Typewriter salesman calls for Barbadians to save his job by giving up their computers

Barbados Travel Agent

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.

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy

8 responses to “Typewriter salesman calls for Barbadians to save his job by giving up their computers

  1. Hamilton Hill

    Surely Mr Weird cannot be serious. In these or any other times for that matter, the goal is to save money. Hey Indar, perhaps you can lead by example. Stop sending messages via email and telephone.Give some young person a job by hiring a messenger.

  2. Green Monkey

    It’s not just travel agents and typewriter salesme. There are going to be a whole bunch more people joining the soup kitchen lineups and perhaps in a much shorter time frame than you might think. I have the feeling we ain’t seen nothing yet, as this video “Humans Need Not Apply” explains:

  3. handsome guy

    That video pretty well illustrates the future. Travel agents are just the latest road kill on a highway we’re all trying to walk on.

  4. When you consider the amount of stress it is for the average Barbadian to setup something as simple as a paypal, VISA/Mastercard payable account for their online business, it is not surprising that a successful Barbadian owned online travel agency wouldn’t be feasible.

    The Barbadian non-governments have done a brilliant job in keeping their serfs under total and permanent economic lockdown. Bravo!

  5. Yatinkiteasy

    Travel Agencies worldwide are a dying breed..what extra value do they actually provide…answer..none.The bullshit about saving foreign exchange is an insult to the intelligence..when a local travel agency books an airline ticket, cruise, or hotel room..do they pay for it in Barbados Dollars? Obviously not! I pay for my bookings with a local card in Barbados dollars.but the payments are made to the providers in $US, just as in your business.
    Mr Weir..you are living on borrowed time..the only reason Government uses you is so they can pay in 60, 90, or 120 or more days, and they are too lazy to do their own bookings.My advice..don’t let them rack up too high a bill or you will be left like Mr Barrack.

  6. Christine Roberts

    I am a travel agent.

    Travel agents do in fact pay the airlines in Barbados dollars. If you, the client chose to pay an agent or purchase your ticket by credit card, the card is indeed processed outside of Barbados in foreign currency–in the case of American Airlines, US dollars, Air Canada, Canadian dollars etc.

    There are many benefits to dealing with an agency. The agency saves you time (many hours of searching and researching on the internet), and yes, we do save you money as we are an unbiased source of information and offer alternative routings for your specific itinerary which are often cheaper.. We monitor your bookings for better fares.

    When you book online, and have a problem, to whom do you turn? The agents are available to assist you at any time of the day or night. If it has ever happened to you, I am sure you will agree that It is not fun to be stuck in an airport standing in long lines waiting for assistance when your flight gets cancelled through no fault of yours. I have had a client call me at 7:00am on a Saturday morning, stuck in London in a snow storm. With my help he was able to bypass the lines, get the last two seats on the flight the next day, and was booked in to a hotel at the airport. .

    Yes we charge fees, but we tell our clients to consider then insurance policies. They are our guarantee that we will help them in any emergency.

    It is sad that there are some people in the travelling public who have difficulty in accepting that competent travel agents are professionals like any other. We are there for our clients, and go the extra length to ensure that you get the best value for your money, and have a good travel experience from the time you contact us until the day you return.

  7. Technology is what is killing Mr. Weir’s business. Everything can be done on the internet, so he should consider incorporating it into his business pronto. I have a travel blog and in a couple months, I will be adding an online booking widget to the site. It would have been nice to use a Caribbean made/based widget, but I can’t seem to find any. In effect, I will providing the same service as Mr. Weir at a fraction of the cost. If he ever decided to make the decision to create such a service, imagine the global reach. Can you imagine someone in Australia using the Indar Weir Travel widget to book a trip to Barbados or one of the other 30+ Caribbean islands? We have smart young people here who can develop it! This business does not have to die!!!