The internet is now firmly established as a booking tool for holidays, with 19% of holidaymakers booking their package holiday online…
The internet is now firmly established as a booking tool for holidays, with 19% of holidaymakers booking their package holiday online – six times the number compared to the year 2000, the 2004 Holiday Survey by MORI for ABTA has found. Yet 72% of these package holidaymakers said that they would be considering booking holidays in the next two years through a high street travel agent.
Price is a major determining factor for why people use the web and 70% of those who have used the internet for holiday bookings, said that they would be prepared to return to travel agents if they provided better deals. But most high street travel agents are proving that that they are giving customers what they want. Consumer trust in travel agents has improved by a third this year compared to two years ago – while 95% of those who had used a travel agent said that they have received a very good or fairly good service.
Seventy five per cent of package holidaymakers said that they used travel agents for a source of information – compared to 57% who used the web for information but 71% of holidaymakers with broadband access said that they were inclined to browse travel sites more often.
Interestingly another survey this year done by the Co-op Travel Trading Group found that booking via the internet was slower. An agent will take on average 15 minutes to find a best holiday price compared to an average 111 minutes taken by consumers trawling the web1.
ABTA members have always been at the forefront of providing information and selling travel on the net, and recently they have invested a lot of money in making their sites more user-friendly and efficient, said ABTA chief executive Ian Reynolds. Although consumers are pre-occupied by price, our high street travel agent members have diversified, and those that have invested in high quality service and expertise are succeeding in selling high value holidays of all description.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.