The Next Essential Worker!
America is looking for a way to start traveling again. It’s not just about our economy. It’s also about people’s state of mind. Recovery is coming. And an almost forgotten profession will lead the way!
By: Anne Heintz
August 26, 2020
For almost four decades (gulp), I have worked as a travel consultant otherwise known as a travel agent. As an independent contractor, I work with a wide range of clients. I specialize in high-end leisure travel and also arrange a fair amount of business travel for corporate clients.
This Spring felt like the bottom dropped out thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown. All of my work, and there was a lot of it, was cancelling my clients travel plans for the foreseeable future. Navigating all the different ways to get a refund or protect the initial investment for future credit. Policies were different for just about every sector of the marketplace. The travel industry was in freefall, and I was falling with it.
But then I decided to look at it in a different way, and I realized there was light at the end of the tunnel for my industry. I was reminded that Americans need to travel. We are explorers. We love the journey and feel better about ourselves when on a voyage. My eldest daughter said to me, “travel is essential for the soul.”
That’s where people like me come into play and why my profession will be a driving force in America’s economic recovery.
To understand what I’m talking about, let’s wind the clock back 20 years.
Somewhere around the year 2000, I started to have the same conversation with friends. “How is your business?” they would ask. “I mean with everyone using the internet… well, it must be tough!”
At the time I knew they may be right, but I refused to admit it. Instead, I focused on giving my clients the kind of personalized service they couldn’t get online The strategy worked. I invested in my clients and in turn they invested in me. My business was thriving.
Still, the public as a whole, looked at travel agents as dinosaurs. Online and mobile platforms were making us obsolete.
Fast forward to today and the transformation is breathtaking!
The COVID-19 lockdown changed everything. Low cost online platforms won’t be enough. There is a lot more uncertainty out there and many questions that third-party websites won’t be able to answer.
Now more than ever before you need a travel professional. You need ME!
There is a lot of discussion about the “new normal” and what that means in my industry. I am your advocate and here to help you track new rules and regulations. It’s my job to take away some of your fear. I’m your first call when you need to talk about new protocols that will help you feel more comfortable.
That’s what a travel agent does!
I have spent countless hours on webinars and phone calls with hoteliers, tour operators, cruise lines. They are keenly aware of adapting their services to meet safety procedures. They feel passionately about keeping up the “experience” that we all crave. Many of you will return to recreate a “wonderful memory” from the past. Lord knows we’ve all had time to think about our favorite destinations!
Remember, Americans are explorers. Travel is in our nature. It’s built into our DNA. Once we realize travel is again possible, life will at least feel like it’s getting back to normal.
With my many years in the industry, I have lots of wonderful contacts who are eager to give you the personal touch to make you feel special. Together we are resilient and creative!
Connect with your favorite travel advisor today: Escape@TravelAnne.com
**Anne Heintz is an independent travel advisor based in Washington, DC who always has her bag packed. She loves the fact that the journey creates memories and connections for her clients. She is affiliated with Worldwide Travel Associates and Tzell Travel. She is the co-founder & namesake of TravelAnne.com. Anne can be reached at Anne@TravelAnne.com