April 22, 2015
Alexandria, VA, April 22, 2015 – Most leisure travelers who use a professional travel agent to plan their trip do so because it takes the stress out of traveling, according to a new consumer study commissioned by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA).
In the 2015 Traveler Decision Making study, conducted by Lodestar agenty Partners for ASTA and sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, 72 percent of travel agent customers said they use a travel adviser because it just makes things easier. And, they plan to do it again.
“This study confirms what we found in another independent study we commissioned last year—when you use a travel agent, you have a better experience,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. “We know from the U.S. Travel Association that 429 million vacation days go unused by Americans every year. That means that when it comes to using those hard-earned days off, no one has time for a vacation do-over. Using a professional travel agent is critical to taking the risk out of travel planning,” Kerby said.
Of the 3,000 U.S. travelers who took the survey:
• 92% who used a travel agent expect to use one again.
• 72% said agents make travel planning easy.
• 69% said if something goes wrong, an agent is there to take care of it, and them.
• 68% said agents are great for booking special trips.
• 61% said agents have the knowledge to plan a better vacation.
• 59% said agents still have access to better deals than they can find themselves.
A U.S. traveler is defined here as a consumer who took at least one leisure trip in the past 12 months with an overnight stay in a commercial property.
The study found the typical travel agent customer is younger, more affluent, a racial minority, male, travels frequently and most often travels alone. Among the younger generation—millennials— 41% used a travel agent in the past 12 months.
ASTA members may participate in a May 14 webinar on how to use the results to create better messaging, and a June 23 webinar on understanding U.S. travelers. ASTA’s Premium Members will receive the full report. The full report also can be purchased in the ASTA store.
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.