Death of the Travel Agent...: Holidays to the Costa De La Luz


More and more holidaymakers are using the internet to research and book holidays meaning that travel agents and their brochures could become a thing of the past.

People are tending to trust the words of strangers on sites such as TripAdvisor than the words of the tour operators in their brochures. Travellers prefer to ask friends, colleagues and family for recommendations, rather than go to their local travel agent. Previously people have trusted the words of their chosen travel agents and have often spent an afternoon chosing the right hotel for their holidays to the Costa De La Luz or Turkey.

25% of the 1,375 people surveyed said they had relied on reviews to determine which holidays they took, 11% used magazines or newspaper supplements and 13% watched travel programmes for advice. 50% of travellers over 45 said they used online sites to either recommend places they had been to or warn people against them.

Nick Oram, director of Total Media who commissioned the survey said "There has been a decline in the traditional glossy brochure in favour of the internet and that's not necessarily a bad thing." He added that brochures are very expensive to produce and the travel industry welcomed the use of e-commerce as it would make booking holidays more cost effective. This is all well and good if holidaymakers use the online brochures then go on to book through the travel agent, but not such good news for them if people are using independent sites.

The figures also showed that 22% of customers booked over the phone, 70% used the internet to book their holidays, and just 8% had gone into a travel agents.

Convenience, price and information available were cited as the main reasons for choosing to research and book holidays on the internet.

So whether you are looking for family holidays to the Costa de la Luz, a weekend break in Amsterdam or the holiday of a lifetime to the Maldives, it looks like the internet could get you the best break at the best price.