Travel agents using seasonal rental and vacation rental by owner websites find relevancy again in a market crowded by travel websites. “In 1995, there were 37,000 brick-and-mortar travel agencies, according to the American Society of Travel Agents. Now, only 18,000 exist after many merged or folded.” (Stephanie Chen, CNN) In spite of the trend to plan travel online travel agents have shown resurgence in popularity. Snowbird renters looking to find the best deals on Florida seasonal rentals have turned to travel agents because of their expert knowledge and experience. Travel agents provide value and savings because they have already found the best deals using the same websites that took their market share like expedia.com and Travelocity.com. Some web users report fatigue searching for the right rental and best flight arrangement, so it is not surprising that travel agents are once again able to provide value. With many Boomers reaching retirement many are deciding to become snowbirds and the agents that are staying ahead of this trend find seasonal rental homes on www.snowbirdseeker.com, a leader in online property management.
Online travel websites recognize that planning complex honeymoons with scuba diving, Cruises, and Kangaroo tours may be easier with a travel agent, but industry leaders point to steady growth in the online travel market. “And, research shows that online travel model is poised to grow. Even in a recession, when companies and individuals are scaling back on travel, Expedia.com saw a 22 percent air transaction growth rate in the last quarter.” (Stephanie Chen, CNN) Perhaps the two sectors can work together to provide cooperative marketing and services. Jeff Jarvis wrote in his book What Would Google Do “Give the people control and they will use it.” This may work for those in their 30’s, but for some snowbirds looking for the best snowbird rental in Arizona or seasonal rental in FL they may be overwhelmed with the task. Regardless, travel agents and rental owners will continue to list vacation rentals on www.snowbirdseeker.com and other rental websites because of their ease of use and vast global reach.
Troy A. Johnson