Relax, I don’t bite | Travel Research Online


Relax, I don’t bite

After a recent meeting with some colleagues, we decided to head out for a drink.  As we were sitting at the bar chatting with the bartender, we started talking travel as usual. The  bartender mentioned that the woman at the end of the bar was also a travel agent. Not one to miss an opportunity to promote our small group of travel professionals, I asked if she’d like to join the group and network with her peers.  The next words out of her mouth took me aback:

“You are my competition.”


The agent I was with laughed and said, “Well, Mary and I are competitors, too, but that doesn’t stop us from associating with each other.”

I am always amazed at agents who feel threatened by fellow agents for whatever reason. Yes, we are all competitors.  But, if I take care of my clients, give them great service, and go the extra mile, should I be worried? If I am pleasant to deal with, respond promptly to requests and communicate my value each and every day, should I be afraid of the agent across town? Or, for that matter, avoid joining an networking group that promotes agents to the general public?  Likewise, if I am doing my job should I be afraid of the OTA’s?  If you are doing your job and communicating your value, then why is everyone so intimidated by competition?

Throughout my years of going to trade shows, attending meetings, seminars, and FAMS, I find that the best part of these events is socializing with other agents. Not only do I pick up some great tips, ideas, and resort information, but I have made lifelong friends along the way.

I have said this before and I will say it again—there is plenty of business to go around for all of us. We shouldn’t be afraid to be friends or have cocktails with other agents. We shouldn’t be intimidated by the competition if we do our job, service our clients, and show our value each and every day. Competition only makes us stronger!


  One thought on “Relax, I don’t bite

  1. About a decade ago, before I went into the travel industry myself, I was quite friendly with a travel agent with a nationwide internet presence. She told me repeatedly that OTHER TAs were her competition, and, therefore, her “foe.” The only way to ensure other TAs did not “steal” her business model, her strategies, her tactics, was to avoid them whenever she was in a group or situation where other agents co-shared the space. This was particularly true on FAM trips, and, she complained, that other agents did not like her, talked about her. She had nothing to say to other agents other than a nod “hello.”
    When ***** I ***** went into the industry and appreciated the support and network we TAs share, I invited her to brainstorm with me. Instead, she set the parameters of our friendship unilaterally; we could not discuss travel — MY passion. Worse, still, she accused me of STEALING California. Needless to say, THAT was the end of that “friendship.”
    I am grateful travel consultants work together to make our industry the most cohesive out there.

Share your thoughts on “Relax, I don’t bite”

You must be logged in to post a comment.