who use travel agents reported that agents save them an average of $452
per trip and four hours in travel planning, according to preliminary
results of a study released by ASTA on Monday.
independent study, “Best of Both Worlds: Quantifying How Travel Agents
Save Consumers Time and Money,” was funded by Carnival Corp. and
conducted by market research firm TNS Global. The full report will be made
available by ASTA by May 30, but the association released some initial findings
the past 12 months, 47% of consumers polled booked travel through supplier
websites, followed by 25% on online travel agencies and 23% through
travel agents — the largest share for travel agents in the past three
This is ASTA’s third consumer study in three years, all of which were
sponsored by Carnival but with a slightly different focus. Each time, the same
question about how consumers book travel was asked. In 2015, 15% said they
used an agent. In 2014, 13% said they used an
looking back on their past travel experiences, of those who used travel agents,
63% said using an agent makes their overall trip experience better; 69%
reported that agents save them time in planning and booking; 66% said agents
help them avoid costly mistakes; and 64% say agents find the better deals.
key reason consumers cited for not using a travel agent was, simply, “I want to
do it myself.”
for consumers who have not used an agent in the past 12 months, 47% said that
if an agent could save them money, they would consider it, followed closely by
an agent’s ability to find better deals than online websites and their
ability to help the consumer avoid mistakes.
survey was conducted online by global market research firm TNS in early April.
TNS reached out to 14,000 U.S. households and achieved a sample size of 3,000
consumers to provide the data. Travelers were adults ages 18 and
older with a household income of at least $50,000 who had traveled overnight and
stayed in paid accommodations for leisure travel purposes in the past 12 months.
this point, consumers have tried it all. They’ve booked online, they’ve gone
direct, and they’ve used a travel agent. This study dispels the myth that
booking direct with suppliers or spending hours online yourself gets you a
better deal, or gives you a happier travel experience,” ASTA CEO
Zane Kerby said in a statement.