The years of disruption see the travel agent become a professional


It has been years since the death of the travel agency generated many headlines as consumers increasingly turned to the net to book their holidays. While most would have seen that investment in the travel industry at the time was unwise, Flight Center Travel Group launched its brand, Flight Center Business Travel, to take advantage of this niche that represents the majority. of the business that is done in South Africa.

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It is moving fast until 2017 and the travel agent is more popular than ever. Today the travel agent has become a travel advisor, advisor or professional, a more advanced role that seeks to meet the demands of personalization, personalization and advice of travelers.

Tranquility and personality

In the business travel space, travelers are looking for peace of mind, says Innocent Manaka, FCBT’s account manager. “People are far from their families. As a travel advisor, give them the peace of mind that when they travel they don’t need to worry about anything. Yes, they are away from their families, but a travel advisor will make sure everything is working properly. ”

And that means that, for some companies, an over-reliance on the web does not provide that peace of mind and personalization.

“A few years ago, Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa moved to an online platform, but it didn’t work as well,” says Monica Bridges, the company’s customer service manager. “We wanted a more personal approach and were looking for an interactive, offline travel agent.”

Bridges explains that the company needed a travel company that would suit the company’s specific travel needs, in addition to helping the company’s financial visibility. “Our requirement is an interactive platform that helps us save and achieve more visibility. You don’t get it online, ”she says.

Meet travel needs

Penny P. MacDonald, office manager at Namakwa Diamonds, says that as Namakwa Diamonds ’travel needs increased, the company also decided to look for a more customized solution. “When I want to know where my bosses are, I call my travel manager,” he laughs.

“Why would I connect? I have these amazing people who do everything for me.”

For MacDonald, it’s important that your travel manager knows everyone in the company. “My travel manager knows that if the CFO does not want an average seat, he will make sure he does not reserve that seat. It’s those personal touches that make my life and work so much easier, ”he says.

Bridges agrees and says, “I called my travel manager once at 12 in the morning. I received the same friendly service as during the day. That’s amazing for me. “