Travel agencies on the rebound. Is the kind of superficial story with a negative bent that seems to be the standard when the media covers travel. Instead of focusing on the fact that in the next two years or so more than 50% of all travel will be booked online, they write about a comeback for travel agents. It’s the same media that a few years ago predicted that all travel agents will go out of business because of the web. Well, that hasn’t happened and won’t, but we certainly won’t see a return to the number of agents we have seen in the past.
Some people will always book a vacation with a travel agent, especially if it’s a more complex trip, but the trend is undeniably to online where the customer experience will get better as new technology comes on stream that will enable companies to offer a much improved online travel planning and shopping experience on a single site. The generation that has always booked their trips will be even more convinced then, that this is the way to purchase travel.
So, yes there will always be experienced and educated travel agents around but in lesser numbers and handling a smaller marketshare than online players. And in true media fashion, they’ll still focus on the negative or controversial rather than writing a positive story about what’s really happening.
Oh, and another thing, online travel will not be all about the cheapest price, but about the buying experience backed up by 24/7 customer service. Maybe the media will even write about that!