The Internet is a wonderful invention. We can keep up to date with the latest news around the world at the click of a mouse, do our Christmas shopping from our favourite armchair, and play music from a near-limitless library of online tunes. It’s certainly a convenient, useful tool, but, as with many, real life places, dark, squalid corners of the Internet exist.
Even relatively inexperienced Internet users are aware of the threat of online viruses – scams designed to rob you of your hard-earned money, infect your computer, or generally cause mischief. With good security software, many online threats can be safely evaded, but even these can’t protect you from the perils of unlicensed online travel agents.
Innocent Aussies were fleeced of some AU$45 million in 2015.
Let’s take a look at just why you should always book with an accredited, reputable agent of good standing, rather than opt for the supposedly ‘cheaper’ options you might find elsewhere. Beware – scary reading ahead…
Don’t fake it
There are countless fake websites scattered across the web, and as professional crooks become more tech-savvy, many of them are becoming harder and harder to tell apart from the real deal. Extracting money from innocent people is nothing new, but the advent of the internet, and its widespread use, gives these shameless criminals yet another way to prey upon the unsuspecting.
According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch programme, innocent Aussies were fleeced of some AU$45 million in 2015. That’s due, in part, to how realistic and genuine online travel websites can seem.
“Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details. Scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it,” said Delia Rickard, Acting Chair of the ACCC.
Now, however, websites that appear as though they are genuine travel-booking businesses are starting to show up everywhere, and their emergence spells bad news for those looking to take a well-earned break, whether staying in Australia or heading overseas.
Play it safe with Motive Travel
So, how can you avoid being ripped off in the minefield that is the Internet today when it comes to booking travel? The answer is pretty simple – only purchase your package with a reputable, licensed travel agent, such as Motive.
Motive Travel has been established for the best part of 40 years, and we’re an associate member of the Helloworld group. This means that you can rest assured that you’re dealing with a credible, trustworthy business of excellent reputation, and we also hold Qantas Platinum Travel Agent status, and recognition by the national carrier does not go to just anyone!
Additionally, you can always be sure of our credentials when you book with us, as we pride ourselves on the personal touch that we extend to all of our customers. You can always telephone or email any one of our 16 professional, experienced travel consultants, each of them fully licensed and with 300 years of consulting experience between them.
Motive Travel is a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and we’re and accredited under their AFTA Travel Agents Accreditation Scheme (ATAS).
Knowledge is power
When you book with an accredited, professional travel agent, you’re leaving everything in their experienced hands. This means that you won’t be at risk of making mistakes that could occur if you try to organise the trip yourself. There are a myriad of issues that those in the know could be unaware of that may seriously hamper travel plans. Did you know, for example, that to enter some countries, you must have at least six months’ validity on your passport? Also, it’s also true that if you only purchase a one-way ticket, with no proof of return, it’s possible that you’ll be denied entry to most countries. If you book with a travel agent, all of these important details that you may not know about will be taken care of, leaving you to plan your holiday proper.
Licence to thrill
It’s something of a myth that booking your holiday through a travel agent will make things a whole lot more expensive than if you attempt to do it alone. On a purely money-saving level, it may appear cheaper, but with a licensed travel agent, you’re also buying peace-of-mind, security, insider knowledge and the personal touch that you just won’t find anywhere else.
Look at it this way. Booking with an accredited travel agent can save a huge amount of time, as they’ll deal with all the tedious paperwork and administration for you. What’s more, you’ll always receive outstanding advice that you wouldn’t if going it alone, and we will help you to plan your trip – even pointing out places that you may never even have thought of visiting.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the friendly team at Motive Travel if you’d like to know more about what we do – we will put your mind at rest.