Customers in London critical of agents, says research

Customers in London critical of agents, says research

Travel agents in London have a harder job winning over clients than their counterparts in the rest of the country, according to research by ferry company Stena Line.

In a survey of 2,220 adults, experience and knowledge were cited as the things customers appreciate most about travel agents, with 57 per cent claiming agents' knowledge is a real bonus and 43 per cent valuing agents as "someone to talk to". Only 8 per cent said that they do not find agents knowledgeable.

However, in London customers were less impressed with only 37 per cent of respondents valuing agents for their knowledge and experience and 51 per cent claiming agents were not knowledgeable.

Nationally, the biggest concern about agents is that they could be too commission-based, a factor which bothers 34 per cent of travellers and an even larger 46 per cent of Londoners.

With the current economic situation agents will need to be seen to offer value as currently only 19 per cent of British travellers believe agents offer the "best value for money". This rises to 29 per cent in Scotland and drops to 8 per cent in London.

Stena Line's general manager for travel on the Irish Sea Dermot Cairns said: "We are delighted to learn of the British public's appreciation of the knowledge and experience agents offer. It's a definite incentive for us to continue the trade training and familiarisation trips that we organise as they are clearly paying dividends.

The survey was conducted by YouGov of 2,220 adults between 4 and 7 December.

Homepage image: Dan Sparham / Rex Features


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