To the editor:
After reading your recent article on the closing of the Bay Leaf store in downtown Lawrence I had to write. The owner stated that “the Internet is what’s killing us.” I hear their pain. I am a local travel agent trying to survive in this economy because I love what I do. I live here, I work here, I spent my hard-earned money here. The Internet has completely changed the way we, as travel professionals, do business.
We work tirelessly for our clients to help them get the best value for their vacation dollar, spending hours on research and cost comparison for no pay. We are only compensated when our efforts result in a sale. Imagine how frustrating it is when we finalize a quote that is exactly what the client wants, and they take the information and book it themselves online to save $15.
We are professionals with years of training and experience. Would you expect your doctor, lawyer, dentist or accountant to work for free? Our services are at no cost to our clients although some agents are now charging an upfront service fee because of what the Internet is doing. So please, remember, whether it’s a downtown store or a professional service, keep your dollars local. We will all benefit.