It turns out that when Silicon Valley’s tech workers finally step away from their startups to take a vacation, they don’t necessarily want to — or have the time to — book their travel online.
Many are turning to a new twist on a legacy solution in the form of in-house travel agents for a more hands-on planning and booking experience.
“With a lack of time to sift through the vast amount of information available to travelers today, there needs to be some professional curation to make the most of the time they have for travel,” said Bryan Hair, agency manager for private membership and travel at San Francisco-based LesConcierges, a private-label leisure travel provider.
“Online resources lack the custom approach to the individual and the nuance that one gets in working with a human being,” Hair said, “either in email, on the phone or in person.”
While no one can say for sure just what percentage of tech-industry travelers are booking their leisure trips with travel agents vs. online, agencies that cater to the industry report that they are seeing a growing number of tech-sector clients seeking their services.
There are several reasons why people in the tech industry, from young startup entrepreneurs to high-power venture capitalists, are turning to travel advisers when they decide they’re finally ready to take a break from the long hours and tight deadlines of the fast-paced technology industry.
For some, having access to a travel department operated by a company like LesConcierges to tackle their vacation plans is a benefit offered by the employer.
Providing workers with a travel-booking concierge service or personalized travel agent service for leisure bookings enables tech companies “to stay competitive in [terms of] benefits offered to employees compared to other companies,” said a representative of the travel program at a very large and well-known computer brand based in Santa Clara County, Calif.
In addition to helping to woo talent in a competitive marketplace, the return on the investment in offering a leisure travel booking service means that staff can focus on their work rather than researching travel while on the clock.