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Revealed, the distinguishing feature of travel agents

June 20, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A certain distinguishing attitude of mind sets travel agents apart from workers in other industries, according to results of new research.

Travel agents are more likely to be purpose-oriented (71%) compared to a 64% benchmark in other industries, according to research released yesterday.  For agents identifying as adventure specialists, this figure rises to 80%.

G Adventures, which commissioned the research, says the finding is significant “as being purpose-led and selling purpose-led product has been proven to have tangible, long-term business benefits”.

Key global findings from the ‘State of Purpose in Travel’ survey (see end of story for methodology) include:

  • 71% of travel agents identify as being purpose-oriented (the figure was 64% in the LinkedIn survey which crosses industries, so travel is a more purpose-led industry);
  • Being purpose-oriented increases to 80% for agents who identify as adventure specialists;
  • Travel agents are 34% more likely to be promoters of their employers than those in other industries;
  • Adventure specialists are more likely to believe that responsible travel can change the world (89% vs 83% non-adventure specialists);
  • Adventure specialists are more committed to their employer (91% vs 80% non-adventure specialists).

The results derive from the world’s first global Travel Agent Purpose Survey, revealed at “the industry’s first global purpose-led conference for travel agents”, Change Makers, held by at G Adventures in Peru this month.

More than 100 agents from around the world earned their place in Peru, where they visited a number of G Adventures’ social enterprise projects and attended an inspirational keynote by the company’s founder, Bruce Poon Tip.

David Green, vice president of commercial at G Adventures, says the research is encouraging as the company shifts its focus from “trips sold” to “lives changed”. He wants to reinforce to agency partners how powerful purpose can be to motivate employees and to remind them that G Adventures can partner with them to share learnings from their differentiated, purpose-driven sales process.

“We see our role as helping our agents find more purpose, passion and happiness,” Green said.

“In 2013 we renamed our sales managers ‘global purpose specialists’ to emphasise the importance of purpose in the selling process, as opposed to just being focussed on profit. We want our agents to remember why they love working in travel, and why it’s rewarding to send their customers on a life-changing G Adventures tour.

“Travel agents have been a part of G Adventures’ lifeblood since our inception, and it is part of our job to ensure they are educated on how the trips we sell give back to the world around them. At G Adventures our purpose is to change lives through travel, and that includes the lives of our travellers, the lives of local people in the places we visit, and the lives of our important travel agency partners.”

G Adventures says its inaugural Change Makers conference is just one way the small-group adventure operator will harness the power of purpose with agents following the encouraging results from the first ‘Travel Agent Purpose Survey’.

The methodology behind G Adventures findings used LinkedIn and Imperative, the latter being a peer coaching platform designed to empower people inside organisations “to help each other grow and make their work fulfilling”.

‘Benefits of Purpose’ research was applied to the travel industry to find a benchmark. Agents were asked to identify with an undisclosed persona (purpose, money and status oriented) and were asked a series of statements about motivations and beliefs. G Adventures assessed the statements that purpose-oriented agents most strongly agreed with. A total of 3614 agents were surveyed globally in G Adventures’ main markets (Australia / New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Britain and and the USA).

Edited by Peter Needham

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