Are You Paying Someone For… The Luxury of Doing the Work Yourself?
We’ll venture to guess that this headline raised your eyebrow. We’re willing to bet that you vehemently said no in your head. As you should – why in the world would you pay someone else to do work yourself?
Well, we might just blow your mind here: if you are not using a dedicated travel agent for business and personal travel, you are paying someone else to do the work yourself. True story. Allow us to explain.
We’ve mentioned this before, but here is a quick summary of how the travel industry works – the basics. To determine the selling price of anything, it’s an equation of cost + profit = selling price. When it comes to hotel rooms, cruise ship staterooms, tours, convention space, meeting packages and the like, part of that cost is a commission. That’s why no matter which online booking engine is shouting that they have the best price ever, and no matter how much comparison shopping you do, the prices all seem to be within mere dollars of each other, if different at all:
Four online booking engines. Same dates, same hotel, same price. When you book with Expedia/Orbitz/Hotels.com, they get the commission from Starwood. When you book directly with Starwood, they don’t have to pay that commission – and yet they still charge you, the traveler, the same price. You have done the work yourself: found the right hotel, in the right location (which can be very time consuming in large cities with hundreds of options,) likely checked the price against competitors, made the booking yourself and someone else is getting paid for you to do the work yourself. Crazy, right?
As a travel agent in 2016, we are often asked what the benefit is to working with us. We are asked this so often that we should probably be desensitized to it, but in reality – we are still stunned by how many people just don’t know how the travel industry operates. This confusion is present across the entire spectrum of travelers: from people who travel once every five years to C-level executives who travel 90% of the year, and seemingly everyone in between.
There are so many benefits to working with a travel agent. We’ve written here about a few including having our feet on the ground in so many places and the perks our clients get based on our booking volume. Right here are ten reasons we are better than the internet. Here, you can read more about how using a travel agent is a time saver, a cost saver and a safety net. Here is more information on why you need a business travel management company. Want to hear from someone other than a travel agency? Read more from Forbes, USA Today, HuffPost,Travel + Leisure and Entrepreneur. But, the biggest benefit? You aren’t paying anyone for the luxury of doing the work yourself.
On that note, if your corporate travel management strategy is only the usage of Concur, Egencia, or the like, you are still missing out on the major advantages of a travel agency’s existence and you are still paying someone for the luxury of doing the work yourself.
At Thumbtack Worldwide Travel and Vacationisms Worldwide Travel, we keep it human. You get a person – the very most important part of using a travel agency’s service. You get someone who knows you, your needs, your preferences, your business’s travel policies and the individuality of you and your business. We’re your person. And we take it personally.