ONE DAY IN THE WORLD OF TRAVEL AGENCIESpublic%5CimmaginiAttivita%5CDSCF0732.jpg

Hi, we would like to speak about our experience in the world of travel agencies.
Before Christmas time we spent a morning with some travel agents, who allowed us to interview them.
We asked them about their activities and tourism in Gorizia, so we could understand better how really the world of the tourism is out of school books.This "travel" has been very profitable, useful and encouraged us to undertake this possible way in the future.

  • How did you become a travel agent?
If you want to become a travel agent it's not necessary to have a qualification,but it is enough a basic knowledge about foreign languages, geography and climatology and the esperience comes while working. Anyway, it's better to attend a school as yours, because it belongs to the tourism sector. I had to pass an exam to become technical director, it wasn't so difficult. So I can manage my travel agency.
  • Which are the main things you do? which kinds of licenses exist?
Mainly I work as an intermediary like the 90% of the travel agencies. There are a lot of functions for example I usually sell flight, boot and train tickets, package holidays, I stipulate travel insurance for costumers, consulate VISA and I send personal documents to my customers. If you want to open a travel agency you need a regional licence and also an authorization. The authorization depends on the activity that you want to do. There is an authorization called "A" for tour operating and an authorization called "B" for intermediating. But there are some exceptions; for example our region Friuli Venezia Giulia is a region with special regulations. Because of that you can open a travel agency without a special licence.
  • Is e-commerce a problem currently?
E-commerce is used only for buying single service, for example flight tickets, but costumers usually buy package holidays in the travel agencies, because e-commerce may have a lot of problems, one of them is that people usually don't trust to pay with their cards online. Others problems are that sometimes information is not correct and, in addition, you can't create a relationship between customers and seller.Anyway now people find out information about the holiday on the Internet before booking their holiday at a travel agency, in fact customers often know more than the travel agent himself. Anyway, today the Internet is useful, because it helps us to promote our agencies and we can also find lots of further information about hotels, flight- tickets, trains and all we could need.
The main function of the Internet is the sale of flight tickets.
  • Which are the favourite destinations in summer and at Christmas time for people here in Gorizia?
In summer, customers prefer to go to Greece, Spain, Baleari Islands, Red Sea, Caribbean, Zanzibar, Kenya, South Africa, and Maldive. At Christmas time people prefer to go to hot places or to the mountains, but also European capitals are very popular. During the last years the USA has been more and more requested.
  • Which age group do you cater for the most?
It depends on the travel agency. There are agencies which cater for young people who usually have a limited budget, there are others which cater for customers who have a higher budget. In general package holidays are more convenient but if someone has a higher budget, they can make their own holidays.
  • Do you receive many complaints from your customers? If so, what kind of complaints?
We receive many complaints above all owing to overbooking on the airplanes mostly during High Season or when a costumer is not satisfied because the holiday that they have booked is different from what catalogues present.‚Äč However, something unpredictable may always happen, but if a travel agent is very important for a tour operator, the latter tries to solve problems quickly not to lose the travel angent's intermediary service.
  • Have you noticed any changes of the Package Holidays' prices during these years?
No, not very much. Despite the Internet, which "steals" us customers, and the economical crisis, we gained lots of money above all during the first semester of the year 2002 thank to the introduction of Euro: during those months people didn't really know how much they were spending and so we earned about the 30-40% on the rate exchange. Usually prices change when a destination becomes more popular; in fact with the increase of flights the competition grows and so the prices go down. This is the law of offer and supply, you know.