There are over 28,000 travel agencies in the United States. Large assembly-line companies such as American Express comprise a very small portion of the total. It was noted that more than 500 agencies failed in 1986. What was not mentioned was that there were more than that number of new agency openings in 1986. It is not hard to find a good travel agent. Just ask friends and associates for a referral, as you would when looking for a good doctor or dentist. Our agency receives about 90% of new customers (including corporate accounts) by referral.
People who want personalized service, who want to be recognized and greeted by name, will still want and need the services of one of those 28,000 small to medium agencies. Tonight, 10 minutes before closing, one of my agents is working on a trip to Mexico leaving in the morning. The client just decided about an hour ago that he wanted to go. She has to book hotels, ground transportation and flights and prepare his Mexico tourist card. He's picking up the tickets at my home this evening. That's the kind of service offered by "regular" travel agencies. And we don't charge a $250 annual fee. We'll be around for a while.
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