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Travel agents ‘more relevant than ever’ – survey

August 24, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Three quarters of Australian travellers view travel agents as a “trusted source of travel and safety advice” – a major increase over the 57% figure recorded in 2012.

The findings, which derive from a survey conducted by travel insurer SureSave, also show that in 2017, “40% of Australians booked their last overseas leisure trip with a travel agent (either in-store, over the phone or via email)”.

SureSave says the findings secure the travel agent’s position as the second most popular method of booking travel in Australia, narrowly missing the top spot by only 2%, with 42% of Australians choosing to book their holiday online, using one or multiple booking sites, such as Webjet or Expedia.

“Travellers are still turning to agents for their travel booking and insurance needs, but not because they view agents as the default booking option,” Ross McDonald, SureSave’s general manager distribution commented.

“They’re coming back to agents time and time again as they genuinely seek and value the level of knowledge and expertise that agents offer.”

The research indicates that Australians are becoming more educated about the importance of travel insurance, with 74% of travellers in Australia now viewing travel insurance as a necessity, stating they “wouldn’t leave the country without it”.

This figure is an 11% increase, when compared to SureSave’s findings in 2012, which revealed that only 63% viewed travel insurance as necessity.

In fact, 88% of 2017 respondents said they purchased travel insurance for their most recent international leisure trip.  Of these, 27% sourced their travel insurance policy from a travel agency (either in person, via email, online or over the phone).

“Travel agency” was the most popular choice, along with purchasing “directly from an insurance company”.

Travellers are also becoming increasingly savvy about the intricacies of travel insurance, and in particular the “window of risk”, which identifies the earliest point at which a traveller is at risk of being out of pocket.  In 2017, 53% of respondents purchased travel insurance “at the same time as booking their holiday”, in comparison to only 37% in 2012.

“We can attribute this marked improvement in part to the efforts of agents to educate their customers,” McDonald said.

“Of the respondents who booked travel plans through an agent, 86% revealed that their agent had explained the benefits of purchasing travel insurance at the same time as booking their travel plans.”

“In terms of ensuring that travellers are informed and well-prepared in advance of their holiday, the role of the agent is crucial and is becoming more important each year.  We’re passionate about ensuring that agents are well-equipped with the right information and tools so their customers are able to choose the travel insurance policy that’s right for them.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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