Traditional Travel Agents vs Online Travel Agents

1862 Words Dec 18th, 2012 8 Pages
Introduction

The conditions of the global travel agency industry have significantly changed over recent years, mainly because of the development of the new technologies, electronic commerce and the major changes in tourism consumer behaviour.

Increasingly, people are booking their travel over the Internet, directly from the suppliers or on electronic retailer’s websites affecting traditional travel agencies on the high street. Further, the market starts to show signs of overload because of the high competition.

Due to all of these factors, the industry is in an uncertain situation and high street travel agencies are worrying not only about how to secure their profits, but in many cases of how to survive. How can they gain competitive
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Which is "informing and advising consumers about the specifics of destinations, the available services, the suppliers and the available travel alternatives in order to help them to choose the most suitable option considering their needs and expectations" Buhalis (2003)

Although the holidays arranged in travel agency branches accounted for an impressive 17 million bookings last year, the number has dropped by 16% from 2007 to 2011 according to Mintel (2011).

It’s harder for many people to find a local travel branch nowadays as companies continue to merge, the number of branches run by the big name companies are rising (e.g. TUI, Thomas Cook). And many branches have relocated to out-of-town retail parks – First Choice have done this a lot.

Page (2003) points out a transition within tourism retailing from "old" to "new" forms of tourism. According to him, the “old” tourism, as well described as mass tourism, was driven by inexperienced and predictable travellers, who demanded homogenous tourism products. Due to this, the star product was mass-produced packages. This “old” tourism was very much supply driven.

However, within the “new” tourism, which concerns the current situation, the travellers are more experienced and sophisticated, they seek memorable experiences instead of a repetition. This "new" tourism is driven by the demand, because the tourists define what they want. Due to this fact, importance of package

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