Half of Brits have not been to a travel agent in a decade

  • Less than one in seven holidaymakers booked their last holiday in a travel agent
  • 70% of under 25s have never visited a travel agent
  • Three quarters of Brits booked their last holiday online

Half of Brits (47%) have not visited a travel agent in the past ten years, according to new research.

The study – conducted by travel search engine KAYAK.co.uk – found that 20% of adults say they have never been inside a travel agent branch. Amongst under 35s, the figure rises to a third (33%) and increases to a huge 70% for under 25s. In fact, the average Brit last visited a travel agent 6.5 years ago.

The fall in visits to travel agents can largely be put down to the increase in those now booking holidays online. Nearly three quarters (73%) say they booked their last holiday online, 4% of which booked it on their phone, rising to seven per cent for under 35s.

The research reveals that less than one in seven holidaymakers (14%) booked their last holiday in a travel agent branch. For under 35s, the figure falls to one in ten (11%) and for under 25s, the figure is just six per cent.

 

Why are Brits increasingly booking holidays online?

Amongst those who have not visited a travel agent in the past five years, the fact that booking online is just ‘easier’ was the main factor (50%). A third (31%) say you can find everything a travel agent has online, whilst nearly a quarter (22%) say it is because travel agents are more expensive.

Just 18% of Brits have been into a travel agent in the past year – either to book or to simply get advice. Amongst those who use travel agents, 38% said they do so as they like to talk to someone in person, whilst a quarter (25%) say they feel more ‘reassured’ if someone else books it for them.

However, 15% admitted they just liked the experience and 13% went as far as to say they simply like the attention they get from those who work there.

 

John-Lee Saez, Managing Director for KAYAK Europe, comments: “There has been a huge shift to online in recent years when it comes to booking travel and travel agents are realising this and increasingly investing in their online offering.

“However, in the online space, prices are key and the online market is very driven by this. Therefore, travel agents that want to compete will need to have a big eye on the prices they offer, as travel search engines such as KAYAK are increasingly putting the power into the consumer’s hands, showing them the best prices from the whole online travel marketplace with one search.”

 

Note: Research conducted by Opinium Research amongst 1,007 adults in the UK, between 10-14 January 2019.