Over the past 12 months, 22 percent of consumers say they have booked a trip through a travel agent, according to research conducted by the American Society of Travel Agents. This is the highest share reported in the past three years. So who exactly is still turning to agents in the Digital Age? Experts say it’s travelers who simply want a better experience.
A startup called BookitLyst is looking to deliver on customer demand. The startup, which is based in New York City, is dedicated to giving travelers the vacations of their dreams with 24/7 customer service availability. Currently, it’s in beta mode, but you can submit your email address on their website to be invited on the journey.
How BookitLyst Works
Upon visiting the BookitLyst website, you’ll immediately notice a list of benefits associated with using a travel agent. The startup is quick to point out that utilizing an agent can potentially yield a notable amount of cost and time savings, and keep you apprised of the latest and greatest options for your particular preferences and style. If you decide to dabble in the idea of consulting an agent, you can join BookitLyst (once it’s out of beta) to create a travel profile.
The idea behind BookitLyst’s functionality is simple: develop a profile with your travel preferences, and allow an agent to help you find the perfect trip. If you don’t necessarily want professional insight, you can customize and book your own trip on BookitLyst when you’re ready to travel. BookitLyst will have live chat, call and email assistance available for users as they plan.
If you choose to work with an agent, he or she will be on call 24/7 before and during your trip for assistance. You can give the professional a ring to learn more about local hot spots, VIP perks, travel activities and more.
Finally, BookitLyst intends to launch an app where users can access all of their travel documents on the go. They can also use the app to connect with their planner for help along the way.
Will BookitLyst Be Worth It?
BookitLyst might seem like just another travel booking service, but President Alexandra Avila highlights some of the features that may give it a competitive edge.
“At BookitLyst, we are sourcing unique travel adventures, and developing a web and app platform for you to easily book a trip on your bucket list, and chat with one of our stellar travel agents,” Avila writes on the website.
BookitLyst’s attempt to become a one-stop shop for all of your travel needs will make it appealing to those who want the best of everything on one site (and an app). Not to mention, it doesn’t hurt that users have 24/7 access to a travel expert while roaming in unfamiliar territory.
“In short, if you want a better travel experience, use an agent,” says ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby.
Approximately two-thirds of travelers who have used agents in the past claim that it has made for an overall better trip experience. Data also shows that Millennials are leading the way in travel agency usage and likelihood to recommend agents to friends. They might just be turning the tides.
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