Richard Branson has always been one for “bucking the trend” but opening high street travel shops in the face of a trend of booking holidays online could be a bridge too far even for the entrepreneur. The company has announced that it plans to open 30 new concessions in top line shopping locations and malls across the UK next year.
The news is surprising when it has been shown by ABTA that 49% or nearly half of people used online booking for their holiday abroad last year. Although that has been somewhat countered by the fact that a large number around 62% said they had visited a travel agent or tour operator to book an overseas holiday in the last 12 months, it seems to contradict, but today many people take two or more holidays each year.
Young people prefer to use the services on the high street travel agent; 16-24 year olds booked at least one overseas holiday citing expertise and time saving as well as easy booking as reasons.
Recent research focussed on 500 town centres across Britain, it found that travel agents were among the hardest hit. Others that are suffering include jewellers, health food shops, sports goods shops, banks, computer games and clothing stores.