The travel industry is reaching a new era. It is an era that is no longer dominated by travel agents but by the Internet. People no longer have to rely on travel agents to find the best deals. Instead, they are able to book their own holidays online and save money. “Do It Yourself” holidays have led to a sharp increase in the number of travel agents that are going bust. In fact, the number of tour operators that have had to close down has risen by 45 percent.
Experts suggest that this sharp increase in the demise of tour operators is due to the Internet and how easy it is for people to book their own holidays. It was difficult at one point to find a car rental, hotel and flight. Now, there are websites that can help people find these things in just a few minutes. The only thing the holidaymaker has to do is choose the location that they want to visit. It is that easy.
Of course, the real reason why people are choosing to book their own holidays online is for the simple fact that they end up saving money. When they book a holiday through a travel agent, they have to pay inflated costs. After all, the tour operators have to find a way to pay their employees. When travellers book their own holidays, they are cutting out the middle man and saving money.
According to reports, as many as 77 travel groups have gone belly up in the 12 months that ended in March 2014. This is being compared to only 53 that closed down during the 12-month period that ended March 2013. The number drops to only 39 when looking back to March 2012. Thus, this is a trend that just continues to grow.
This research has been conducted by Wilkins Kennedy LLP. This accountancy firm said that the travel industry in the UK is in trouble due to DIY holidaymakers. The need for a travel agent is very rapidly disappearing. The only people who use travel agents anymore are the ones who are not familiar with using computers or who are too lazy to book themselves. Both are dying breeds.
According to the research, there is a very clear age group that likes to book with travel agents. These are people who grow up their whole lives seeing holidays being booked this way. However, this is a generation of travellers that is getting older and many of them are not travelling anymore. Every year, fewer and fewer travellers from this generation travel abroad. As a result, tour operators are taking a big hit.
Of course, the ABTA, a group that represents all the major tour operators and travel agents in the UK, said that these figures are way off the mark. It claims that the amount of failures that it saw was only 17, which is actually better than last year. The number of shutdowns is not increasing, it is actually declining.