CCRA Releases Results of 2017 Travel Agency Outlook Survey
Over 1,000 travel professionals completed CCRA’s 2017 Agency Outlook Survey, which gathered information on the importance of continuing educational opportunities, industry events, supplier recommendations as it assesses their overall industry outlook for the new year.
According to the results, both experienced agents and those in the business for less than 3 years are equally focused on seeking new educational opportunities designed to help them grow as marketers and small business owners through increased attendance at industry events, regular webinar participation, and supplier training programs.
Overall, CCRA’s network is seeing growth in the number of newer travel agents entering the marketplace, with 30% of respondents of the survey selling travel for five years or less.
When asked about new tools that would be the most beneficial to them in 2017, the top five responses were technology-driven and involved an enhanced web presence, lead generation and marketing support.
Participation in FAM Trips is also projected to rise, with 81% of agents who participated in the 2017 Agency Outlook Survey reporting that they intend to take part in a FAM trip in 2017.
When selecting suppliers to work with, agents are indicating that relationship-building and past positive experiences are the two strongest drivers of new partnerships. Most report that they predominantly work with larger suppliers based in the US, but 62% of those who responded said that they are open to developing new business relationships with suppliers not based in the US provided they have the tools to research them properly.
Overall, the survey results indicate that despite concerns over the election and other world events, agents are optimistic about the success of their businesses in 2017 with the vast majority indicating they’ll see higher revenues and are preparing to expand their businesses through investment in new technology and new hires.
CCRA’s Maggie Fischer, Vice President of Marketing added, “Our network is growing rapidly in all directions. We had to get a handle on just how diverse the needs of our customers are becoming, and what we’re going to need to focus on to meet them. We were pleasantly surprised to find the kinds of similarities we did between the needs of a brand new travel professional and those of a larger, more established travel agency. We’re more confident than ever that our 2017 offerings will be perfectly aligned with what our members want, and that’s a great way to kick off a brand new year.”
This is the first year that CCRA has administered a survey of this extent to their network, but plan on making this an annual report.