Graeme Moore, a principal of Fuzion Travel and marketing manager there, says that in many ways the travel agent’s role is harder than when he started in the 1980s. ‘The people had to use a travel agent and you (the agent) were expected to read every brochure. Now you have to know every price on the internet.’ However, Moore says that massive overload of information is also driving people back to consultants. It is also making travel agents something of a status symbol for their clients – including young customers.
‘People can say ‘you spent three weeks researching on the internet, I made one call to my travel agent and it was done for me,’ says Moore. He says Fuzion Travel, part of World Travellers, is showing massive growth and now has some 30 travel affiliates (brokers) all at different stages of their business. ‘Why is travel booming? I take my hat off to suppliers and destinations – they come up with such amazing product and a lot of it is extremely cost effective. ‘And world events, as horrid as they may sometimes seem, are driving business back to travel agents. When it comes to duty of care, having a travel agent is like gold.’ He says there are a lot of new itinerary-collaborative tools coming on board, which will further assist agents to stay connected with the client – from the moment they start dreaming, through the trip itself and to the time they return.