With nearly 80% of holiday bookings now made online, high-street travel agents could be a thing of the past in just five years

by Jonathan Adams

Holidays booked through high-street travel agents has reduced by 67 per cent in the past 10 years according to a new report, which means that they could be a thing of the past in another five.

Ten years ago, holidays booked through offline travel agents was 57 per cent, which now stands at just 19 per cent.

Instead, British adults are turning to online travel agencies and search engines as well as airline and hotel websites.

The report was based on new research from Survey Opinionway for travel search engine Kayak.

The report revealed that 79 per cent of people are now booking their holidays online, which was just 35 per cent 10 years ago – showing a huge jump.

Of those who turned to the internet for travel bookings, 50 per cent are using web-based travel agencies, 47 per cent are booking direct through airline and hotel websites while 24 per cent are turning to travel search engines.

While 77 per cent of these bookings are using desktop computers for the purpose, eight per cent of people are relying on their smartphones.

Even sources of inspiration have gone online with more than double the number of people looking to social media and blogs for ideas.

Social media inspires 21 per cent of people while 15 per cent of people cite blogs as their inspiration.

But these numbers increase to 40 per cent and 33 per cent respectively for the 18 to 24 age category.

Personal service is still appreciated by some, even if it’s not face to face, as one in ten surveyed are booking their trips on the phone instead of visiting a branch.

Loella Pehrsson, regional director at Kayak, said: ‘The research is a worrying signal for high street travel agents but isn’t entirely shocking.

‘Given the internet allows you to not only shop around, but browse and book holidays from the comfort of your own home, it’s no surprise that Brits are increasingly choosing this option over high street travel agents.

‘The data also shows that whilst the computer is Brits’ preferred device for travel planning and booking, we’re using our mobiles more and more.’

She continued, ‘What is clear from the research is that the internet is changing travel habits in many areas – you can even get Wi-Fi on planes now.

‘The increasing role that technology is playing in travel is giving consumers many exciting developments, and something we take advantage of at Kayak to offer the best experience to our customers.’

This article is for information purposes only.
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