not always correct ,complete or consistent or bias/agenda free , so there is limit to how much it can be relied on . One shouldn't get too carried away with online.
Nov 24, 2012 7:31 PM
9Also some are not so aware that the trave info sites and blogs and acommodation reviews on the web go out of date just like guidebooks. The people running them don't usually have research teams updating them and user feedback may not always be correct or forthcoming when it is needed. In some cases those running the sites may not always be able to keep up with the workload to keep them updated. Sometimes places that have long closed are still listed in acommodation reviews.
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