Okay, Okay… Indar Weir isn’t really a typewriter salesman – he is the President of the Travel Agents Association of Barbados and operates the Indar Weir Travel Centre. Indar and his industry are hurting badly because Bajans are booking their flights and vacation accommodations online – by themselves – and without a travel agent between the customer and the keyboard.
Barbados travel agents are pleading with Bajans to use their services instead of booking online “to save jobs and keep money in the country.”
In my little corner of this rock, charity will have to begin at home. I am not willing to pay the extra fee for something I can do myself online, after Google searching the millions of vacation options on the internet.
As much as I feel sorry for Indar and his colleagues, the writing was on the wall ten years ago. Mr. Weir and his colleagues tried to adapt, but were pushed out by the large online travel agencies. The travel agents’ plea in the latest Nation reminds me of the Luddites – who protested against newly developed labour-replacing machinery in the first quarter of the 1800’s.
Now that the Bajan economy is in melt-down with the government continually late delivering paycheques to employees, contractors and suppliers, most folks don’t have money to travel. Thousands are taking that “stay-cation” called unemployment after being made redundant.
Booking online is cheaper, easier, faster and offers more choices than any local travel agent. Sorry, but the world changed, and I will no longer be taking the afternoon off to pick-up my tickets from the travel agency.