As the industry moves into the New Year, TMR asked readers to share some thoughts about why more people should consider a career as a travel agent. Here are some of the replies.

Because there is so much to sell
“Because in 2018, the world of travel, and cruising in particular, is growing like never before. With so many innovations in travel — new ship designs, groundbreaking entertainment, and the lure of celebrity chefs onboard — cruising is set for explosive growth. And travel agents will become invaluable for our ability to sort through the best options for avid travelers.”
— Karen Quinn-Panzer, owner, Dream Vacations Quinn Panzer Travel, New York, New York

“There are so many exciting opportunities for new experiences being offered for families who travel together, like cruises with laser tag and a race car track, and expansions in theme parks. Since I specialize in family travel, I expect business to increase.”
— Margie Lenau, Wonderland Family Vacations, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Because the industry is growing
“Travel professionals are thriving and not going away. It is an excellent industry to get into if you like to always be learning. With many successful business models and niches, it is a fascinating time to be a part of this growing industry.”
— Samarah Meil, Amarillo Travel Network, Amarillo, Texas

“People don't go to travel agents just for information anymore. They go to them because they have the ability to segment and narrow down the plethora of information found chaotically on Google, and more importantly, know what's right and what's wrong when it comes to paying for that trip or that destination. The best bang for your buck! OTAs like Expedia and Priceline are losing shares of 19 percent and 13.5 percent, which ensures that the value of travel agents is increasing because the online booking process cannot replace the agent booking process (for now and for the near future).”
— Julien Ziadeh, travel agent in Lebanon

Because your job is to sell a dream
Travel agents help make planning vacations with the folks you love easier, and we can make those times even better for our clients. We all only have a limited amount of time on this earth (and money), so the special times we spend together with those we love (or consider important enough to vacation with) are precious. I can help make these times extra special for people. When you look back on your life, these times stand out.”
— Diane DeWitt Frisch, Diane Frisch Destinations, LLC, Frisco, Texas

“Travel is something that everyone does at some point in time. There’s always a greater purpose behind the trip … and to be the catalyst to another's calling is more than a career. It's one of the highest honors and greatest responsibilities.”
— Jenn Lightfoot Myers, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Because everyone is a potential client
“If you love to travel and have friends and family who love to travel, you already have a built-in client base. If you are curious about the world, have an eye for details and planning and love to share experiences, you have the beginnings of a career. If you have the work ethic to learn skills required to facilitate making someone's dream vacation come true, you may have found your vocation.”
— Yu Kailin, Legion M, El Toro, California

“Baby Boomers who are retiring have a bucket list of places they have time to travel to, or to visit family and friends. They also may need extra income. Why not make additional income while making their dreams and the dreams of others come true?”
— Laurie Ann Delaney Bahna, Cruises Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Because social media and the internet help make things easier
“Social media makes our lives easier. I have been in the business for over 35 years. When I started, it was all on me. There was not an easy way to reach customers or stay in contact with them. Same for vendors. Now each day with social media, you can reach thousands of new clients and stay in contact with them. Also, there are many vendors on social media wanting to help you reach out and stay in touch with clients, and many times it is free. 2018 will be even better as we learn how to use social media, and you know new avenues will be developed.”
— Mike Price, Lighthouse Travel, Comanche, Iowa

“I believe 2018 will be the best year to become a travel agent because of the innovative technology. We are finding more and more ways to enhance the everyday traveler’s experience. What an exciting time to be in the forefront position that gets to hear firsthand the traveler’s feedback.”
— Daniel Lodrigue, Adelman Travel, New York, New York

Because travel helps the world
“Because in 2018, more than ever before, travel agents must send their clients into the world to be ambassadors of this country; to represent it in the best way possible to people who are viewing the U.S. in a negative way. Not to mention, this is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, of careers! We have the privilege of making fond memories for people, and what's better than that?”
— Ina Schweitzer, European Travel International, Riverside, California

“It is a really great feeling knowing your clients had a wonderful time on a vacation you planned; I always have felt a sense of accomplishment afterwards. Unlike other professions, a travel agent is an ambassador to the world. Being a personal travel liaison to the traveling public is a dream job, and becoming a travel agent in 2018 will give you the world.”
— Jacqueline Ceren, Clearwater Beach, Florida

Because you can work anywhere, anytime
“Technology allows you to earn money from anywhere in the world. People don't have to be strapped to 9-5 jobs anymore. You can make your own hours. In addition, while traveling, you are gaining knowledge and making connections to better serve clients.”
— Camille Pepe Sperrazza,

“2018 is a great year to become a travel specialist! If you have the desire to help people fulfill their dreams, can multi-task, want to explore the world, have the ability to share those photos to your followers through social media and strategic marketing … it's the career for you. You truly can run your business from anywhere, but you must have the expertise and support system in place to truly be a travel specialist, not a hobbyist who loves to travel.”
— Jeni Chaffer, Journeys Travel Inc., Bourbonnais, Illinois

Because it’s fun
“Because having fun matters! Travel agents get to travel the world and play on the internet all day. It's not a job, it’s a way of life.”
— Denise Mello, Orangevale, California

Author's Bio: 

I am a lifelong writer and first began creating other worlds