What Is A Travel Agent?

This web page on what is a travel agent and other pages in the Guide provide an understanding of the tangible and intangible factors associated with the words agent and travel.

Let’s first define the word travel and the word agent as a starting point.

The word travel of course refers to the act of going from one place to another.

According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, the word agent refers to one who acts for another. An agent is a person that performs an action or brings about a certain result, or that is able to do so.

An agent for travel services acts on behalf of both the supplier and the purchaser of travel and travel related services.

Therefore, let's say that:

A travel agent is one who arranges the sale and the purchase of all forms, categories and types of transportation, accommodations, tours, and trips.

A business that engages in arranging the sale and purchase of travel and travel related products is referred to as a travel agency or travel bureau.

NOW, let's look at the question within the (big picture) context of the tourism industry, worldwide.

If travel is viewed as the legs (or locomotion) of the tourism industry,


The community of agents is viewed as the indispensable backbone of that industry.

However, there is a relatively new kid on the block and that new kid is the internet (World Wide Web). More and more people are opting to make their own travel arrangements using the internet.

You might say that the use of the internet to arrange travel services is a different kind of agent, or agency depending on your view.

It is difficult to say if the internet will eventually replace agents as the "backbone" of the tourism industry.

Before you decide on how you will make travel arrangements take a look at some information that may influence your view on using a travel professional.

The various pages in the Guide endeavors to provide a different and perhaps deeper understanding of various subjects related to travel.

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