Travel & Tourism: An ever evolving industry
After dealing with the tech revolution and the advent of the internet, the travel industry is now adapting to cultural and economic changes that are even more intangible. The tourism industry is matching up to this demand with a steady rise in hospitality and tourism services.
Travel Agent vs Travel Planner
Not so long ago, a “travel agent” was the sole point of contact for planning a trip with limited options on destinations. This paved way for the trend of “travel planners”, who started curating an experience of a lifetime. What is the difference between them?
- Travel Agents work for an agency and get paid a commission for whatever they purchase on your behalf, be it plane tickets or hotel bookings.
- Travel Planners mostly work independently or for an agency and are paid a fixed amount for their services in customizing a trip with insider or local information.
With the current millennial trend of “travel goals”, influencer culture and the thirst for unique experiences is making travelers seek out newer methods of travel. Hiring travel planners are perfect as people look forward to emulate the lives of their favorite influencers or have unique experiences from their travels. “Travel planners” therefore ideally cover:
- Backpacking trips with flexible itinerary
- Travelers with less visa hassles
- Exploring virgin locales away from the touristy hassles
- Trips which makes one feel like a local
“Travel Agents” still retain their own function and are a dependable option for a more structured travelling experience. One should hire a travel agent if they are:
- Going on a cruise
- Need constant visa assistance
- Love the thrill of group tours
- Like scheduled tours & a fixed itinerary
Rise of the Online Planner
Riding high on tech revolution, the e-commerce platforms replaced the hassle of locating a trustworthy agent/planner by bringing everything together under one common platform. We can all book flights and packages online, but then the industry evolved to give us “Customized Trip Planners”. A fancy name given to travel geniuses who make it their mission to find the best deals and club the best experiences to plan out the perfect travel plan for all. But this expertise comes to those who have made it through a lot of trial and errors.
One can pick and choose benefits from traditional planning methods, and plan according to their own specification and needs. This easily translates to:
- Plans that perfectly fit the budget
- Itinerary that works around one’s personal schedule
- Prioritizing preferences of food, accommodation and interests
But does it work out for everyone? No. Experience is the main deal breaker in these cases. And let’s face it- one does want to relax on their holiday. So why not let someone else bother about handling the headache of visa, bookings, etc. And we are back to travel agents and planners who are moving with the times and have mastered technology to make every travel plan measure up to world class experiences.
The Future Scope
The industry is evolving. So while the Airbnb’s of the world are the new trend, the travel agents and planners are ensuring that travelers get the real slice of heaven they seek. Some may argue that the age of travel agents is history. But they do not realize that they are and shall remain the backbone of the industry. With the worldwide growth in GDP contribution through tourism sector, now is the best time to join the travel industry and ride the boom with newer and more interesting opportunities backed by industry ready certifications and qualifications.