One of the most important things you can do as a travel agent or as a blogger is to regularly read up on travel news. This is because it will keep you abreast of all the latest trends that affect the travel industry. As a travel agent, I am constantly meeting with new customers and prospects, so I am always in the know about which destinations are hot and which ones are not. Reading up on travel news helps me make the right decisions for my clients.
Another thing since sliced that travel agents should be concerned about is the rise of travel sickness. The number of people suffering from traveler’s diarrhea or just known as TDS (tics) has been on the rise over the past ten years. This has been an issue that has been widely reported on in the news and by travel blogs. In one case, a Chinese couple who had traveled to Bali were stung by traveler’s diarrhea…a painful and possibly deadly stomach infection. They had to be treated in a hospital and their travel agent was told to make sure they had a passport and visa when they returned to China. Luckily they did, but this story definitely underlines the importance of having up-to-date information.
Another reason travel news is so important is the effect it can have on your commission income. Travel agencies rely on ticket sales to pay their bills, so if there is something happening that would cause the demand for tickets to go down, the income from ticket sales would decrease. It may not affect your commission directly, but travel news does affect the amount of money you are earning. As an example, if you have three clients who book separately from your traveling party, and one of them gets sick, then you are affected because your travel agency income would drop. It may not affect your income too much, but there is certainly a drop in profits.
The best way to counteract the effects of travel news is to simply remain informed yourself. Read as much travel news as you can, and always have a back-up plan in case the original plan falls through. If you’re traveling to Asia or South America in the near future, try to pick a few cities to explore first. Doing so gives you time to research a little bit, and if a city has good attractions but not enough people to visit, then you’ll still be able to see it. You can always change your plans if the economy changes.
If you can’t seem to wait on the news, consider getting yourself a subscription to a travel magazine. These magazines usually focus on travel news that affects just the travel industry. You don’t have to worry about being able to afford the issue, since most travel agencies offer free subscriptions. This way you can read up on the latest trends in travel, and you can look forward to more interesting articles and exciting features.
One thing you need to remember is that travel news can sometimes be more important than the current events that are dominating headlines. If a natural disaster strikes somewhere in the world, for example, you may be concerned about how you and your loved ones will survive. But if the recession is hitting the US and you need a way to take a vacation there, you probably won’t care about the current events. But if something bad happens in the world (and it will) and you’re unable to travel to a particular place because of the natural disaster, news of the incident is likely to make you panic. Travel news can help you cope with these types of situations.