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Travel Agents’ Worldly Ways Pay Off

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A trends piece in the Money section of a recent edition of USA Today discussed an uptick of weary customers returning to traditional travel agent services after experiencing problems with online bookings:

“For some travelers, do-it-yourself booking is losing its luster. A study by Forrester Research found that in the first three months of this year, 28% of leisure travelers in the U.S. who booked their trips online said they’d be interested in going to a good traditional travel agent. That’s up from 23% in 2008. Another Forrester report finds that the number of leisure travelers who enjoyed using the Web to plan and book their vacations dropped to 46% last year, down from 53% in 2007…

We believe it’s a function of consumers’ increasing desire to get the best value as well as the increasing amount of complexity associated with planning and booking a trip,” says Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst for Forrester Research. “Planning and booking a vacation should be fun. Instead, most travel websites deliver a very clinical experience and a very intimidating experience, and one that is about as much fun as walking through quicksand. It’s just not where it should be.”

Many travel agencies positions and companies have shut their doors in the meantime, while others have learned to specialize on trips to articular destinations or the crafting of more complicated travel packages.

Read the entire article from USA Today.

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