Take a moment and look at your smartphone. With just a few taps on the screen, you can in mere minutes perform all the functions of a traditional travel agency on your own time according to your own personal wishes and desires. You can search available bookings, researching destinations, comparison shop suppliers, and even interact with others on social media and read reviews of specific destinations, activities, airlines, and hotels.
Yet even with this advancement in mobile travel technology, more and more travelers are returning to traditional agencies to help curate their travel experiences - in fact, several recent surveys indicate travel agencies are poised to experience some of their robust growth in recent memory, despite the popularity of websites like Expedia and Travelocity, not to mention the rise of sharing sites like Airbnb. This recent trend begs the question: Why do travel agents still matter? What value do they offer customers in 2017? Is the resurgence of the travel agent more of step backward rather than step forward?