Holidaymakers are returning to traditional booking methods: report
10/15/2008|8:29:00 AM|Eyefortravel
Published: 13 Oct 2008: Holidaymakers are returning to traditional booking methods and visiting travel agencies again because they believe they offer more security during the economic crisis, according to a media report.

"According to travel companies, more of us are now booking with high street retailers, particularly following the collapse of the operator XL," reported

Last month, Telegraph Travel reported that many holidaymakers were switching to package holidays in order to be financially protected in the event of a failure.

Dermot Blastland, UK managing director of TUI, said its television advertising campaign, encouraging people to visit a travel agent for advice, had reaped rewards. "Currently, in our shops, bookings are up around three per cent compared with the same period last year, " he said, as per the same report.

Stewart Baird, a director of Virgin Holidays, said that most bookings for next summer had been made through travel agents rather than via the Internet.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, said: "People want a place of safety and they can get that reassurance and advice about their holidays from travel agents."

Also, contrary to expectations, 16- to 24-year-olds are more likely to book a holiday through a travel agent than any other age group, according to Abta´s 2008 British Holiday Survey.

Fifty percent of them booked their last break with a travel agent, compared with an average of 35 percent. And 45 percent visited an agent in person, rather than booking by phone or online. The survey, which questioned 702 people, shows that the 25-44 age group is the most web-savvy, with 68 percent using the Internet to book their last trip. Holidaymakers in Greater London are most likely to book online and those in the West Midlands least.