We know that even before the COVID-19 pandemic landed in South Africa, you were working tirelessly to assist travellers in every way possible – sourcing new accommodation, dealing with rapidly changing airline and supplier policies, and getting travellers back home before the lockdown.
We know many of you have stories of overcoming massive challenges, personally connecting with travellers, and going above and beyond to provide true value in, what has been for many travellers, a frightening time. There may be positive stories and interactions that have given you energy and resolve, as well as those that have left you feeling downtrodden and without a voice.
We want to give travel agents back their voice. We want to hear your personal stories from this time – the good, the bad, and the ugly. These are stories of shared experiences, around which all travel agents can rally, and that will strike a chord with anyone who has ever had their passport stamped.
Below are some prompts, but please feel free to share anecdotes that fall outside of the scope of these questions.
Relating specifically to events during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- What has been the most positive experience you have had during this time? Will this strengthen your ability as a travel agent in any way? If so, how?
- What has been the most negative experience you have had during this time? Has this affected your business in any way? If so, how can you mitigate further risks related to it?
- What do you feel is the most valuable service a travel agent provides? Do you have any personal examples of how this was made evident since the start of COVID-19?
- Have you assisted customers with any out-of-the-ordinary requests, queries, or services? If so, please describe.
- In your interactions with customers during this time, what has surprised you the most about their reactions and attitudes? Please describe.
- Is there anything you wish travellers knew about travel agents and the services you provide?
Make sure your voice is heard. Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories or simply send us your contact details and we’ll follow up with you over phone or Zoom.
Through this campaign, we want to call attention to the valuable and recently challenging role travel agents play in championing travellers’ needs. Please let us know if you consent for us to share your story, or quotes and snippets from it. You can also request for your name and affiliation to remain private.