REPORT: Apps Are Key To Reaching Travelers – AllFacebook

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David Cohen on June 20, 2014 

The way people travel has moved far beyond the days of travel agents and calling cards thanks to rapid advances in mobile technology, and a new report from Facebook and Boston Consulting Group offers a look at how travel marketing needs to change in order to keep pace.

Key findings from “Travel Goes Mobile,” according to a post on the Facebook for Business page, were:

  • Mobile should be integral and central to your marketing strategy. People spend the majority of their time online using their mobile devices, yet most travel companies haven’t reflected this shift in their marketing and business strategies.
  • The proliferation of applications will become increasingly prevalent in a mobile-driven world. As people spend more time on their smartphones and tablets — primarily via apps — travel companies have vast opportunities to communicate with new and existing customers during every phase of the travel journey. From becoming inspired, dreaming about where to go because of an ad, a post, or a picture, to planning, booking, experiencing, reflecting, and sharing, digital and mobile technologies enhance these experiences.
  • Sophisticated apps enable travel companies to foster loyalty with new and existing customers. Apps provide direct lines of communication; they help determine intent and add brand value over the long term.

Facebook Global Head of Travel Strategy Lee McCabe, co-author of the report, wrote in the Facebook for Business post:

This paper reveals the extraordinary role mobile can and will continue to play in travel and the tremendous value it can add to travel companies’ and travelers’ experiences alike. Importantly, this paper highlights the urgent need for travel companies to develop sophisticated apps, which, when combined with rich data and sophisticated targeting capabilities, allow for personalized marketing at scale. The ability to perfectly time and tailor messages is very powerful from a business standpoint — for both brand and direct response-related objectives.

via REPORT: Apps Are Key To Reaching Travelers – AllFacebook.

Survey Says: Millennials Now Drive Leisure Travel in U.S. | TravelPulse

JAMES SHILLINGLAW | JUNE 24, 2014

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For the past 10 years, the travel industry was focused on Baby Boomers, who were considered the most lucrative market. As Boomers got older, it was assumed, they would have more time and more money to travel.

That certainly has been the case over the last decade, and boomers continue to be a major market for travel. But now the industry may want to refocus on the often forgotten Millennial or Gen Y traveler, at least according to the 2014 Portrait of American Travelers, an annual survey by MMGY Global, a travel marketing services firm.

According to the survey, Millennials those between the ages of 18 and 35 will be the driving force behind the continued recovery of the U.S. travel industry. They are also expected to spend incrementally more on travel services than any other age group over the next 12 months.

The survey found that 24 percent of Millennial travelers are planning to take more overnight leisure trips in the next 12 months, versus 14 percent who are planning fewer trips, a net difference of 10 percent. This compares with a negative net difference of 1 percent for Boomers, and negative net differences of 3 percent and 6 percent for Matures and Xers, respectively.

Gen Yers also plan to spend significantly more on leisure travel services in the next 12 months, well ahead than any of the other generational cohorts: an average of $887 on a previous-year base of $4,499. Gen Xers intend to spend the second highest increment: $666 on a previous-year base of $4,341.

According the MMGY Global, both trends are consistent with the manner in which Millennials view the sanctity of their vacation time. Last year they took an average of 4.6 overnight trips for leisure purposes versus an average of 4.2 trips for all U.S. households with an annual income over $50,000.

“Six in 10 Millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than material things,” said Steve Cohen, vice president of insights for MMGY Global. “This is presumably one of the reasons we’ve observed the spike in their intentions with respect to leisure travel in the year ahead…Millennials’ planning, booking and sharing habits are significantly different from those of older leisure travelers.”

All this could be good for travel agents. In an earlier survey for the American Society of Travel Agents on the value of using a travel agent, MMGY Global found nearly 60 percent of Millennials who used travel agents believed that their vacations were better than those organized without their assistance. The study also found that consumers that use an agent travel more average 4.7 trips than consumers that don’t use a travel agent average 3.6 trips.

