Blog Post by Tricia Wischmann

A recent article in USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/2014/01/14/travel-agent-booking/4474853/) detailed the new demand for travel agencies and agents in the current industry. The article documented an increase in agents in 2012 after the decline from the 1990’s due to internet access.  What does this increase really mean? Well, the number of agents is nowhere near what it was in 1992. At that time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 95,360 full time agents as compared to 64,680 in 2012.

If travel agents are making a comeback, are younger people inspired to get into the industry? A survey in Travel Agent Central showed that the largest percentage of the average age of travel agents within an office was 40-54 years old (43.35%) and over 55 was another 18.58%. So according to the survey, over 60% of agents are over 40. Only 12.83% were 18-29 years of age. 

What about flight attendants? According to a 2009 study by Population Reference Bureau, the median age of flight attendants has increased from 30 to 44 since 1980. Maybe the increase in age is indicative of the average age of workers as a whole and that people are continuing to work well into retirement years, but could it also be that the glamorous days of travel are gone and it is just unappealing to today’s youth?