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‘I was wrong’ – agents are here to stay Today's News


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Skift’s founder and ceo, Rafat Ali, who three years ago predicted the demise of travel agents, last month acknowledged that his prediction was ill-advised, Travelmarket reported.

At the time, Rafat attributed the demise of agents would result from “a host of forces” that have arrayed themselves to disintermediate human advisers.

However, at the recent Skift Global Forum, Rafat, after acknowledging that his prediction had fallen short, admitted that travel agents continue to thrive and create value.

Discussions at the forum attributed the success of travel agents to factors including the ongoing complexity of consumer travel platforms, the plethora of industry product offerings, and the expansion of places people can travel to.  

Matthew Upchurch, Virtuoso’s chairman and ceo was quoted (para, 9) saying how travel agents have never gone away. Instead, the idea of travel agents as “human vending machines” who perform transactions as an intermediary with travel suppliers has disappeared, and he instead advocated for suppliers to recognise agents as the premier direct salesforce able to reach the most diverse range of clients that suppliers are looking to find.

David Pegg md of Sure Viva Travels, told eTNW that he was ‘very confident’ in the longevity of travel agents and that the key to remaining relevant is to be on top of your game, and to change with the times.


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