Operations

People Are Embracing Human Travel Agents Again

Posted on July 27, 2016

Over the last decade, the rise of online travel agencies has made it easier than ever to book a trip. Their appeal is obvious: Expedia, Priceline, and other do-it-yourself booking sites have swapped out living, breathing travel agents — who possess such human failings as incomplete knowledge, opaque allegiances, and inconvenient business hours — for something more algorithmically determined, along with the illusion of total choice and the very best deals.

And yet what’s old is becoming new again.

Last month, travel marketing firm MMGY Global released its annual Portrait of American Travelers survey. The survey found that 32% of travelers now visit direct provider websites (i.e., American Airlines or Hilton Hotels) when making reservations — up 6% from 2015, and virtually even with the percentage of travelers who turn to online travel agencies when booking travel. Meanwhile, travelers are increasingly browsing booking sites during the planning phase of a vacation before turning to brand.com sites to actually book reservations.

Fortune article here

Related Topics: business travel, corporate travel, leisure travel, online reservations

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