The results of a new nationwide survey showed that approximately three out of four Americans would prefer working with a living, breathing human being to access travel information that’s not available online (75 percent), discover new travel recommendations (71 percent) or request a flight upgrade or hotel welcome amenity (73 percent), as opposed to using a computer.
The majority of respondents also said they’d prefer to consult with an actual person when searching for travel discounts (57 percent) or seeking access to exclusive events and experiences (65 percent).
A breakdown of the results by demographic revealed some other interesting findings:
— Among Gen Z respondents, 56 percent surveyed had never before booked a trip with a travel advisor. However, in the wake of the pandemic, 52 percent would consider booking through a travel advisor in the future, and 45 percent went so far as to say that they are now “likely or very likely” to book their next travel experience using a travel advisor.
— Among Millennial participants, 49 percent said they’ve never booked with a travel advisor, but 50 percent would consider booking a future trip through a travel advisor, and 39 percent responded that they are “likely or very likely” to book their next travel experience using a travel advisor.
— Among Gen X survey-takers, only 39 percent had never booked with a travel advisor in the past, and 39 percent also said they’d consider booking with a travel advisor in the future. Fresh from the pandemic experience, 38 percent stated that they are “likely or very likely” to book their next trip with the assistance of a travel advisor.
— Among Baby-Boomers, just 22 percent said that they’ve never previously booked through a travel advisor.
“Many expect the younger generations, especially the digitally-native Gen Z, would prefer to book trips online themselves,” said J.D. O’Hara, CEO of Internova Travel Group, which commissioned the study. “However, that’s not the case, as we are seeing more and more people seeking the guidance of a travel advisor in these very different travel times.”
“Travel advisors have been the unsung heroes throughout the pandemic, saving the day for their travelers, providing support to essential workers and reuniting families all over the world,” O’Hara added.