Finding the right travel agent to assist you with your travel plans can be a challenge. It’s not as easy as opening a phonebook and choosing one from the long list, or stopping in at your local travel agency which are pretty nonexistent nowadays. The reliance of consumers on the internet has harmed travel agents who have to compete with the cost-cutting antics of the “big guys” such as Expedia and Orbitz. Many agents are now home-based and have specialized niches that they concentrate on. But finding the right clients for their specialties can also be difficult for the agent.
But the new website, TripWitt.com, hopes to improve the situation for both clients and travel agents.
TripWitt.com is a site where reputable travel agents, referred to as Travel Professionals, can post profiles listing their specialties and experience. Consumers can then search through these profiles to find the right specialist for their desired trip. You wouldn’t want a Vegas specialist planning your South African safari trip, would you? Now you needn’t worry about finding the “right” agent, as TripWitt.com does it for you.
How does TripWitt work? Consumers can find their perfect Travel Professional by searching for where they want to go (city, region or country) or by what they want to do (called a “theme”). Themes include Honeymoon & Destination Weddings, All-Inclusive Vacations, Luxury, Ecotourism, River Cruises, Pet-Friendly and many more. There is a theme for all types of travelers or if you already know where you want to go, search for the destination instead.
Once you do the search, a list of possible agents will show. The list shows the agent’s name and photo, their company, it’s location, how many years they have been an agent, if they currently have any specials, their rating (will explain this in a minute) and any accreditation that they have. Not all agents will have all the accreditations – but that is okay. The accreditation is not required to be a good agent but are courses and training that they have participated in – this may not be relevant to all destinations or types of trips.
Once you have the list of possible agents, you can read about them further by clicking on their name. This will show the agent’s full profile and their contact information. All contact is done directly with the agent – TripWitt.com doesn’t facilitate this process making it easier for you to get in touch with one another without having a third-party get in the way. (If you want to see what a profile looks like, have a look at mine).
The service is free to consumers and you don’t have to sign-up for anything to do the searches or contact the agents. You can become a “TripWitter” which will give you the ability to rate the Travel Professionals on a 1-5 star scale. This will help others when searching for their perfect agent.
All the agents on TripWitt.com are “real” agents – they have to have all necessary licenses to be able to sell travel. Without one of these numbers, they are ineligible to sign-up. Agents also have to pay a yearly fee to be listed on TripWitt.com so you can trust they are who they say they are as they have invested their hard-earned money into promoting themselves on TripWitt.
TripWitt.com is still in its infancy and has yet to start its big marketing campaign. There are already several hundred agents listed on TripWitt.com with more signing-up each day but not all destinations or themes have professionals assigned to them yet. Either broaden your search (i.e. instead of searching for Paris, look for France) or check back often as the perfect agent may have just signed up.
So next time you are planning a trip and need professional advice, don’t waste your time looking all over the internet for pertinent information. Instead, just go to TripWitt.com and find a Travel Professional who you can trust. And then together you can plan the perfect vacation!
For more information, visit TripWitt.com. To see what a profile looks like, click here to see mine.
Need help with your travel plans? I specialize in Europe, North America and the Caribbean. If you need assistance, please email me for more information!
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