For years, travel visionaries like Groove Cruise Founder Jason Beukema has preached the sermon of collecting experiences, not things. The experience of spending time with my grandson is much more important to me than buying the latest iPhone!
Now an article from Bloomberg is telling travel agents like myself to adopt the title of “experience designer.”
“Matthew Upchurch, chief executive officer of Virtuoso Ltd., a luxury travel agent consortium, says the focus on activities has transformed the role of the travel specialist. “They used to be human translators of an archaic language that was required to book airfare, making them all about the transaction—like stockbrokers,” he says. “Now they’re more like financial planners, looking at the experiences you want to collect in the near-to-long term and helping you realize them.””
Here’s the dealio.
More and more people are turning to online travel sites or even going to Costco to save a few pennies on their cruise vacations. They also hope that Costco will shower them with thousands of dollars of on board credit and put them in the so-called “perfect cabin” midship on deck 7, and many other perks!
The fact of the matter is traditional travel agents have sailed on the ship while reps of online sites and the good folks at Costco have never enjoyed the Lido deck buffet on any cruise ship!
Becoming a “experience designer” will take a lot of work to ensure the high standards of savvy, yet penny pinching travelers.
A close friend of mine frequently says, “You don’t always get what you pay for, but don’t expect something you didn’t pay for.”
I hope that travel agents can transform themselves into this boutique market, but I’m not expecting people to pay for this premium service.
Click on the link below for the full Bloomberg story: