Travel Agents-An Endangered Species?

There is a paradox in the travel industry.

Traditional travel agencies and their agents are fast disappearing from the landscape.

Ironically, this is occurring in the midst of tremendous growth in the largest industry in the world, travel.

It is estimated that the impending retirement of the 1 Billion Baby Boomers worldwide, will explode the volume of business in the industry from $7 Trillion to $14 Trillion over the next 10 years. The oil industry, in comparison, is only $4 Trillion per year.

The problem for the travel industry is that their erstwhile customers now want to see a video of the resort they are interested in, or will be able to check satellite photos and see that the “Plaza del Mar”; allegedly a “seaside” resort; really is a ¼ mile from the ocean and avoid being ripped off! It is difficult to do that over the phone.

In what appears to be the largest paradigm shift in a major industry in the country’s history, over 250,000 travel agents have lost their jobs over the past 5 years as the automated internet sites like Expedia eat their lunch.

The big guys see the disintegrating situation in the industry and smell blood. They see the direction the wave is heading and get there before everyone else.

Barry Diller, movie and TV mogul; bought Expedia, the number 1 on-line travel business for $5 Billion in 2001. He subsequently bought and Ticket Master.

Cendant Corporation, a giant conglomerate, bought Orbitz, another on-line travel agency, a couple of years later for $1.2 Billion.

Donald Trump just joined the fray with his own travel company, Go Trump.

Wal-Mart has also developed an on-line travel subsidiary.

Some of the new players are introducing their own variations on the theme.

American Express, the financial giant, is selling their own private label travel websites as franchises, empowering ordinary people to partake of the Internet Travel Boom by purchasing a travel franchise for $10,000.

Magic Johnson, the Hall of Fame basketball player and entrepreneur, is also selling private label, Internet Travel Sites; as franchises too, at a price of $5,000, each.

Other, lesser known companies, such as YTB travel in Illinois, are taking it a step further and are offering private labeled Internet Travel Agencies on a low cost, home based business model, in the $500 range.

These developments are completing the industry’s disintermediation, eliminating the middle man and empowering the individual consumer.

They are also heralding a once in a lifetime opportunity for home based entrepreneurs to make a fortune by getting a piece of the largest business in the world.

Don’t miss out on it!

Source by Bill Young