A tour operator is appealing for independent agent partners as it predicts a massive opportunity for high street shops and homeworkers.
Steve Endacott, chief executive of the On Holiday Group, claims high street agents will soon be in a stronger position as the big tour operators cut their overweight shop networks.
He feels while high profile brands like Thomson and Thomas Cook cash in on internet sales, evolving high street agents will benefit.
Endacott said: "I have never predicted the death of high street shops and believe independent high street agents could be in a strong position once the major operators have decimated their current overweight shop networks.
"They are best positioned to offer customers independent advice on the whole travel market, across both the price sensitive commodity market driven by dynamic packaging systems and the higher priced "differentiated" product offered by the major operators.
"However, independent shops do need to evolve to make themselves more convenient for customers.
"Personally, I would look to make a shop the central point for a local network of homeworkers. Each homeworker would be rotated between staffing the shops, where they would deal with personal appointments or walk in enquires and offsite work such as house visits or out of hours phone support.
"Each shop would have its own personalised website where customers could review availability, but still look for personal advice before making their selection via the shop, on the phone or in their homes.
"So will I be putting my money where my mouth is and opening shops? Possibly, but it"s more likely I will be partnering with people who have them and want to evolve. Know anybody?"
Click here to read Steve Endacott"s full blog.
By Diane Evans
Monday, July 9, 2012