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C Expedia

Travelling agencies vs. online reservations Ed Perkins, a nationwide acclaimed journalist, novelist and consumers' lawyer, is focused on how travellers can find the best offers and prevent fraud. HeĀ authored Online Travel (2000) and is a member of the Board of Directors of Swiss Travel: While It' s Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step tutorial especially for small businesses and self-employed people.

In addition, he was co-author of the yearly " Best Travelling Mergers " of Consumers Union. MyBusinessTravel.com is a website that helps small businesses and self-employed travellers find the best value for their travelling expenses. He was the founder publisher of Consumer Reports Traveller Letter, one of the most authoritative tourist books in the state. He withdrew from the publication in 1998.

Wrote for Business Traveller Magazin (London). He has travelled with ABC's Good Morning America and This Week with David Brinkley, The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, CNN and a number of TV and local broadcasters. Prior to writing Consumer Reports Traveller Letter, Mr. Perkin worked for 25 years in research and consultancy in the field of travelling, with responsibilities that ranged from domestic tourist strategy to developing computer-based tourist model.

" One celebrity politician (no name, I don't like partyism, and that happens in both parties) did just that when he tried to exemplify the dynamics of transformation with the question: "When was the last occasion someone went to a cashier instead of using an ATM or a tourist agency instead of going up?

" Cashiers and tourist agencies are still there and still offer important service. While I don't have much insight into retailing, I know with some degree of precision that the retailing industry is in order nowadays. The first point is probably that "travel agent instead of online" is what my old debating coach used to call "false dichotomy": to create a scenario as "either-or" when fact is "both".

" In fact, some of the largest on-line tour operators - Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and so on - are themselves tour operators, as are the many other specialised on-line tour operators. This is usually referred to as "online tourist agencies" or on-booking agents. Many of the tourist agents with their own web sites run by the" brick and mortar" retailers.

However, let us suppose that the political man really did mean face-to-face meetings or phone conversations with a face-to-face "sales representative". Many of you choose to negotiate face-to-face with an asset rather than go live for several reasons: Operators can help you saving your own work. There is a good possibility that you will read this section on-line and make your preparations for your trip on a regular basis.

That' s why some of you might want to call a local agency who can do the tracking for you. You may not find what your spy is capable of doing on-line. I' m not so much referring to individual airlines and destinations - you can get more of them on-line than you can imagine - but in such special areas as the compilation of tailor-made routes or the use of airlines' ticket tips for multistop journeys that the OTA system cannot integrate.

They can help resolve issues. When your plane is cancelled or you are facing another issue, an asset can probably find a better way out faster than you could on your own. Attorneys offer specific service for corporate travellers. For many companies, using a local tourism company is the best way to administer their trips and budget.

Especially small companies and individuals find business-oriented agents useful here. That doesn't mean you should turn off all your computer and go to a tourist office. On-line is still the best choice for many of you: Private label retailing is no longer "free". If you are looking for a relatively easy route, you can probably find any good store you could get through a retailer on your own.

Retailers often cannot or do not want to use some of their best resources for large rebates, such as Hotwire, Priceline, By-Owner holiday rentals and Dash sales pages. I know a landline operative who will not be booking allegedly because of problems if this airline cancelled a plane as well. Overall, if you are qualified, use good information resources and have the necessary amount of free travel resources, you may be less likely to be able to afford a particular journey than you would through a sales representative.

However, if you'd rather let someone else go through the trouble - and help you solve a dilemma - there's a local agency around to help you.

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