On the other hand, Millennials’ travel interests don’t always extend to more distant destinations. Gen Yers are more likely to have taken a “staycation” during the last 12 months than all other travelers. Thirty-three percent took at least one vacation within 50 miles of their home, versus 27 percent among all other leisure travelers. One third said their choice was made to save money to take a more substantial vacation during the year ahead.

The MMGY Portrait of American Travelers, now in its 24th year, reflects the lifestyles and travel behavior of approximately 57 million American households who spent an average of $4,429 on leisure travel in the last year. Collectively, they represent nearly $240 billion in U.S. travel spending. The survey polls 2,550 active leisure travelers who reside in households with an annual income of $50,000 or more and who have taken at least one leisure trip of 75 miles or more from home during the previous 12 months on which they used overnight accommodations.

via Survey Says: Millennials Now Drive Leisure Travel in U.S. | TravelPulse.

Big data fuels rise of real-time travel marketing – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News

Xinyi Liang-Pholsena, Bangkok, June 20, 2014 

pata logoTHE growing availability of large public and private information sources has led to the development of big data analytics, a potential trove of information that travel businesses can leverage to deliver more effective and tailored services to their customers.

In particular, Asia’s high rates of smartphone penetration, skyrocketing demand for ‘phablets’ mobile devices straddling smartphone and tablet and immense popularity of social media underscore the vast opportunities big data present, said speakers at PATAcademy-HCD, which takes place in Bangkok from June 17 to 20.

“The Internet of things” – a term that refers to the advanced connectivity of devices, systems and services – can enable travel brands to capitalise on the potential of “real-time marketing” to personalise the customer experience and predict their current and future needs, said Sonal Patel, business development director, exchange – APAC, Twitter Singapore.

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Moreover, the emergence of wearable technology like Google Glass will further enhance the development of real-time marketing.

 

Citing his market research firm’s findings, Laurens van den Oever, global director for travel at GfK, illustrated how big data can be used to understand the booking seasonality and characteristics of destinations around the world.

For example, German and English travellers are early bookers while Italians and Russians tend to be late bookers when it comes to a summer vacation in Spain; within the region, Singaporeans are extremely late bookers, usually just four weeks in advance, he shared.

Applying booking seasonality trends to crisis communication, PATA COO, Mario Hardy, remarked: “If a crisis in a destination happens during high season, how you communicate to your markets is also different from when it happens during low season.”

While online is a part of nearly all travellers’ consumer journeys, van den Oever also pointed out that offline remains a major influencer. “Cross-channel usage is strong, so travel marketers should ensure a synergy of message across online and offline touch points,” he said. “For package tours, travel agencies and catalogues are still important touch points.”

Moreover, he also emphasised the complexity of travel purchase journeys, as consumers go through multiple pathways – ranging from generic search and aggregators to destinations and travel agencies – prior to making a booking so it is vital for travel marketers to consider the placement of their message. “Being present on all touch points is becoming mission critical,” he stressed.

via Big data fuels rise of real-time travel marketing – TTG Asia – Leader in Hotel, Airlines, Tourism and Travel Trade News.

WIT – WEB IN TRAVEL : Facebook money-grab will boost rise in “owned” online media in travel industry

Posted on 12 May 2014 

DislikeTravel industry marketers need to be aware of the alarming changes underway at Facebook as it limits organic distribution in favour of paid-for posts, cautions Bronwyn White (pictured below left), co-founder of MyTravelResearch, a market research and marketing firm specialising in the travel, tourism and aviation industries.

“Due to changes at Facebook less than 4% of your company’s fans are now likely to see your company’s news and updates on Facebook. The change in strategy means that Facebook is diminishing your organic reach in favour of paid advertising. It is therefore time for tourism promotion bodies to start building their own online assets — and not acting as tenants without rights on Facebook,” she said.

“What many in the travel industry did not understand was that we were effectively acting as a tenant on rented space not a freeholder. The landlord could come along at anytime and increase the rent or start charging you for amenities. And if you can’t afford the increase, you might have to move out, use less space or have fewer amenities.”

