Tourism and the Internet – Has Online Killed the Travel Agent?

It seems that as the internet has taken over the world in many areas of business, it makes complete sense to totally dominate and over take the market of the traditional travelguidecompany agent. Is this happening, has it happened and what of the future for travel agents and the consumer alike?

Many industry professionals are asking these questions as they all attempt to predict the future in this ever-expanding and fast-moving world of Digital and Social Media.

Will the likes of Trip Advisor and Facebook replace travel professionals as the prices get to a level that cannot sustain a commercial business in tourism?

Well I certainly hope not. If this happens there will be no winners; the consumer may think they are saving a quick buck in the short-term but the reality is that their holiday experience will be most certainly reduced.

This is a complex problem, and is merely the tip of an enormous iceberg.

What did we used to do?

In days gone past, pre the wealth of instant knowledge available on just about anything on the internet, the traveler had to go to a traditional travel professional (a travel agent). This professional would quiz their client on what they wanted out of their holiday experience, the budgetary restraints and the personal expectations of their client.

Of course the client had to pay a premium to the agent for this advice, or did they! Well no, they didn’t; the wholesalers would pay the travel agent the commission and everyone would be better off. It was a complete win/win situation. The consumer prevails, the business operator prevails and of course capitalism continues to thrive.

Well hasn’t all of that changed; for some crazy reason (and maybe myself included) we all think we are experts and don’t need advice from anyone. Better still, as we are all experts, we believe that it is imperative that we tell everyone how important we are and how much we know

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