Happy National Travel Advisor Day!
Hear ye! Hear Ye! May 5th is National Travel Advisor Day and we're looking forward to having lots and lots to celebrate in 2021 and beyond.
In some ways, May marks what feels like a new year for the travel industry. After a year of COVID paralysis, the travel industry is approaching its spring. Here's how I know:
Numbers Don't Lie: 10 Reasons Why I Know Travel is Approaching a Recovery Phase
Yeah, okay, so I like to celebrate holidays with data apparently. It can't be helped! But here are some current industry factoids about the travel industry's recovery:
- 76% of travel advisors are seeing an increase in customers in 20211
- 80% of advisors are hearing from travelers who have never worked with a travel advisor before.
- 58% of international vacationers who have never cruised before plan to do so in the next few years. 2
- In the third week of March 2021, Airplane ticket transactions by U.S. travel advisors have reached half of 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic began.3
- Nearly 1.6 million people went through airport security checkpoints on April 1, 2021, compared to a scant 124,000 the year prior.4
- "87% of American travelers now have travel plans in the next six months—the highest level since March 2020."5
- The U.S. travel rate jumped to 35.3% in March, marking the biggest two-month increase since travel hit rock bottom in April 2020. 6
- 45% of Americans say they’ll increase travel spending in April.
- Nearly 65% of travelers are still thinking about where they want to travel next7
- 69% of travelers agreed they were going to research their next trip more than they did in the past." (Psst! Advisors, I'm looking at YOU!)
Do you have positive industry news to share (erm, and by "news," I mean "data")? Give me a holler in the comments.
But maybe you're thinking I exist in an echo chamber of good news, looking only to trade publications to cull for good news. But it's not so. Travel agents are blowing up. Read on . . .
The Value of an Advisor is the Worst-Kept Secret
Okay, so we know travel is recovering but does that mean that the viability of a travel agent career will also rebound? I'm going to hazard a resounding Yes. But it's not just me who thinks so. The New York Freakin' Times also touted the recovery of the travel advisor!
"We have clients who are calling us from the 15-minute waiting period after their second vaccine shot." - Advisor Wendy Burk, quoted in NYT
And it's not just lip service. Other publications echo these same sentiments.
Forbes reported on how travel advisors helped their clients get a jump on border closures in March 2020, before "the U.S. State Department reported over 21,000 Americans were still stranded overseas."
"The travel adviser’s role has shifted dramatically during the pandemic. Consumers now depend on advisers not just for advice but also advocacy." — Washington Post
Nerd Wallet lauded travel advisors for their ability to "get [travelers] the best of both worlds: a curated trip that’s also easier to cancel."
AARP posted about an advisor who secured "a full refund, even on nonrefundable airline tickets" for a $3,000 trip to Lisbon.
CNN reported on the rise of travelers using advisors for the first time, reporting that Signature Travel Network has seen a 20% increase in new customers since last year."
Washington Post recognized that in a post-COVID era, "The travel adviser’s role has shifted dramatically during the pandemic. Consumers now depend on advisers not just for advice but also advocacy."
This is good news. We want to celebrate the fact that travel advisors have a chance at restoring their livelihood. To celebrate advisors' persistence in supporting travelers to get home safely during a pandemic, and leveraging their vendor knowledge and relationships to plan safe trips as the vaccine roll out picks up pace.
Spread the Love with HAR's Custom Social Shareables for Travel Advisors
You got a little taste of a few social shareables HAR's magnificent marketing created. Here are a few more:
For the first time ever, April from HAR upgraded our Insta social shareables with an IG video. Behold 😍
Not enough? You can also dig into our pre-pandemic archives of travel advisor shareables. (If you go by social media time, they're actually relics!)
- You save your clients a ton of time
- You have the expertise and Google does not
- You save your clients from analysis paralysis
- You also save them time and money
- You're there when the unexpected happens
- You make experiences memorable
- You're selective and you qualify your suppliers
In Closing: Warm Fuzzy Brought to You by Larry
Here's an email I received from my buddy, Larry, just as industry mayhem was beginning to unfold last year:
like love it so much that it is bound to become a fixture of the site. I just can't let go of Larry. I'm not crying YOU'RE crying! 😭We want to spread love. Larry is not a lone traveler who loves and relies on his travel agent. Travel agents have always offered unprecedented support to travelers, and the coronavirus crisis has only amplified this fact.
If you're feeling like you're unsure of how to communicate your immense value, this article is essentially filled with affirmations you can tell yourself in the mirror about how amazing you are!
Most importantly, Happy Travel Advisor Day to YOU! Here's to another year of creating lifelong memories for your clients! If there's anything we can do for you, give us a holler at Hello@HostAgencyReviews.com
- Source: New York Times (for #1 and #2) ↩
- Source: CLIA's "2021State of the Cruise Industry Outlook" ↩
- Source: Travel Weekly, published March 22, 2021 ↩
- Source: Skift, "The Week That U.S. Travel Started Its Recovery, by the Numbers" April 2, 2021 ↩
- Source: U.S Travel Association's "Monthly Travel Recovery Data Report." ↩
- Source: Skift's "US Travel Tracker March 2021 Highlights," April 2021 (for #7 and #8) ↩
- Source: Tripadivsor's 2020 "A Year in Travel: Charting the Industry's Recovery" (for #9 and #10) ↩