White said that at first, entry costs were low (or non-existent) for social media and impact was high. Facebook provided an easy and quick way to build a tourism brand and a following online. With tourism being a cash-poor sector, this social platform was a panacea. But with posts now reaching as few as 4% of a company’s Facebook fans it wad  time for tourism entities to diversify away from it. and build an online presence that tourism bodies own and fully control.

White gave four recommendations for destinations and tourism companies to achieve that:

Create an awesome, informative website or blog with  images, videos, and the right tone of voice. Make sure it breathes your brand, which means knowing what your brand is and stands for.

Create content that helps customers at every stage on the path to purchase, from providing a trigger to travel to somewhere they can share feedback everywhere

Make it easy for customers and potential customers to book on your website. According to Tourism Research Australia, less than half of tourism businesses can do instant confirmation bookings on their websites while 10% do not even take email requests via their websites.

Create your own database that you own and control where you can communicate with your list.

She said social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ still have a role to

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Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

play in promoting a company’s blogs and videos. However, it is not advisable to build your entire marketing strategy on a platform that can suddenly be beyond your financial reach. There are free or cheap alternatives to Facebook, such as Google+, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

“It is time to move out of your rented space, get your own place and focus on building your own online real estate portfolio. Once you have done that, add to it on a regular basis, renovate occasionally to freshen up and regularly promote your hard work.”

via WIT – WEB IN TRAVEL : Facebook money-grab will boost rise in “owned” online media in travel industry.

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Mobile travel marketing deep dive – devices, campaign strategy, spend and more

Mobile travel marketing deep dive – devices, campaign strategy, spend and more

Airlines and booking websites are the two segments investing most heavily in mobile advertising while the drive to increase site/mobile traffic is almost double in travel compared to other industries.

Research from Millennial Media, a mobile advertising specialist, and comScore, analyzes travel-related activities by thousands of users to understand travel brands’ advertising spend activity on mobile, their requirements and strategy to reach target customers.

Mobile currently accounts for 12% of total digital advertising spend in the travel vertical and is increasing, according to eMarketer.

Key takeaways from the study are:

Mobile travel audience – demographic, income

The majority of mobile travel consumers are male and aged between 25-44 while the number of travel consumers in the 25-34 age range is double, in percentage terms, of the total mobile audience in the same age range.

Here, ‘travel audience’ is defined as consumers who frequently engage with travel content and advertisements via mobile devices.

More than 90% of this mobile travel audience owns a smartphone (compared to 65% overall), while 51% owns a tablet (compared to 33% overall).

This device ownership also correlates with the average household income, as 61% of the mobile travel audience earns more than $60,000 a year, compared to 58% of the total mobile audience.

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Mobile travel cross-screen usage

Travel consumers are spending more of their time across multiple devices to engage in mobile activities.

The preference to use PC for travel-related activities increases with age although the 55+ years group are the highest smartphone and tablet users.

Interestingly, 18-24 year-olds spend the least amount of time in travel content but still make up one of the highest percentages of time spent when compared to other age groups.

On average, travel content is consumed on mobile devices for about 32-33% of the time.

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Mobile travel usage – by location

When it comes to the location where the mobile travel audience performs travel-related activities on mobile, ‘home’ leads the chart by a huge margin - 61% of mobile and 70% of the tablet audience research or book travel when at home.

In addition, 33% of mobile and 22% of tablet audience research or book travel while they are travelling.

It’s interesting to observe that, except at home, the usage of mobile phones is higher in all other locations – at work, at a hotel, at the airport, in the destination city, etc. Tablet usage is high only when the consumers are at home.

Apart from the audience using their mobile devices for research activities such as discovering new destinations or looking up flight and hotel options, they also use their devices while traveling for directions, recommendations and information in a new or unfamiliar location.

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Mobile travel research – by device

When it comes to travel research, the hospitality segment leads others as the top activity performed by 83% of mobile (and 74% of tablet) users. The other popular travel research segments are flights and car rental.

When compared to the research performed on a train, bus, cruise and package deals, research on hotels is about four times greater.

