High Street Travel Agents are not moving with the times according to some travel experts. With reports showing more people are now using the Internet to book a holiday and booking direct with hotels and airline companies, has the High Street Travel Agents had its day?
Online cheap flight comparison sites and cheap holiday booking sites have become a huge headache for High Street travel agents such as First Choice and Thomas Cook. With more people using the Internet to book holidays, how much longer can the High Street travel agent continue to justify all their shops?
Consumers had to learn many lessons through the credit crunch, and one lesson was how to reduce the cost of a holiday. Up until then, High Street travel agents were laughing all the way to the bank. However, things have now changed, and people have now learnt the secrets to booking cheaper holidays.
Diane Walker deputy editor of In2town Small Business Magazine compared some holidays with High Street travel agents against holidays that she could book separately by going directly to hotels and airlines. She found 7 out of ten holidays were cheaper to book online than by going through a High Street travel agent.
One of the big problems High Street travel agents have is their pricing. If a person compares a holiday price by the same company online against one of their shops, then most of the time they will find it much cheaper to book online. According to reports, the leading travel agents are now looking into this and are considering making all the prices the same. That means it does not matter if you book online or go to one of their High Street shops, you will pay the same.
With our research, we found that unless travel agents start to become more competitive, they will continue to lose customers to online holiday comparison sites.