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Published on Monday, September 21, 2020

Eight in 10 'will book with an agent in future'






Traditional travel agent services are increasing in demand because problem associated with the Covid pandemic has put many off booking online, a new survey claims.


A poll among 1,000 existing customers from the Personal Travel Agents at Co-operative Travel found 79% would be more inclined to book with a travel agent in the future.


Of those customers who, pre-Covid, would have booked travel themselves online, 58% would switch to booking with a travel agent going forward, it found.


According to the poll, which was conducted between 4-11 September 2020, 85% of customers missed out on a holiday in 2020 because of Covid 19, generating a significant degree of pent-up demand.


When asked about their travel plans for the coming year, 73% said they will be taking a holiday abroad. Almost a quarter (22%) will do so even if they have to quarantine, while 51% will only travel if they don't have to quarantine.


"The expertise and financial protection that booking with a travel agent provides has never been more crucial to holidaymakers than it is right now, said Sheena Whittle, Head of The Personal Travel Agents at Co-operative Travel.


"Our survey shows that customers are eager to get away on holiday but are concerned and confused by the quarantine rules and the ever changing FCDO advice.


"As a result, they are seeking out trusted travel agents to help them decide where and how to holiday; to remove the headache of having to cancel or amend a holiday booking, should travel restrictions come into force; and to give them peace of mind that their money is protected and they will be taken care of if some something goes wrong.


"Overall, nearly 80% of respondents said they would be more inclined to book with a travel agent now than before Covid. What is more, of those customers who, pre-Covid, would have booked travel themselves online, 58% would switch to booking with a travel agent going forward.


"This presents a real opportunity for our Personal Travel Agents and agents across the board, to show their worth and really expand their customer bases."


In terms of the type of holiday that customers are craving, the traditional beach break came out on top, with 78% of respondents choosing 'beach' over city breaks (34%), cruises (17%) and touring holidays (10%). 


Europe was the most popular destination with 78%, beating the Caribbean (25%), USA (19%), Indian Ocean/Africa (14%) and Dubai/Arabia (9%).  


A clear second, behind Europe, the UK staycation option has seen a 37% jump in demand.


Over half (56%) of respondents said they plan to take both an overseas and a UK holiday in 2021.

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Will 5-day quarantine with test boost travel?- Yes/still too long/too expensive/ vaccine only??
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