It should also be noted that smartphones overtake tablets in all segments of research although the percentage difference between the devices is minimal.

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Mobile travel purchase – by device

When it comes to making travel purchases, two-thirds use mobile devices to make hotel reservations, while making flight reservations is the second most common activity on either device, done by nearly half of travellers.

Looking at the chart above in conjuction with the chart below we gain deeper insight:

  • 82% of travelers research hotels on their mobile devices, while 67% purchase hotels on them (in case of tablets, its 74% research vs 64% purchase)
  • 67% of travelers research flights on their mobile devices, while 49% purchase flights on mobile.

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Flight and hotel activities performed on smartphones

Hotel and flight emerge as the two most popular travel activities on mobile.

For flights, the top activities the mobile travel audience performs include – checking fare, checking status/schedule, check-in and getting alerts.

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For hotels, checking price and availability are the top activities carried out on mobile. Other popular activities include looking up an address/direction, reading reviews and retrieving confirmation number.

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via Mobile travel marketing deep dive – devices, campaign strategy, spend and more.

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Expedia Demonstrate The Power of Agile, Responsive Marketing

By Chelsea Varney, Published April 27, 2014

Controlling your own customer experience has never been more important.

Walking into a supermarket you will often see consumers choosing to scan their own groceries or even ordering produce directly to their door.

It’s all about being independent and the extensive array of online tools has made it exceedingly easy.

Customers are now more aware of what they want and are able to cut out the seemingly now trivial ‘middle man’ of the sales advisor.

The travel industry has been shaken up pretty roughly by this transition.

No longer needing to rely upon professionals to book their holidays, travelers are purchasing their own getaways by using comparison and customization platforms.

Indeed, a One Poll survey found that 62% of those questioned believed that Travel Agents was a dying business.

Price (75%) was the highest ranking factor that affected their decision making process, meaning travel agents are having to work much harder to generate business.

But, how can travel brands stop themselves slipping into the industry abyss?

Adapt

There has been a steady rise in the amount of people choosing to travel, with over one billion people (globally) vacationing each year.

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This increase in global travelers has been in part facilitated with changDing ways that people arrange their travel, and many businesses have had to adapt fast.

Building on customer relationships and identifying a sense of brand reputation has meant that some companies have continued to survive against independent booking websites.

In fact, a great knowledge of target audience partnered with swift action and marketing nous has lead to a few travel agencies flourishing.

Being able to listen to customers and adapt strategy can bring you popularity and cult status, as demonstrated by Expedia Canada.

Expedia Reacts

In 2013 Expedia launched a television advertisement campaign urging Canadians to escape winter by traveling.

The advert featured a rather annoying violin solo, which after repeated showings increasingly grated on the viewing public.

People took to Twitter to vent their hatred of the infernal racket. Expedia were soon confronted with a barrage of complaints.

Greeted with negative sentiment throughout the social media sphere, Expedia’s creative agency, Grip Limited, devised a plan.

The brand responded quickly, and put out a replacement video which depicted the violin being flung out of the house, a direct response to the complaints made online.

This let consumers know that Expedia was listening to their feelings in a physical and daring way.

This clip directly addressed the preferences and desires of the audience as the violin is smashed up by one of those tweeters complaining about the ad.

This direct, agile approach let the audience know that every single comment is being examined and acted upon, even a solo tweet from a small user.

The Results

When you analyse the social data surrounding the campaign the brand was successfully able to eliminate the negative conversation.

Moreover, they managed to maintain buzz and even experienced an increase in chatter on release of new videos.

What this demonstrates is not only the power of listening, but also of an agile marketing strategy.

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Good marketers don’t stick to the original plan like glue, they react to trends and opportunities.

In fact, one of the most popular campaigns of 2013 – dunk in the dark by Oreo, was a reaction to listening to public conversation on the live blackout at the Superbowl.

Using emerging technologies allows marketers to weather the storm of reactions and also adapt their strategies.

