Published on Thursday, March 7, 2013

Majority of customers eshewing high street agents, says TripAdvisor

As Thomas Cook announced it was to close 195 more high street stores and shed a further 2,500 jobs (see story), TripAdvisor claimed only 7% of holidaymakers went into a travel agency to book their last holiday .

The online travel review site said its TripBarometer survey found that globally the majority of holidaymakers (27%) booked via web-based travel agencies. A further 23% booked direct with the accommodation's own websites.

However, as the survey was carried out online, from December 2012 to January 2013, it's perhaps not surprising that the majority of the 35,000 people surveyed were more inclined to book on the internet.

Travel Counsellors chairman David Speakman, who last week was quoted saying the "the high street is dead", claimed there had been a 700% increase in the use of the internet and mobile phone subscriptions over the past 12 years. "You cannot expect that this expansion in customer access to the web will not have an effect," he said.

"The high street is in decline but the travel agent is not. Agents are defined by what they do and who they are and not where they work."



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  • Flawed Logic

    By definition a website that conducts a survey is only going to get results from people that have access to the Internet and so the results are inevitably skewed. To add to that imbalance TripAdvisor is a website that is used more by people who are looking to make independent arrangements than by those who use traditional High Street agents, and a combination of the two makes this survey pretty meaningless. Having said that the old style High Street agency that just sells package holidays is doomed, but those that up their game and employ knowledgeable travel consultants who can put together complex travel arrangements for individual families will survive. They just have to be able to do things that you can't do yourself on the Internet.

    By Martin Drew, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

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