COULD ONLINE HOLIDAY SEARCHES SPARK THE END FOR HIGH STREET TRAVEL AGENTS?
A new nationwide study of 2,365 people by www.sunshine.co.uk has found that nearly two thirds, 63%, of the respondents prefer to look for and book their holidays online. Only 8% said they would never trust the internet to book a vacation, whilst the remaining 29% said they would go down both avenues to weigh up their options and get the best deal.
Of those who claimed they would look for and book their vacations online, 24% liked the fact they didn’t have to leave the house and 38% said they were able to view more holidays by doing it themselves on the internet.
21% said there were better prices on the web and better deals available with the online discounts that some travel agents provide.
When sunshine.co.uk asked "What are the main things that put you off high street travel agents?" to those who prefer book online, 14% said the parking fees in their town or city were too high to warrant spending too long in a shop, and a further 28% said they thought they might get stuck there for a number of hours.
More than 1 in 10, 11%, felt they would be pressured into booking a holiday they didn’t necessarily want by pushy sales staff in high street branches.
6% said booking from home was much easier, because they didn’t have to keep their kids occupied as they would have to in a high street travel agent. 34% said that they didnt feel they could fully research locations in a high street travel agent and much preferred online bookings because they could view impartial reviews from consumers on separate websites whilst they were browsing holidays.
Chris Brown, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk said,
"I don’t think high street travel agents will ever cease to exist, but I do feel that holiday retailers have a stronger presence online than they do in towns and city centres. Consumers like the freedom of being able to browse through holiday deals at their own leisure and are attracted by the novelty of sourcing out the best offer themselves.
"I believe people will always feel they have a better deal if they have found it on the web, which isn’t always the case when you are presented with a price at a high street travel agent."
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Sunshine.co.uk is the UKs leading online independent travel agent and was founded by Chris Brown and Chris Clarkson, the same people behind Holiday Watchdog which was bought by TripAdvisor in February 2008 for an undisclosed amount of money. Sunshine.co.uk offers low cost holidays and budget flights to destinations all over the world as well as great deals and discounted hotels.