Putting the customer at the forefront of your campaign and listening to their conversations means that a greater connections can be formed.

This is especially important for those within the travel industry who need to maintain loyalty and build on brand reputation.

This case study was taken from our latest report on Travel and Hospitality.

via Expedia Demonstrate The Power of Agile, Responsive Marketing.

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Amadeus to Showcase connected, personalised and sustainable travel solutions at ATM 2014 |

Tuesday, April 22 – 2014 @ 09:34

Amadeus-182x212Amadeus, a technology partner for the global travel industry, has announced its 13th consecutive annual participation at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the Middle East’s premium travel and tourism exhibition. ATM 2014 is set to run from 5 – 8 May at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Amadeus’ new corporate branding and identity, ‘Let’s shape the future of travel’ will be on spectacular display at ATM 2014. Amadeus will additionally leverage its presence at the region’s definitive travel exhibition to establish effective collaborations with customers and partners towards positively and sustainably impacting the travel landscape.

Exhibiting at stand TT6020 in the Technology Hall at ATM 2014, Amadeus will introduce visitors to its latest range of travel technology products and solutions aimed at empowering travel partners to ‘Connect, Serve and Manage’ their business. In addition, the travel-technology expert will highlight solutions designed to meet the demands of the next generation traveller, a key focus area for the industry today.

The solutions include enhancements to its market leading mobile platforms and technological solutions that enable travel agents to go online and corporations to provide self-service travel tools. Amadeus’ new traveller alert technologies will also be on display along with a Social Media Suite that enables travel agencies to engage more actively with their customers.

Antoine Medawar, Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, Amadeus, said: “To the amadeus new logo on bluenext generation traveller, connectivity, personalisation and sustainability are paramount, and as service providers in an end-user driven industry, we need to be geared to meet these demands. Amadeus has been working relentlessly over the years to observe, understand and anticipate the changing end-user dynamics that directly impact travel trends.

“Our research has enabled us to design comprehensive solutions that equip the industry to serve their customers in a mutually satisfying and sustainable manner. ATM 2014 provides the ideal opportunity for Amadeus to showcase our portfolio of avant garde travel technology solutions that enable our customers to stay well ahead of the competition in an increasingly dynamic trade environment.”

Amadeus will host a press conference on Day 2 of ATM – Tuesday, 6 May – to highlight its Travel Intelligence and Big Data Tools. Given the relevance of market intelligence for all types of travel agents, Amadeus will demonstrate the integration of its leading Big Data technologies into the travel agency environment for improved decision making and productivity. Senior company executives will also share significant travel trends with the media.

As part of its participation at ATM 2014, Amadeus will also conduct two seminars on 6 and 7 May, gathering customers, travel industry players as well as the media. Headlined ‘Big Data and Advertising’, the first seminar will focus on ways to leverage Big Data to rapidly obtain market insights, and subsequently optimise promotional spending by utilising all available platforms.

The second seminar, ‘The Future of Online Travel in MENA’, will provide an overview of the online travel landscape in the MENA region, and share insights gained via Amadeus’ new travel intelligence tool. Visitors to the Amadeus stall at ATM 2014 will also receive a sneak-peek of Amadeus’ soon-to-be published research paper ‘The Future of Travel in the GCC’.

An event with high regional relevance, Arabian Travel Market 2013 witnessed a participation of more than 8,473 exhibitors and over 21,000 visitors, 77% of them from the GCC countries. ATM 2014 will serve as a perfect platform for Amadeus to reinforce its position as a leader in the global and regional travel market with the purpose of shaping the future of travel.

Contact:

Tara Basrur

APCO Worldwide

+971 4 369 2831

Anushka Kadam

APCO Worldwide

+971 4 361 5435

via Amadeus to Showcase connected, personalised and sustainable travel solutions at ATM 2014 |.

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Travel marketeers losing millions by ignoring data | News | Breaking Travel News

Each year tourism departments in governments, companies and associations spend millions of tax payer dollars on market research and insights relating to the travel and tourism industry. Unfortunately, much of this effort is wasted. Why? Well there are several reasons.

