Ashley Nault - Sep 23, 2008

Most travellers tend to have the belief that travelling on ones own, i.e. without the services of a travel agency, can yield huge savings, thus making the pleasure of travelling abroad all that more enjoyable. This is, unfortunately, not the case. Many do not realise that agencies tend to have special contracts with hotels and restaurant organisations which can lead to all parties being better off. The price for accommodation offered by a travel agency is not necessarily more expensive than the price you will be given at the reception desk of a hotel. A recent survey by the USTOA (US Tour Operation Association) found that Americans are the guiltiest of believing this myth about prices in the tourism industry, particularly young Americans.


The study showed that 75% of young Americans feel the need, mostly because of money, to organise their own trip. They make the mistake of thinking that it is more economical. A similar mistake of young Americans, found by the study, is that they tend to believe that agencies organise trips whereby people are forced to spend all the time together. They believe that their freedom is completely destroyed by taking parts in the so-called ‘all-inclusive’ tours. Perhaps this explains why 70% of older Americans, around the 55-64 years mark, tend to use agencies more. Perhaps the thought of being in company all the time suits them. Whatever they think, it does not have to be true. Agencies can offer people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy their holiday time with freedom and at a fraction of the cost.


Surprisingly, a mere 6% of Americans admitted to realising that it is possible to go on holiday cheaper through an agency. Maybe the results of the survey can lead to people being more aware of the possibilities and all parties will be better off.


  1. Its somewhere true for other countries incl India .. many people want to travel independently not only because they want to be more independent, but also because of easy accessibility of hotels through net. However, the personal touch, emergency services & the fun part of 'negotiation' is a big miss. Travel agents are used more as a free consultant unlike lawyers & doctors who charge a consultation fee whether you use their services or not.

  2. we in south africa see this all too often: prospective travelers "going it alone" and not utalising the expertise of an acredited inbound tour operator.
    the tour operator is able to offer self drive itineraries, meaning all the venues and activities en route, are all sourced and recommended by an expert in the field; at no extra cost.
    going alone is safe but can be costly in South Africa - get an experts help - I dare say this rule of thumb applies to travel, anywhere in the world.

  3. I have read and agree with the contents on the problems faced by registered travel agents because people (and especially those with disabililties) are not utilising all the expertise they offer.

    Australia For All Alliance Inc have constructed an international web site devoted entirely to accommodation and tourism venues which are accessible to people with disabilities.

    We would like to add a section to our web site giving details of travel agents who specialise in finding accessible facilities for people with disabilities and therefore are happy to offer a free listing to any travel agent, anywhere in the world, who can meet this criteria. This section has not yet been included on the web site but we do want to start it up. So all you travel agents out there let me hear from you. Remember your inclusion on the web site IS FREE as this is a community service on our part. We just have to be assured that you have an interest and expertise in providing people with disabilities with what they want and need in order to enjoy their holiday or visit.


Add Comment