Skift Take

Every industry changes, including travel agents.

Matthew Upchurch, chairman and CEO of Virtuoso, spoke at the Skift Global Forum. Upchurch’s talk “Why the Right Kind of Travel Agent Survived and Thrived,” explored how travel advisors have refined their business practices and learned how to better serve modern travelers.

Unchurch has been a travel agent — or “advisor” as he prefers — for his entire career. He knows that the role of travel agents shifted in 1976, when Sabre started installing its systems in travel agencies, and then again in 1995, when Delta Air Lines stopped paying commission on air bookings. Since then, agents that just booked trips have disappeared. The ones left behind know the the most important conversation “Is the conversation after the trip.”

This is the latest Skift Global Forum 2015 video we have posted. Over the rest of the month we’ll release each of the three dozen-plus presentations from the 2015 Skift Global Forum. To keep track of them all, bookmark Skift Global Forum.

Watch the video, above, for the full 22-minute presentation.

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Tags: sgf2015, skift global forum, Virtuoso