Ensemble Survey: Today’s Clients Value Expertise Over Price

Open Jaw, Bruce Parkinson

Ensemble VP Marketing Carl Schmitt

Survey results from nearly 2,000 Ensemble members suggest travel agents are getting the customers they deserve – ones that recognize the value of the services performed.

Agents responding to the ‘Ensemble Agents Make A Difference Survey’ of members in the U.S. and Canada ranked product and destination knowledge at the top of the list of skills and services most appreciated by customers. Getting the best price ranked a lowly #6.


1.     65% Product knowledge (i.e., differences between cruise lines, hotels)

2.    53% Destination knowledge

3.    30% Help in emergency situations

4.    26% Special deals/amenities (i.e., upgrades)

5.    22% Time savings

6.    11% Price 

Carl Schmitt, VP of Marketing for Ensemble Travel Group, says the survey reveals a significant and positive shift.

“To have price come in dead last tells us we’ve turned the corner when it comes to consumer awareness of the real value a travel professional makes in creating extraordinary vacations. The days of ‘Can you get me the best deal?’ are gone – and hopefully for good,” Schmitt said. 

The survey also showed that fully two-thirds of requests for assistance from travellers involve air travel. Here’s the full list:


1.       67% Air

2.       48% Tour/land

3.       32% Hotel

4.       25% Cruise

5.       6% Car rental/rail

When it comes to which generation/demographic is the most appreciative of agents' expertise, agents responded overwhelmingly with baby boomers at 78%, with Generation X a distant second at 17% and Millennials at just 5%.

“With product and destination knowledge appreciated by clients, not to mention a strong summer in full swing, there’s never been a better time to be a travel professional and a member of our thriving organization,” said Schmitt.

The Ensemble Members Make A Difference Survey was conducted in May and reflects input from more than 1,800 travel professionals in the U.S. and Canada.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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