19 APRIL 2021
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
With unique, unprecedented access to frontline staff a new study by award-winning training provider Travel Uni, was carried out during March in the first of a regular series of ‘Frontline Findings’ surveys.
Designed to provide important insights into how frontline travel staff are impacted by the epidemic and how the industry is adapting as travel gradually returns this year, a total of nearly 400 UK travel agents responded to the survey.
Key workplace findings revealed that 70% of travel agents were working from home due to Covid, 49% were working reduced hours and 14% were job searching with 37% still furloughed overall.
PATA’s training spokesperson Ian Dockreay said: “There has been much speculation about the impact on the industry in the last year and how travel will resume but research like this is based on fact, from frontline staff themselves. Insights like these are of great interest to our members as it helps shape training, sales and marketing plans and give reassurance that their destinations are in demand.”
The survey also highlighted the vital role travel agents play in booking holidays. Ranking client needs in order of importance, ‘reassurance’, ‘advice’ and ‘knowledge’ came ahead of ‘price’ and ‘availability’ as the key benefits customers seek in using an agent to book their travel. “This result clearly shows how much the public need travel agents’ expertise to guide them in their options and choices and with this in mind training remains a core focus for PATA to help develop regional experts,” added Dockreay.
On the subject of travel trade training, the survey showed that 91% of agents rated training as ‘very important’ in their ability to do their job well. Almost half (45%) of agents spend 1-3 hours a week and over a quarter (26%) 3 or more hours per week training online to ‘improve their knowledge’. E-Learning continues to dominate as the method most preferred for training with webinars becoming more popular recently as well, due to lockdown.
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