Agents experience equilibrium after steep decline

PhoCusWright reports a lift in the market, but a very slow one



PhoCusWright director of research Carroll Rheem reports a clear but very slow climb in the short-term outlook for leisure travel agents, particularly in the US. Although there is a lift in the market, many consumers continue to be reluctant to buy travel from agents. PhoCusWright’s “Consumer Travel Report Third Edition” surveyed in excess of 2,500 US consumers are the response was unsettlingly mixed and only 8% of consumers said they had consulted a travel professional or agent when looking for travel products. Agents are continuing to battle convenient online products. Meanwhile, the kind of complex, more expensive trip that agents can help with has taken a serious beating with the recession. This segment will not return until the economy begins to surge again. So, following a period of steep decline for travel agents, “now we’re really reached pretty close to equilibrium. There will always be a need for the professional, so it’s about how that professional can update and tweak their services to be best suited for travellers today.”
Travel Market Report
[pictured: Krabi Cha-Da Resort, Thailand]