Tourism's Merry Mountain

Tourism’s Merry Mountain (Photo credit: timtak)

First, National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) often do not have the resource to take the market research process one step further and distribute the findings to regional tourism organisations and the local travel industry. Full reports and findings are often lengthy and in a technical language. The reports are often difficult for people who are not marketing specialists.

Such reports, some of them very good indeed, are generally published on NTO websites. And there they sit. Unfortunately, even if they are aware of the research, travel industry marketeers tend not to have the time or the skill set to trawl through the research and extract the gems—the valuable insights. That is a shame because these insights have the potential to transform their tourism business.

The challenge is for hotel, tour operator or destination marketing organisations to get their hands on transformative insights – insights that can increase revenue and visitor numbers. The marketeers need to understand the report’s implications, and then create an effective campaign that is based on real market conditions. Most importantly, they need to incorporate the voice of the customer.

The good news is, strategically useful money-saving data is plentiful. For example, MyTravelResearch recently created a practical report titled “8 Key Insights On China.” The paper was put together by collating publically available reports from entities such as Tourism Australia, Visit Britain, McKinsey, and the Canadian Tourist Commission. We then made the paper available in an easy format that provided actionable insights. Such insights are designed to make marketing campaigns truly effective.

After 50 years collectively in the travel business, it is clear to us at MyTravelResearch that the tourism industry is so time poor that marketing planning and research takes a back seat. As a result, smaller, provincial and upcountry destinations and operators are not armed with the insight and tools that they need to implement strategic and tactical marketing.

When it comes down to it, as an industry, it is our job is to put the voice of the customer – the tourists (remember them?) – into the decision making process. We take pride in the fact that MyTravelResearch.com has been doing that successfully in Australia for many years.

We now have our sights set on Asia Pacific to complement our ongoing Australia campaigns. We’re now in a position to increase your visitation or spend from, for example, Chinese tourists or Indian honeymooners. Or perhaps you want to target the Australian weekend family market. Or bring more association meetings to your resort. It’s all possible. But first, believe us, you should seriously consider outsourcing your market research department.

via Travel marketeers losing millions by ignoring data | News | Breaking Travel News.

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WIT – WEB IN TRAVEL : Groupon makes comeback with travel, mobile push and a new “pull” model

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked these days – after Groupon set up its Travel vertical group in Asia Pacific earlier this year – is “how long do you think they will last?”

In the rapid-fire world of online, it seemed only yesterday when Groupon, the daily deals monster, was hailed as the game-changer in travel and today, some people are surprised that it’s actually still around and not imploded like the thousands of copycat sites that mushroomed after “the Groupon phenomenon”.

So when Seah Seah (left), formerly with Langham Hotels and prior to that, ZUJI, joined them as their travel head last October, many people were surprised – why would Seah join a company that is perceived to be floundering and its CEO Andrew Mason left in rather dramatic fashion, writing the most-talked-about resignation letter in the US corporate world?

via WIT – WEB IN TRAVEL : Groupon makes comeback with travel, mobile push and a new \\\’pull\\\’ model.

Why travel agents aren’t completely pointless – MarketWatch

By Catey Hill

Job site CareerCast recently put them on its “most useless professions” list, many consumers have stopped calling or visiting them, and even some within the industry worry they may soon be out of work. After all, when it’s so easy for consumers to plan and book their own travel online, does anyone need a travel agent anymore?

While “travel agents used to be mostly mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar shops selling trips to Disney World and cruises and things like that,” that’s all changing, says Elias Garcia, a marketing specialist at travel company Global Basecamps. Many agents still provide such services of course, but fewer and fewer are doing so, because those package deals, as well as one-off plane tickets and hotel rooms — once more difficult for regular people to find and compare on their own — are now at most everyone’s fingertips, he says. Despite that, one in four airline tickets is still sold by brick-and-mortar travel agents, according to industry estimates. (70% is for corporate travel and the rest leisure.)

via Why travel agents aren’t completely pointless – MarketWatch.