The independent study, 'Best of Both Worlds: Quantifying How Travel Agents Save Consumers Time and Money,' was funded by Carnival Corp. and conducted by market research firm TNS Global.
ASTA president and ceo Zane Kerby said travel agent usage is at its highest level since the association began commissioning independent consumer research three years ago.
'At this point, consumers have tried it all. They've booked online, they've gone direct and they've used a travel agent. This study dispels the myth that booking direct with suppliers or spending hours online yourself gets you a better deal, or gives you a happier travel experience. Consumers told TNS Global that if you want a better travel experience, use an agent,' Kerby said.
ASTA is releasing the results in honor of National Travel and Tourism Week May 1-7, with a special focus on Travel Agent Appreciation Day, May 4.
Detailed findings of the final version of the survey will be available on ASTA.org by May 30.