This post was originally published by BroadStreet Capital Advisors in Athens, GA.
The Travel Industry was recently up in arms over comments President Obama made at a town hall meeting in Atkinson, Ill. While speaking about the perils of job automation, he asked the audience, “When was the last time somebody went to a bank teller instead of using the ATM, or used a travel agent instead of just going online?”
The honest answer, for most of us at least, is “not recently,” although we do still resort to professionals when the transaction (or travel plan) gets complicated. Professional Financial Advisors work to minimize our risk, as do professional Travel Consultants. They’re both here to handle the details so that our end result matches the Big Picture we have in mind.
The job of traditional Travel Agent has definitely been automated. The Internet can take orders at all hours, piecing together an itinerary for those who know exactly what they want to do. But for those who have specific questions, or who seek first-hand advice about unknown destinations, or maybe even suggestions for places they’ve never heard of, there’s no advisor more frustrating than a search engine. Sure it’s fun to sift through 46,200,000 pages of information, but before you know it, you’re a victim of slick marketing, and weeks of your life have gone by. (After which you’re probably still sifting.)
A professional Travel Consultant is not an agent for anyone but you. We take in your distinct personality, your likes and dislikes, your travel history, your budget, and your travel goals for the future. We then go through the many thousands of options available to build your unique travel plan. We get to know you, and then match you with the best options for your needs. Our suggestions come from first hand experience, copious research, and from the positive testimonies of many previous clients.
For those who like to plan ahead, we help to plan and budget for dream vacations where a major milestone is celebrated (a child’s graduation, a special birthday, a retirement). We help to organize payment schedules so that big dreams can be realized (a family Safari in Africa, an around-the-world tour), and we put together complicated itineraries for people who don’t have the time or the privacy to handle the details themselves (surprise 60th birthday party on an Alaskan cruise, multi-family trip to Tuscany). We do big plans for people with big dreams. But we also do small plans for people who prefer to work with humans.
So sure, automation and the Internet are replacing jobs, but there will always be a need for competent professionals. When the time comes to seriously plan for a goal in your life – be it travel or financial – it’s wise to turn to trusted professionals, because these professionals will think about your Big Picture, and will put you on the straightest path toward it.