The relevance of bricks and mortar travel agents in an increasingly tech-focused world is a topic of much discussion.
But according to a new survey commissioned by Traveltalk, the simple fact of the matter is that consumers are still using physical travel agents in great numbers.
Conducted by research firm dynata, the study found that while nearly two in three (65%*) people use booking sites (or online travel agents) to book their travel, one in three (30%) people still use traditional agents.
Only half (53%) of the travellers polled book directly with airlines, hotels and other businesses, while just over one in 20 (6%) use another third party.
When asked why they book their travel a particular way, perhaps surprisingly, ease of booking proved more important than cost.
According to the study, the vast majority (83%*) of travellers flagged ‘convenience’ as a reason for booking travel the way they did, followed by ‘cost’ (54%), ‘security’ (25%) and ‘expertise’ (23%).
“The fact that one in three people still book their travel through physical agents shows the value consumers place on face-to-face communication and consultation when it comes to organising something as important as a holiday - which for many mightn’t come around too often,” Traveltalk Media director Debbie Sproule said.
“It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise though, as the poll results reveal that convenience matters most to consumers, while security and expertise also figure highly in decision making. And travel agents offer the traveller all of these.”
The Traveltalk survey polled 500 consumers (52% female, 48% male) from all adult age groups across every state and territory in Australia.
Poll percentages refer to the total people in % rather than the summary of all percentages.
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