Travel agent vs travel tech


Although you’re probably interacting with a lot of travel technology – from apps and booking tools to online payment solutions – the real reason your trip is as seamless and hassle-free as it is, has more to do with your travel management company (TMC) than your travel tech.

Here’s why:

Your travel agent is a travel obstacle course pro

Although booking a return flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town is something you could do on your online booking tool (OBT), corporate travel is much trickier than nabbing a good deal on a domestic flight. Your TMC is an expert on all the aspects of business travel, including visas, early check-ins, car rentals and duty of care. They know more about the business of business travel than most, so even if you could arrange your business travel using a tech tool, your TMC would be able to do it much faster than you could.

Your TMC is more connected than you think

As much as your travel tech can be updated with flight delays and weather changes, your TMC has a host of travel industry relationships with insider information that your tech doesn’t. A business trip to that little town in the back-of-beyond? Your travel agent has the low-down on that little B&B; the internet does not.

Customised customer service

True personalisation comes with understanding the human factor of customer service. While you could fill out a traveller profile in your OBT, are you doing it in a way that will benefit your travel? Tech can only help you as far as you tell it to, but an expert TMC can identify the blind spots. They’d know exactly what you’d need as a first-time traveller or what bleisure to recommend for that off-day between meetings.

The real 911

Unlike your travel tech, a TMC can handle travel emergencies, especially when you’re trapped in a board meeting in Hong Kong. Your TMC can locate your lost luggage or make arrangements around a lost passport your travel tech can’t.

So trust your ASATA-accredited TMC. Travel tech may be cool. We rely on it! However, when you need a sympathetic ear on the other end of the phone, it helps to have a travel professional on speed-dial.

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