Travel Agencies Can Prevent Lodging Disasters

BY Rachel Cagle
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"According to Consumer Reports, fully 59% of travelers in a recent survey of 2,000 Americans conducted for AIG Travel said they’d been on a trip that didn’t go as planned."

"In many of the more catastrophic cases, you may be able to recover your losses. Many travel insurance policies provide coverage for trips upended by Mother Nature, airline problems, or the financial default of a tour operator, cruise line, or airline. But if your trip goes awry for reasons that should have been (but weren’t) disclosed in advance by the place where you’re staying, like deafening noise from a major renovation at a beach resort, experts say it can be difficult to determine who is responsible and what rights you have."

"While consumers increasingly rely on proliferating third-​party booking options and apps, they aren’t always aware that when a problem arises, determining who’s responsible isn’t so easy."

"For extra protection, consider booking through a tour operator or travel agency. You may pay an extra fee for this service, but in return, you could get access to their negotiated rates and someone to run interference for you if problems arise that can’t be resolved on-site."

"If it’s an agency, look to see whether it’s a member of a major consortium such as Ensemble, Travel Leaders, or Virtuoso, which are large enough to have clout with most hotel chains."

'If it is not feasible to address the issue prior to to booking, then at least an agent can act as the client’s advocate after the fact in attempting to secure a refund or similar compensation from the resort,' says Peter Lobasso, general counsel at the American Society of Travel Advisors."

Domestic Travelers are 16% more likely than others to share good experiences on social media, according to AudienceSCAN, and many are heavily influenced by social media themselves. They're active on platforms such as Facebook (82.9%), YouTube (57.6%), Instagram (38.2%) and Twitter (36.1%), and 22.6% are receptive to content on these networks that aren't even ads. Social and mobile ads could effectively reach this audience.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on travel agents. It also offers lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.