Last call for the high street travel agent?

Last call for the travel agent? With

There has been much worry in the travel industry that the days of the high street travel agent may be numbered.

Online travel websites such as Hotels Fairy provide more choice, more transparency and often better deals from comfort and convenience of your home or office, so why would you bother spending time going to high street travel agents?

For many modern travellers, online travel guides, booking sites and comparison websites are a no brainer, but there are still many travellers that prefer the personal service that is provided by travel agents face to face.

The BBC’s travel show Fast Track recently interviewed Hotels Fairy marketing officer Jo Roberts in their investigation of the online travel industry and how it is changing the way we book our holidays.

You can watch the show online at:

What do you think about Online Travel Sites vs High Street Travel Agents?

Please leave your comments below to help us better understand what you the traveller really want when making a booking.


  1. We have definitely found that Online Travel booking sites are the easiest option – whether you want clarity (I do) or cheapness, they will always trump high street vendors.

    My ten p’s worth!

  2. Interesting article. I used to work for a high street travel agency. I think most people are quite happy to book their trip online these days and prefer to do this. As a trip becomes more complex people tend to use travel agents more often. If a trip involves several destinations, air passes or rail journeys abroad people are still looking for advise from a good travel agent. The future of high street travel agents will probably be more service orientated, with customers paying a fee for a travel agent to find the best available options, since commissions are also getting lower.

  3. @Jonny – I totally agree with you. We find it easier to book our travels using hotels comparison site, but there are really ‘time’ poor people out there who want help from travel agents on the high street. We love arranging every aspect of our own travel so a high street travel agency is in definately a different market to what we are.

    @Tanja – Yes, the high street travel agent will have to be really well travelled and well informed before he can recommend ideas to the traveller, so full service oriented high street travel agents will survive. Thats our prediction anyway.

  4. I must say, travel agents had their time, but people want to book their trip from the comfort of their home. Being able to compare is also a great. Travel Agents are going to try and get you to go where they will get a decent commission from verses websites will give you the best information to help you pick the right place.

  5. Interesting opinions here. We are a travel agent and our customers like the personal approach we offer – and we can offer a more bespoke service (especially when it comes to honeymoons) although we may be missing out on some business. Perhaps in 2011 we will investigate using an online booking system, but I’m concerned by the costs!

  6. As a Professional Movers in Tampa, I have a very busy lifestyle and don’t have so much time to visit high street travel agency. I am comfortable using the internet while at work so I rather prefer online travel agency.

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