Many North Americans opt to book their travel online because they’re hoping for a greater sense of convenience and control. Unfortunately, research shows that large numbers of consumers become victims of online travel scams in the process. The following article in Travel Advisor Weekly was written by UNMAPPED, a computer travel research system provider that is one of several tools Travel Advisors may subscribe to.
In the United States there are several organizations that can, and do, accredit travel advisors. Look for those certifications from ASTA, CLIA, USTOA and individual Travel Coops like Sandals and Karisma.
Survey Suggests Online Travel Scams are Alarmingly Commonplace
This summer, antivirus software provider McAfee published a survey that revealed approximately 1 in 5 Americans have been involved in a scam while booking travel online.
– The survey of 1000 adults showed that 18% of respondents had been scammed or almost scammed.
– 30% of travel scam victims reported losing between $1000 and $3000.
– The top 5 summer destinations targeted by potentially malicious sites were Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Amsterdam, Venice, and Canmore, AB.
“The last thing that consumers should have to deal with during or after a vacation is an identity scam or personal privacy issue,” said Gary Davis, McAfee’s chief consumer security ambassador. “While cybersecurity threats unfortunately exist during most stages of the booking and travel experience, consumers can take proactive steps to protect themselves and minimize the risk to ensure scams and other nefarious activities don’t spoil summer travel plans.”
So, how can travelers enjoy convenience and control while keeping their cash and information safe? With an expert travel advisor using powerful programs such as UNMAPPED.
Travelers don’t have to choose between having peace of mind and convenience. Travel advisors can offer their clients hands-on control, convenient technology, and worry-free trip planning.
Benefits of booking with a travel advisor:
– Avoiding online phishing and credit card scams
– Expert guidance with traveling regulations, visas, travel insurance, and other details
– Insider knowledge about destinations
– A travel advisor can help narrow down infinite options to find the best-suited accommodations, transportation, and activities.
Often times travel advisors have access to incentives such as “One Free Night”, “Moonlight Romantic Dinner For Two on the Beach”, “Free Excursion”.
Travel advisors have sole access to charter flights to destinations such as Jamaica, Riviera Maya, and Punta Cana. These flights may offer cost savings, greater seating comfort, and/or better schedules than scheduled commercial flights.
Travel Advisors have access to up to date reviews of destinations, resorts, and excursions, that are provided by professional Advisors. A recent review of a very popular consumer review site identified a flaw many of us “old timers” knew about in this industry for years. That is the fact that only 10% of satisfied clients will give feedback comments, while 70% of dissatisfied clients will give feedback comments. That will skew any consumer reports. Reviews written by advisors, for advisors, tend to list facts that help qualify clients to the resorts high spots, while pointing out shortcomings.