Organized tourism vs Independent Tourism
In the past to book a plane ticket and organize your own holidays you used to go to a travel agency. Today we do everything online, from planning of the itinerary, the choice of the destination, booking of the lodging and purchase of the flight.
Actually data are clear: according to Confesercenti the sales volume drop by travel agencies all over Italy in 2015 was of about 20-30% and the negative trend is still raising. Are travel agencies really destined to die?
The advantages of independent tourism
Nowadays the web is full of travel blog and web-sites (and I know what I’m talking about) giving advices and answers to any question or doubt: blogs are today a very valuable treasure trove of useful information to choose a destination, arrange your stages and the trip itinerary, discover the places to see and the things to do on site. You just have to go to a web-site to buy your flight ticket, your travel insurance, book a hotel, rent a car or the activities to do.
In other words today it’s possible to arrange every aspect of the travel in an independent way, according to the best do it yourself tecnique. This can lead to a remarkable effort of energy and time, unavoidably necessary to devote with care and attention to the travel we want to shape (which depends exclusively on us), where nothing must be left to chance so that our trip can be well-structured and fulfilling.
Organizing trips in an independent way requires also and especially undeniable advantages, starting with the economic saving. Cutting in travel agencies, tour operators and what else, means reducing considerably third party’s commissions besides the possibility to find out special offers, low prices and advantageous solutions which otherwise would be barely offered to us.
The big added value offered by independent travels is, in my opinion, given not just by the economic saving but by something else: personal satisfaction. Planning a trip takes time, researches and energies, but is all widely repaid by the sense of satisfaction of finding yourself to live an exciting trip, created with your own hands, which runs smoothly.Being the creator of your travel is an unique emotion. Click To Tweet
But we have to say that independent travels are not necessarily something for everyone.
Are travel agencies destined to die?
According to these premises it may seem that the web is really causing travel agencies to die. It is not exactly like this, at least until travel agencies will be able to restore themselves to offer a product that can offer something else, and of good quality, conceived for specific targets.
Those turning up their nose to the possibility of organizing a trip in an independent way, usually put forward the lack of time, desire or ability and from here the preference for empowering a travel agency “that can take care of everything”. The economic saving factor is here an optional in the case of a high (or very high) target that has no spending trouble.
Anothere reference target travel agencies can aim for is that of business or senior clientele, with an increasingly number of over 65 tourists (thanks to the gradual lengthening of life expectancy) willing to spend and with time at disposal (according to surveys in 2080 almost 1 person out of 3 in Europe will have an age of more than 65).
Another field where travel agencies seem to be still successfull is that of honeymoons, for many once in a life trip, a travel no one wants to put at risk: to be sure and safe they turn, in most cases, to a professional agency.
Travel agencies, from their side, must be able to leverage on an aspect that can be crucial: assistance during and after a trip, in case of problems, a noteworthy advantage for those planning a trip. In other words more quality and guarantees. By law a trip booked through a travel agency is by the way much more granted in case of scams or drawbacks.
What’s more, offering customized experience to travelers is becoming increasingly crucial to meet the needs individually offering tailored products and following the traveler after his/her travel experience, encouraging to share (also on social media) and word of mouth.