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New data released by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) shows that travelers are increasingly looking to travel advisors to book their next trip.More than one-quarter (27 percent) of member advisors said that over half of their clients are working with a travel advisor for the first time. What's more, more than two-thirds of advisors say that their clients are more likely to travel to an international destination than last year.
Additionally, 43 percent say that their clients are more likely to travel to an exotic or "bucket-list" destination in 2023.More than half (50 percent) of advisors report that their clients are more likely to pay professional fees and over half of advisors charge those fees based on research, consultation, planning, ticketing, or flat fees, ASTA found. The majority of those advisors who do charge fees charge between $100-$300. Another encouraging trend is that 81 percent of travel advisors have reported an increase in sales from last year. Sales for ocean cruising are on a positive trajectory, which is important considering that 90 percent of travel advisors sell ocean cruises. Of those, 70 percent have ocean cruise bookings well into 2024. Meanwhile, 46.7 percent of travel advisors have clients booked on river cruises in 2024.The top destinations travel advisors are selling include Europe, the Caribbean, and Alaska. Alaska edges out Mexico and Hawaii as the top North American destination booked by travel advisors while popular European countries booked by travel advisors include Italy, France and the United Kingdom. The top Caribbean islands being booked by advisors include the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos and Puerto Rico. It's not all great news, though, as 86.8 percent of travel advisors fear flight delays and cancellations will affect clients’ travel plans, more so than inflation and the rise of cost to travel."These numbers are positive and bear out what we hear from our members almost every single day," ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby said in a statement. "Business is booming, and travel advisors continue to be a vital part of the travel industry. Advisors continue to bring their clients elevated experiences, peace of mind and unmatched customer service. Those will never go out of style."
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A Maryland native and wanderer who has lived across the U.S. from North Carolina to SoCal, Patrick Clarke graduated from Towson...
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