The travel agent channel today represents $110 billion, or 43%, of the $256 billion leisure travel market. Since 2005, the influence of the travel agent has been steadily on the rise, as documented by leading travel industry experts and watchdogs.
"The home-based agency channel is emerging as a force in travel distribution."
Credit Suisse First Boston, Home Bookin 2005
"Travelers say they do not have the time or energy to scour the Internet for the best deals. And they crave a personal touch that a disembodied voice in a call center cannot provide."
New York Times, Many Happy Returns June 2007
The average rate for room nights booked through travel agents was 45% higher than the average rate for room nights booked via the Internet.
TravelCLICK Quarterly eMonitor November 2007
"Traditional travel agents sell $110 billion in travel."
PhocusWright, Inc. 2008
62% of consumers rated their travel agent as extremely or very influential over their choice of vacation components.
YPartnership, Leisure Travel Monitor 2009
"Customers are tired of spending two or three hours trying to find the airline or hotel or vacation package that meets their needs…The fact that there are more people now who would consider using a good offline travel agent (if they could find one) is telling me people are saying, 'Enough already.' "
Henry Harteveldt, Forrester Research, The New York Times August 2009
"Most group travel, most cruises, many complicated itineraries and even the majority of lodging reservations are still through a travel agent, by phone or in person."
Douglas Quinby, PhocusWright Spring 2010
70% of Americans say they would consider using a travel agent to plan important trips and special vacations. "This survey shows what we have long believed--Americans find great value in using travel agents. From booking trips to exotic locales to making complicated itineraries easier, travelers are turning to travel agents for their knowledge and expertise."
Daniel Durazo, Director of Communications, Mondial Assistance Survey, August 2010
"Consumer interest in using travel agents has risen over the past two years: 27% of travelers used one this year, up from 23% in 2008. Having a travel agent advise you now is more important than ever."
Henry Harteveldt, Forrester Research, Wall Street Journal August 2010
"It's clear agents can save travelers big money and help set a realistic itinerary. Even where they weren't cheaper, the agents competed with what we could find on our own and we were impressed where they did save us money."
Jane Hodges, Planning A Dream Trip with Travel Agents, Wall Street Journal August 2010