AUGUSTA, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aggressor Adventures® announces today the results of its latest Consumer Travel Index, which tracks consumer sentiments on a bi-monthly basis. Ahead of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) annual Global Convention taking place August 23-25 in Chicago, Aggressor’s Index puts a spotlight on travel agents.
Industry Bounce Back due to Personalized Service
Having lost market share in recent years to the rise of digital-booking platforms for various trips, experiences, and services, travel agents and agencies are experiencing a renaissance as consumers become more comfortable with travel. In fact, according to American Express Travel’s 2021 Global Travel Trends Report of 3,000 travelers worldwide, nearly 60 percent of travelers surveyed want to use a travel agent to help plan and customize their next trip. As a result, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an optimistic outlook as an increasing number of people turn to travel agents to help filter through ever-changing pandemic restrictions.
The first Aggressor Index question asks respondents for their reasons for booking a trip through an agent. Results show nearly 40 percent of respondents choose agents based on their personalized service offerings, and nearly 60 percent of respondents choose agents based on the ease of re-booking their trip, if necessary. Similarly, 78 percent choose travel agents based on their ability to secure refunds and credits.
“There is a higher level of uncertainty when it comes to travel nowadays, and consumers need help navigating it all. Travelers enjoy the fact that they can rely on agents to keep up with changing protocols around how to travel safely,” says Lisa Stierwalt, Travel Agent with Aggressor Adventures. “We can help travelers make informed decisions about any risks that may arise. That added peace of mind that comes with having a direct line to an expert during these unprecedented times and often confusing policy changes is part of the allure of working with a travel agent.”
Industry and International Destination Knowledge
The second Aggressor Index question asks consumers what characteristics and attributes of an agent are most important to them when traveling internationally. Results show 62 percent of respondents choose agents based on their knowledge of the country they plan to visit. Similarly, 44 percent of respondents choose agents based on knowledge of customs and protocols.
The American Express Travel’s 2021 Global Travel Trends Report shared that agents are seeing an increase in requests for “second city” international vacation destinations as a way for travelers to avoid large crowds. According to Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures, smaller city preferences bode well for travel agents because of their plethora of knowledge.
“Travel agents have knowledge, expertise and insight you cannot find through digital booking services. Now more than ever, when people plan to travel, they want a guarantee that their experience will be seamless, safe and unique to their wants and needs,” shares Brown. “As Aggressor team members travel to Chicago for the annual ASTA Global Convention, there’s a renewed sense of optimism about the industry and an excitement for the future.”
Known as the “Essential Industry Event for Travel Agency Professionals,” the annual ASTA Global Convention is where the best of the best in the travel agency industry convene for three days of inspiration, education, and entertainment. Aggressor Adventures welcomes guests to booth 190 to learn more about the brand’s adventures of a lifetime.
About Aggressor Adventures
Since 1984, Aggressor Adventures® has offered travelers liveaboard scuba and snorkeling charters, luxury river cruises and exotic wildlife safaris. Worldwide locations the company explores include Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Galapagos, Hawaii, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico, Oman, Philippines, Palau, Red Sea, Roatan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turks and Caicos. The company’s Clean, Refresh, Sanitize safety standards are industry leading. For more information, visit www.aggressor.com or call (800) 348-2628 or (706) 993-2531.