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31% of US premium travelers entrust flight booking to travel advisors

Recent study data from Voyagu notes that more than a third of American premium travelers prefer utilizing advisor services when flying internationally.

SAN FRANSISCO – Voyagu, an AI-powered travel management platform and marketplace, surveyed 2,050 American premium travelers who booked an international flight at least once in the past six months and found that 31% prefer to rely on advisors.  

A study was conducted from June-November 2022 among affluent, U.S.-based international travelers ages 40-75, with net worth starting at $2 million. All respondents had booked an overseas flight within the past six months and typically book multiple flights each year. Annually, 57.4% booked 2-5 flights, 33% booked one flight, and 5.1% booked five or more flights. The remaining 4.5% booked one flight every few years.

The participants of the survey confirmed that one of the main reasons for them to use the travel advisor, besides the benefit of better pricing, is getting human support and expert management of sudden changes throughout the trip. While the share of online self-service booking is still rather high at 69% and airline website bookings at 41.6%, when the price is comparable, 31% strongly prefer to book with a travel advisor.

The study also revealed that there is no specific difference in choosing a travel advisor when it comes to frequency and reasons for travel, and the preference to book with a travel advisor is gender-neutral. 

The research outcomes correlate with the findings of another recent survey commissioned by ALG Vacations, which showed that 57% of U.S. adults believe they would benefit from having an expert handle unexpected vacation issues. The survey also found that 54% of Generation Xers (ages 42-57) and 48% of Baby Boomers (ages 58-75) would also be open to having expert help. 

"As travel demand shows no sign of decreasing, the role of agents is becoming more prominent, changing from a booking assistant into a travel-savvy expert who provides valuable tips as well as instant trip support and management," says Ivan Saprov, CEO and founder of Voyagu. “A common myth is that using an advisor increases the trip price. If agents' routine tasks are automated by tech solutions, travelers can enjoy invaluable advising services for the same or even lower prices than if they were booking the trip on their own."

The market size of the travel agency sector in the U.S. amounted to $38.65 billion in 2021, and is forecast to reach $48.53 billion in 2022. The primary positive factors affecting this industry are international trips by U.S. residents and a medium-low growth risk score. Trends in residents traveling within the United States on overnight trips for vacations, business or other purposes are key factors influencing revenue for the travel agency industry.

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She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.