For booking trips abroad, most Australians still believe nothing beats a travel agency, a new study has revealed.
Released by Roy Morgan, the Travel Agent Monitor Report showed that while Aussie travellers are increasingly using the web to plan and research overseas holidays, most remain loyal to traditional agents when it comes to actually booking their travel.
Nearly half (42.5%) of the respondents in the study, which polled some 10,000 Australians aged 14+ who took a holiday in the last 12 months, said they used a travel agent to arrange their last trip abroad, significantly more than the one in six to seven (15.5%) who used an online-only travel agent (OTA).
While OTAs command a greater share of bookings for domestic - and probably less valuable - holidays, the report showed agents dominated the international sphere thanks to, among other factors, the greater complexities that can arise when booking overseas vacations.
“Many Australians turn to their travel agent to organise their trip in a concise way to keep their itinerary in check, and even pay for multiple accommodation bookings in a single purchase,” the report found.
The finding in favour of travel agents is even more impressive given the stiff competition they face.
“Travel agents operate in a highly competitive industry, having to contend with a complex marketplace such as bricks and mortar shops, online, and surging technologies such as Airbnb,” Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said.
When it comes to the top travel sites visited overall, the report found TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Qantas to be the most popular among Aussies.