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Why travel agents are increasingly the go-to option for travellers

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The global resurgence of travel, after an 18-month pandemic-induced shutdown, represents a new dawn for the travel agent, according to for GOPASS Global CEO Mark Radford. “Increasingly people are looking for a trusted partner who can not only advise them about the safest travel options but also be there for them when things go awry due to the ever-changing COVID rules and protocols,” he says.

Radford’s comments are supported by two recent surveys which highlight a changed travel mindset and a big opportunity for travel agents to claw back share from the major online travel aggregators. A News Corp poll of Australian consumers found that at least 48 per cent of overseas travel intenders say the complexity of travelling means they are seeking expert help more than ever.

The survey also found that value, reliability, flexibility and customer service topped the list of considerations for travellers selecting a travel company.  Lowest price ranked 9 out of 13 attributes.

Another recent poll of 46,000 global travellers by Collinson also reflected the shift in focus to safety, with 78% of respondents saying that being vaccinated was the key to their confidence in the safety of air travel.   Interestingly, as many as 82% of APAC respondents support a vaccination passport. “The bottom line is that travel agents equipped with the best data and risk management solutions are going to be in big demand for the foreseeable future,” says Radford.

Launched in January, GOPASS Global has become the go-to solution for travel agents struggling to find accurate and reliable sources of information about the ever-changing rules and regulations. GOPASS uses AI and deep learning to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, in near real time, from 35 global sources of data, including vaccination rates, border restrictions, quarantine requirements and safety protocols. Agents only need to enter the PNR or flight numbers to receive a detailed COVID risk analysis of the planned itinerary. For corporate travel managers and TMCs, GOPASS is the only solution that also analyses and quantifies the risk, providing a risk score out of 10, making it the perfect complement to existing duty of care programmes.

GOPASS also offers a Bio Risk Map which enables users to simply tap on a destination to instantly receive granular level information about vaccination, infection and risk rates by country or state. Most importantly, the solutions are very affordable and super easy-to-use, saving travel agents an enormous amount of time and stress, as well as delivering a huge competitive advantage.

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