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Travel industry news

21 May 2019

BY James Chapple


Consumers value high street agents for expertise and personal experience

Holidaymakers value high street travel agents for their convenience, expertise and personal experience, new research has revealed.

Busy high street.jpg

Consumers value high street agents for expertise and personal experience

However, agents must now tackle the perception they are are expensive if they are to cement their place on the high street anew.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of Brits surveyed by media agency eight&four said they find it “quicker and easier” to use a high street travel agent to book their holidays.

A further 23% said they feel travel agents offer a more personal experience while 21% said they appreciate their expertise and in-depth advice.

“High street travel agents could make a big comeback if they play the market right,” said eight&four head of marketing Caroline Brosnan.

“Consumers, on the whole, recognise their value as experts and like the idea of speaking to a real person, which can sometimes be difficult with online travel booking sites.

“The key challenge to overcome is the perception that they are expensive.”

Brosnan added agents would also need to adapt their offering to appeal to “information-hungry millennials and budget-conscious Gen Zs” of they they are to “weather the storm”.

The research, a survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by eight&four, found nearly eight out of 10 Brits (79%) had either taken a package holiday in the last year, or were interested in doing so.

This increased yet further to 87% among those surveyed aged 18 to 44, while millennials are the most likely age group (55%) to have taken a package holiday in the last year versus just 28% of Brits aged 45 and above.

Eight&four’s research also found 26% of those who had taken a package holiday were persuaded by their value for money proposition; 20% convenience and 18% financial and/or Atol or Abta protection.

“The package holiday has reinvented itself as a relevant, budget-friendly option for young, price-conscious holidaymakers,” Brosnan added.

“As the number of holidays taken by 18-34s per year increases, the need for a hassle-free trip to be part of that mix has become really important – whether that’s enjoying the indulgence of an all-inclusive, choosing a flight and hotel combo to avoid endless paperwork, or discovering new experiences offered by a specialist package holiday.”

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