SOURCE: Yellow Pages Association

Yellow Pages Association

March 01, 2010 08:26 ET

Spring Break is Officially Here: Consumers Reach for Their Yellow Pages as the Travel Bug Hits

Annual March Increase in Travel References Driven by Travel Agencies and Airlines Headings

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ--(Marketwire - March 1, 2010) -  Americans nationwide will turn to the Yellow Pages this month for help planning their spring break getaways and family vacations as searches for "Travel Agencies" in print and online directories climb above average and the "Airlines" heading receives the highest number of references annually1.

Over the course of the year, the two headings terms received a combined 65.6 million references1. For the places in which users look for travel agencies, local businesses make up nearly two out of every three references (61 percent)1.

According to YPA Director of Research Larry Small, consumers turn to Yellow Pages for help making a travel decision at the point when they are ready to buy. "Nearly sixty percent of all users do not have just one specific travel agency name in mind when referencing the Yellow Pages, notably higher than the all-headings average. With an average purchase of over $2,3001, the typical return on investment for local Yellow Pages display advertisers is over 3-to-1.2"

With such high ROI, local agencies trust Yellow Pages to help generate qualified sales leads that can lead to long-term client relationships. "Many of our members work with Yellow Pages representatives to manage a multi-platform advertising portfolio as part of their overall marketing plan," said Chris Russo, president and chairman of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). "This in turn allows our member agents to help more clients experience the hassle-free travel planning that is working with a certified agent."

Using a travel agency can save money and time when it's time to plan your next vacation. Below are some helpful tips from Chris Russo at ASTA on selecting the best agency for you:

  • Go with the pros: Through continuing education and training programs, associations like ASTA prepare their members to operate high-caliber, competitive businesses. Look for the ASTA logo at your local travel agency.
  • Ask around: Tap friends, neighbors and relatives who use an agent they trust. You may want to visit or call several agencies to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider everything from the appearance of the office to the agent's willingness to listen and answer questions. The best agents want to establish a long-term relationship with a client, not just make one sale.
  • Inquire about fees: Good agents will notify their clients of any additional fees, including service fees, up front.
  • Check credentials: Many agents have been trained in business management, travel and tourism or geography. Others have supplemented their agency experience with extensive education and training courses and are Certified Travel Counselors (CTC) or Master Cruise Counselors (MCC).
  • Find out an agency's track record: Contact ASTA to see whether a member agency has had a complaint against it in the prior six months. You can also check with the local Better Business Bureau to inquire about complaint history.

For more information on Yellow Pages headings, visit: http://www.ypassociation.org/.

1 Knowledge Networks/SRI, June 2009
2 CRM Associates 2008

About The Yellow Pages Association
The Yellow Pages Association (YPA) (http://www.ypassociation.org and http://www.insideyp.org) is the largest trade organization of a print and digital media industry valued at more than $31 billion worldwide ($13 billion in the U.S.). Association members include Yellow Pages publishers, certified marketing representatives (CMRs), and associate members (a group of industry stakeholders that include Yellow Pages advertisers, vendors, and suppliers).

About The American Society of Travel Agents
ASTA's (American Society of Travel Agents) mission is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable, growing and a rewarding place to work, invest and do business.

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