The internet has usurped the role of the travel agent and replaced the brochure as the key channel for holiday research, says Mintel.
The analyst’s report quotes data suggesting the use of agents to provide information on holidays fell from 59% of package holiday consumers in 2003 to 39% last year.
However, this was still more than the 36% who researched holidays online.
There will be overlap in the figures, with some consumers looking online and visiting an agency. But with 16% also turning to tour operators for information and a further 16% using brochures – on top of those using trade websites – the figures suggest the trade remains a major source of information.
But Mintel does warn: “Research suggests the internet will overtake the high street as the main research channel for package holidays.” This is already the case with independent travellers, with just over half researching holidays online. But it suggests the internet is not yet triumphant.
One in 20 independent travellers appear to use high-street agents for research despite not booking with them.
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