By Guest-blogger Neil Hamilton.
Neil works for a compnay that services the travel industry.
Since I dabble in the travel business, people often ask me why I would continue to use a travel agent. I use the internet and Trip Advisor regularly, so why wouldn’t I just book my trips that way? I can tell that some people don’t believe me when I tell them.
Having a friend call me to use my “influence” to help him book his family a vacation to Turkey made the answer obvious. My friend wasn’t nagging me for cheap flights. He was looking for the security of knowing that his family was going to stay in a “great” hotel ─ though not necessarily the most expensive. He wanted to know he was booking a trip that would raise his status in the eyes of his teenaged daughter. He didn’t want the apple of his eye to look him in the eye and say: “I wish you had let me stay home with my friends.”
He called me to make sure that I knew how important it was that his family enjoyed their Turkish experience. He didn’t want any surprises. He just wanted to know he would be taken care of. As he explained, he’d never been to Turkey before.
Being a good friend, I used my connections (AKA Rhonda Stanley) to get him a travel agent who knew Turkey, and had been there several times. She knew the good hotels and the best attractions, and could make recommendations with confidence. She pointed him in the direction of some of her personal favourite restaurants.
”So what?” you might ask. All this information is, after all, on the internet …somewhere. In fact, there’s probably more information about Turkey online than my friend could read, watch, or retweet in a lifetime.
My friend is an independent business man, who spends most of his time working. The last thing he wants to do is go home at night and spend his evening online, wading through a sea of information, but finding no real answers. That’s exactly why he called me, why I called Rhonda, and why she called a travel agent who knows Turkey intimately.
I am confident my friend is going to have a great time. He’s a hard-working guy; he doesn’t have hours upon hours to spend on the internet.
Frankly, neither do I. And even if I did, all the Google searches of a lifetime wouldn’t give me the first-hand expertise of a travel agent who has actually been there. Good travel agents bring tremendous value that you just can’t buy on the web. That’s why I continue to use and recommend them.