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Internet Travel Pricing Tips

In 1996 we launched our Excel Travel meets/beats the Internet campaign and very successfully proved all “doubters” that there is great value in working with a knowledgeable travel agent. We continuously kept our clients up-to-date with information on the various travel websites that supposedly are so much better and cheaper than a regular travel agency. In our most current survey (dated 1/5/2009), we priced 10 different vacations on Travelocity and compared to the prices we get from our suppliers. 10 OUT OF 10 TIMES OUR PRICES WERE LESS EXPENSIVE. That survey is on display in our agency. However, we go a step further… Since we don’t necessarily expect people to take our word for it, we offer the following challenge:

IF you can find ANY survey that confirms that it makes sense to book a vacation ONLINE, versus an “old-fashioned”, TRADITIONAL TRAVEL AGENCY with experienced consultants (like Excel Travel), we will give you $100 CASH!!! We first introduced this challenge at various Chamber of Commerce meetings in 2003 and we still have the original $100 bill! Here are some UNBIASED articles that confirm that you will get better prices by working with a travel agency:

Newschannel 5: Hawaii trip cost $700 less with travel agent deal
http://www.newsnet5.com/station/4520509/detail.html

USA Today: Travel Agents can make booking a cruise easier/cheaper
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/deals/inside/2007-03-21-inside-the-deals-cruise-booking_N.htm

MSNBC: Warning: Online travel agencies not all the same
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25004155/

TRIPSO: Why using a travel agent may be your best insurance policy
http://www.tripso.com/today/why-using-a-travel-agent-may-be-your-best-insurance-policy/

ComputerWorld: Online travel sites lack personal touch
http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/11768/print

Smarter Travel: Why travel agents are still useful
http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/why-travel-agents-are-still-useful.html?id=2399283

Chicago Tribune: Travel agents can save you big bucks
http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/chi-travel-agents-0111_r_jjan11,0,563554.story

The Travel Insider: Internet vs Travel Agencies
http://thetravelinsider.info/2002/0614.htm

The Worlds Cheapest Destinations: There is a lot of crap out there in travel website land
http://travel.booklocker.com/2008/10/22/theres-a-lot-of-crap-out-there-in-travel-website-land/

Conference Board: Do travel sites stink? Survey says: YES!
http://www.elliott.org/blog/do-travel-sites-stink-survey-says-yes/

EMarketer: The number of travelers booking online is down. What’s up?
http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1006497

Elliott.org: I’ll never search online again!
http://www.elliott.org/blog/after-agent-saves-traveler-big-bucks-on-a-business-class-ticket-ill-never-search-online-again/

Many people believe that for just airline tickets they can get better prices online. The following INDEPENDENT study dispels that myth! The most recent study (5/01/09) by Topaz International compared 19,000 airfares from a travel agency with Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity and the various airline websites:

– travel agency prices for the same flights were $56 lower on average
– the online sites found lower prices only 5.15% of the time

Internet vs Travel Agency
http://etopaz.com/pdf/Internet%20vs%20Agency%202008%20-%20May%2009.pdf

Please keep in mine that just because everybody has access to the IRS website, that doesn’t make everybody an accountant. And just because everybody can write a will, doesn’t mean everybody is an attorney. Likewise, everybody has easy access to a lot of travel websites, but the experience and expertise of a travel agent who works with these websites (and many more) on a daily basis is invaluable.

By the way, the average experience of an Excel Travel Agent is 23 years! … so remember: It won’t cost you more to get EXCEL-lent service! Put us to the test, we look forward to hearing from you.

 

Excel Travel: “Dare to Compare!”

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