Travel Agent versus travel Adviser – same same or different

On one hand we can dismiss this as simply by saying what’s in a name?

Is a travel adviser actually any differently travel agent, or just a clever marketing ploy to re position more in line with current language, expectations and trends around travel?

If that’s the case it is a clever move from the originators in America – ASTA – in 2018. All. New title, new identity, the new platform from  which to stand on and yell to the world. If that’s the case and it’s starting to work then lets all clap our hands and move on.

However if you choose to look at as an opportunity to leverage, grow and develop, then what do you need to consider with your new title?

It’s true, “adviser” is a softer way of saying “agent”; “agent” implies profit and  everyone wants something for nothing. Pax loves to come back and gloat about how they did it themselves (with travel agents advice) and saved money. “Adviser” opens the door to charging for advice.

Over the next few weeks I will highlight some key areas that travel agents, nee advisers could  use to leverage a point of difference. But there are some potential pitfalls.

Should Australia New Zealand follow a similar pathway to that in the UK where there is significantly higher liability  to ensure safe passage, then this notion of providing “advice” can be come a slippery slope to litigation. “They told me five-star hotels would be safer” or “it is safe to travel in that destination during an election period” and someone gets hurt…..

But then, what do you advise on? Given that the Internet is saturated, it becomes combining information in a custom package that is a great value proposition. It’s clearly more than the best beach or the best hotel at the right time of year and needs to go that step further.

But finally, if you’re going to re position yourself and change your messaging, it still needs to lead towards a point of difference, a way to attract a client to spend money the first time and then deliver something reliable and very hard to copy so that they and their friends come back again.

There are definitely opportunities for travel agents here ; beyond just lounge passes and great prices, it becomes a chance to provide in-depth knowledge, a greater feeling of safety and security as well as a more memorable experience.

Agent versus adviser? You decide.

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