Why To Avoid Brick And Mortar Travel Agents

 

With the increasing growth of technology and the Internet, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have increasingly dominated the marketing channel of the travel industry. They have emphasized the technology to improve their service delivery. On the other hand, brick and mortar travel agents have specialized in offering personal services without extensively taking advantage of the powerful tools of the technology. Even though the traditional agencies and the online agencies offer similar services, the OTAs have several advantages making them more appealing. Interestingly, you are likely to get a deal freely online rather than using a travel agent who will charge you for their service.

Benefits of OTAs

Easy

One of the biggest benefits of using OTAs is that they will allow you to compare many travel options within the comfort of your home. You will choose the best locations, availability, price and time without spending a dime. In fact, while doing your selection, the system can simplify your work by helping you compare relevant accommodation for your price range side by side. On the other hand, for the same service, you have to involve an agent, which may limit your selection. Moreover, they may offer you limited alternatives as they may be handling many clients at the same time.

Convenience

OTAs have large travel sellers around the world as they focus on competitive discounted rates and easy-to-use self-service models which allow their clients to design their customized trips as package deals or one-offs. It is worth noting that online travel agents promote their products and services to make them be sold online without depending on an offline agent. You can get all the information you need without going to the travel agency. However, if you have questions that cannot be answered by the website content, you can always call the agency as their customer service personnel are trained to take care of your concerns. When you use an OTA, you will not have to be worried about besieging the embassy and waiting in long queues. Furthermore, you will not need to buy tickets and book hotels. The agency will take care of all those services if you want them to. Most of these travel agencies have special agreements with various hotels and airlines, which make your accommodation and ticket prices cheaper.

Peer Validation

OTAs enable you to see peer reviews, therefore making you get a feel of products and services offered by various hotels and airlines from a customer’s perspective. Such recommendations give you the confidence to choose one facility over the other. It is worth noting that many hotel guests visit review websites before booking hotels, and other customers’ feedback highly influences their hotel choice. On the other hand, it is hard to find a review of a hotel that a customer of a brick and mortar travel agency has visited. Hence, you will not know how good a hotel or airline is until you experience it. At that time, it will be too late to change as the damage would have already been done. For this reason, OTAs improve the quality of their services faster than brick and mortar travel agencies since the former use customer reviews to develop their products and services—they do not want to be shamed online! Thus, you are likely to choose an OTA over a brick and mortar travel agency as you are likely to know the services to expect before booking.

Conclusion

Both OTAs and brick and mortar travel agencies offer similar services. However, the former has indisputable advantages which makes it more appeal to clients. In fact, you do not need a travel agent to get the best deal because very many competitive deals are available online.