A travel agency acts as a consumer’s advocate, point of reference and expertise in case something goes wrong. A travel agency knows about the client’s interests, disposition and lifestyle. Through familiarity with the client, continuous education and customer feedback the travel agent becomes an expert. A travel agency can guide you regarding the most suitable route and value for money options available. Travel agents stay abreast of information via daily faxes, email transmissions and their communication with district sales managers. Travel agencies are known to organize all aspects of a trip including arrangements for rental cars, accommodations, hotel stays and flights. Many travel agencies have toll free numbers and offer travel incentives. Travel agencies specialize in group travel, family travel, adventure travel, ecotourism, mature market and incentive travel.
Selecting a travel agency depends on personal decisions and choice, such as your lifestyles, desires and financial conditions. You can take advice from your friend or relative about their most preferred travel agencies. You can visit or call several agencies and select the one that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as the appearance of the travel agent’s office, their patience and willingness in responding to your queries. A good travel agent should be able to maintain a long-time working relationship with their client rather than focus on a one-time sale. Hiring a travel agency makes sense in a variety of circumstances: If you are in search of comprehensive service, looking for air passes and around the world fares, if you are a specific needs traveler, if you are planning a long complex trip or a multi country trip, if you have many requests, if you are traveling to a country about which you have little knowledge, if you don’t want to purchase tickets online, and if you are travelling to restricted countries.
The travel agency should belong to ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents).
The travel agency should have membership with other travel agencies, hotels, airlines, railroads, cruise lines, tour operators, car rental companies and travel schools.
Travel agents should be dedicated, hardworking, and ready to provide superior quality of service to customers. The travel agent should support pro-consumer issues like airline bankruptcy, travel safety etc.
A travel agent should be trained in business management, travel and tourism or geography. Some agents are Certified Travel Counselors (CTC). The agents should have completed educational programs conducted by the Institute of Certified Travel Agents.
ASTA is American Society of Travel Agents which has about 20,000 members in over 140 countries. It is the largest and most influential travel trade association in the world. ASTA has an active Consumer Affairs Department that helps in resolving consumer related issues. It works with other travel associations to upgrade their quality services and technology on a regular basis in order to provide consumers with the best travel options. ASTA professionals are knowledgeable members who follow strict code of ethics. ASTA trains its members to deliver high caliber competitive business.
Travel agencies provide hotel and resort accommodation along with air and road transportation. They look after car rental needs and tour packages. They have to provide information regarding travel insurance protection plans, passports, visa requirements, inoculation procedures and other foreign travel requirements. To provide tailor-made services, travel agents should know specifics and personalization options such as the client’s frequent flyer number, seating preference, smoking or non-smoking designation and other lifestyle preferences.
Travel agents can help in getting the latest information on deals, discounts and best accommodations during vacations.
ASTA agents (American Society of Travel agents) are known to fight for consumer rights and for them your interests are the first priority.
Travel agents can provide all travel-related services under one roof such as purchasing air tickets, and accommodations, making itinerary changes if necessary or booking road transport.
Agencies help you in every way possible way including taking care of specific needs or contingencies. Their access to travel information helps them customize every aspect of your trip. There are many instances of the intrepidity and resourcefulness of ASTA travel agents.