The New York Times recently published a story that said mass market online travel agencies (OTAs) are making inroads into the luxury travel market.
Price checkers now may find some packages including luxury five-star hotels bundles with first class flights from the online travel agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com, Expedia and start-up apps.
Is this competition for me as a travel agent serving my clients on an one-on-one base live?
Well, first I question whether high-net-worth travelers want to take a chance on booking through a mass market online travel agency (OTA). These are my clients who know what they want their vacation to look like and want everything done right.
They appreciate the expertise it takes for the dozens of small details which are curated into a single holiday – flights, transfers, accommodation, tours, visits, meals, exclusive visits all of which are tailor-made for that client – to make sure all is seamless.
And, they have little time or interest to spend 9-30 or more hours making sure that happens.
Then I ask:
What is the cost for my client of a seemingly low price?
- They won’t get the exact room they envision because the online travel agency doesn’t know about the floor plan.
- They won’t get extra value-added multiple amenities they like in their vacation- breakfast, an upgrade, a spa or food and beverage credit, for example. These add up.
The bottom line is:
Mass market online travel agencies sell commodities, while the luxury travel expert and advisor designs the whole experience and supports the trip throughout.
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning, I’d love to help!
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