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The Almighty Tourist 2.0 and the Death of the Travel Agent

by Amaya Marichal

When was the last time you visited a Travel Agency to purchase your flights and hotel accommodation for any destination? As for me, I don’t remember the date, but what I do remember is all the time I spent sitting across the table, in front of a bored (and boring) person who looked at her computer for an eternity and seemed to be hiding something from me (the cheapest tickets, for instance) until she finally fold the cards and showed me my “options”, which I didn’t like a lot, by the way…

Oh, how I loved to go to the travel agency and look at my watch move so sloooowly… NOT!

And then, something happened. Now, I strongly believe that the travel agents days are truly numbered and I thank technology for that. People have realized that there is an alternative and that it is cheaper, easier and more attractive than the old way. By going online, we are taking the middleman out of the game and we have total control over the situation.

The tyranny of the travel agent has come to an end and there’s a new trend: designing your trip by yourself. It sounds fun, doesn’t it? Until a few years ago, families used to depend on the offers made by travel agents and didn’t have the chance to see all their options and compare them to get the best result.

Today, there are plenty of information sources such as travel blogs, twitters, emails, forums, travel engines, apps for smartphones, communities of travelers, etcetera. The good news is that travelers have now the power to generate their own content and spread their experiences globally.

Technology has definitely changed the way we travel.  Web 2.0 tools help us plan our trips and adventures so we can have a more enjoyable experience. I’m talking about making reservations online, getting electronic boarding passes, accessing reviews of restaurants, looking at online maps, tracking taxis, renting a car online and getting a better price, making international calls using Skype, buying tickets for museums and sport events without having to wait in front of the counter… The possibilities are endless!

Nowadays, we travel farther, faster, more frequently, and more efficiently. And I know something for sure: You would never want to deal with a travel agent again. Not for a million travel points. The Almighty Tourist 2.0 and the Death of the Travel Agent.