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The travel advisor business is undergoing a period of dynamic change unlike anything in its history. Among the forces that are changing the role that advisors serve for their clients are the continued growth in travel e-commerce, changes in consumer trip planning habits, and shifts in how travel suppliers like airlines and hotels distribute their inventory to consumers. On top of all this, today’s travel advisors are trying to rapidly adapt to the unique needs of younger demographic groups like millennial travelers, who often have different trip planning needs than their older predecessors.
How will the travel advisor sector navigate the challenges and opportunities of their changing role, redefining the significant value they have long provided to consumers for a new era? What consumer habits will have the biggest impact on the products and services they sell? And how are their relationships with suppliers changing?
To investigate these questions, Skift partnered with IHG on the 2019 State of the Travel Advisor Report. The report, which builds on the responses gathered in a survey of Skift’s travel advisor readership, drawn from the corporate travel and luxury sectors, examines the groups’ attitudes and thoughts about the changing state of their profession. Key themes studied include advisor predictions about the future business climate of their respective sector, shifts they have observed within their chosen specialty (for example, within luxury or corporate travel), and how they perceive the current dynamic between their own organizations and the suppliers (like hotels) whose products they sell. The data from this survey is then combined with insights gathered in interviews with a wide range of executives familiar with the advisor business.
The results of this research create a snapshot of an industry facing significant challenges, but also a variety of exciting new opportunities for growth. In fact, with the help of a strong network of industry partnerships, a relentless focus on the customer, and, of course, a little creativity, there’s reason to believe the sector will continue to grow and thrive in the years ahead.