ATAS ACCREDITED AGENTS share their best trips of 2019
December 17, 2019
Travel Favourites for 2019: Our ATAS expert travel agents share their best trips of the year.Read More
It seems like there's a lot going on in the world at the moment, doesn’t it? Brexit, trade wars, geo-political jousting, civil unrest and protests.
In truth, there's probably always upheaval afoot, but when roars to life in somewhere like Hong Kong—considered safe and stable (and popular to visit) for generations—it seems especially troublesome.
Protests like the ones disrupting the Special Administrative Region are not particularly unique. We've seen civil unrest and issues of varying magnitude impact places all around the world in recent decades. Think: New York, Bali, London, Paris, Ireland and, recently, the awful events in Christchurch and Sri Lanka.
Fortunately, most bounce back from a tourism perspective fairly swiftly, and we certainly hope that's the case for vibrant, diverse and delicious Hong Kong.
At the time of writing, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 'Smartraveller' website’s advice level for visitors to Hong Kong was 'Exercise a high degree of caution'. It also recommends, as it does for all Australian travellers, subscribing to Smartraveller for updates, registering your travel plans, and getting the right travel insurance.
It's all good advice, and the kind of advice you'll get when you plan and book your travels with an ATAS-accredited travel agent.
There are many good reasons to book with an ATAS-accredited travel agent. For one, ATAS accreditation is not easy. ATAS agents meet strict criteria and high standards that ensure you're dealing with the very best professionals in the industry. It's certainly not a rubber-stamping exercise.
Does your travel agent’s service stop at the moment you’ve paid for your trip in full? Absolutely not.
Even after you've confirmed all of your arrangements, excitedly thumbed through your travel documents, and set off on your journey, your ATAS accredited travel agent will be with you every step of the way. If there's a delay in Hong Kong, for example, or a significant change of plans required, your travel agent will do the leg-work, getting you on your way swiftly with an updated itinerary. You really will have a professional in your corner to make all necessary adjustments to each travel element in front of you.
Not all heroes wear capes, as the saying goes.
Beyond their professionalism and training, a vital ingredient in an ATAS accredited travel agency's customer service mix is the depth of relationships it holds with its preferred suppliers like airlines, hotels, cruise lines and tour operators. As a customer, you benefit from those connections and your agent's ability to leverage them to your advantage. If you've ever had a flight cancelled, for example, you'll know how helpful your agent's relationship with the airline can be. ATAS accredited travel agents are deeply connected to every travel partner in their supply chains.
If you've already established a great relationship with your ATAS accredited travel agent, that means you're consulting a true professional who knows your preferences. They also know their stuff, typically travel regularly themselves, and participate in ongoing supplier and product training programs. They listen, research, tap into their networks and very likely know ‘just the thing' to make your travels that little bit more special and personalised.
Not sure if you're a Kowloon or Hong Kong Island person? Your favourite ATAS accredited agent can advise and recommend the perfect spot for you, even if that sadly means avoiding Hong Kong altogether this time around.
With up-to-the-minute specials offers, your ATAS accredited travel agent can save you money and precious time, too. Not only that, they can often leverage their networks and contacts to add VIP touches that you simply can't access if you DIY it.
With an ATAS accredited travel agent in your corner, you'll travel with the peace-of-mind that comes with working with Australia's best travel professionals who can turn just about any travel mishap or misadventure into a happy ending.
So, if you are planning a trip to or through Hong Kong to another destination, get chatting to your ATAS accredited travel agent for timely, professional advice and recommendations. And always talk to your travel agent about travel insurance. Not all insurance policies are created equal, but your ATAS accredited travel agent will be able to offer comprehensive policies from reputable suppliers offering the coverage you really need.
Even though your ATAS travel agent will know where you are as you travel, they always recommend that Australian passport holders register for travel alerts before they travel, and review any applicable travel warnings.
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