Are travel agencies going out of business?

If you’re a regular traveler, whether it’s for work, a weekend getaway here or there, or an annual family vacation, you’ve probably used a tour guide at some point.

But for many, travelers may seem a thing of the past. Online travel agencies such as Expedia and Airbnb have exploded in popularity in recent years. Instead of contacting their local brick-and-mortar travel agency to book their trip, many travelers are using these online services to do it themselves.

Does this mean traditional travel accessories will be obsolete in the coming years?

The coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the travel industry can give us some clues.

How the virus affects travel groups

There is a big difference between the effect of the disease on the first travelers, and the effect on his second year. First, a disaster, then a new way.

The first disease

When the virus first hit, the travel industry was one of the most affected. Lockdowns, travel restrictions, and international travel bans have meant that demand for travel services has become negligible. Cruise lines stopped running, airlines canceled flights, and people canceled all travel plans. This has knock-on effects for travelers.

Incomes are declining

According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) in August 2020:

  • 93% of travel companies reported a business profit of less than 75% compared to 2019.
  • 78 percent reported a decrease in income of 90% or more.

These drops in income are related to the disease.

Big discount

That same study also found:

  • Of respondents with W-2 workers at the start of the crisis, 75% had quit or laid off at least one worker, but the majority had quit.
  • More than 43% said that three-quarters or more of their workforce has resigned or terminated.
  • More than 16% said they quit or furlough between 50 and 75% of employees.
  • Almost 9% or 25-50% of the employees have left.
  • Only 7% quit or less than 25% of their employees quit.

Store closed

Several major travel agencies have been forced to close their physical stores during the pandemic:

  • Travel agency Australian Flight Center has closed 421 of its 740 stores.
  • German tour operator TUI will close 166 stores in the UK and Ireland in 2020, and a further 48 in 2021.
  • British travel company Hays Travel has closed 89 of its stores following the UK’s third national lockdown in early 2021.

Big businesses are going

In addition to closing physical stores, several top travel destinations have been forced to completely stop trading due to COVID:

  • STA Travel, a UK-based company that promotes travel for young people, including all-ages and volunteer programs, has been forced to close in mid-2020. It has more than 50 stores. STA in the UK.
  • Upside Business Travel is the largest business-related travel company that will go out of business when it closes in 2021.
  • Lola is forced to close its business in 2021.

2021 Resurrection

Obviously, the first flu was hard on the travelers. From small businesses to some of the biggest names in the business, no one is left behind.

However, as 2021 progressed, more people were booked, and travel plans were cancelled. Increasingly, travelers are turning to travel agents to help them navigate COVID regulations and travel restrictions. In cases where bonds are canceled, travel agents can help them get reimbursements for airline tickets, cruises, hotels, and vacations.

Many travel agencies have already started to see a significant increase in business, even compared to pre-pandemic levels:

  • According to a poll by ASTA in March last year, 76% of tourists saw an increase in sales in 2021 compared to before the pandemic, with 81% saying they have heard from customers who have never used a tour before.
  • This poll also found that more than a quarter of travelers (27%) used regular or frequent travel before the flu. But almost half of travelers (44%) said they would use a travel plan after the pandemic is over.

This resurgence shows that far from leaving the industry in the future, travel agents can be used extensively for future travel.

But it’s not as simple as that.

Challenges facing traditional travel agencies

Traditional travel companies may have made a comeback in 2021, but they are facing many challenges and challenges in the struggle to stay relevant.

The rise of online travel directories

Online travel booking sites like Expedia and Airbnb allow customers to easily book their own travel from the comfort of their homes. By 2021, the online travel industry will generate more than $800 billion in revenue, with two-thirds of revenue in the global travel and tourism industry coming from online sales. This represents a huge competition for traditional travel companies that are operating overseas.

Building online trust and presence

With stiff competition from online travel booking sites, it is becoming increasingly important for travelers to build a strong online presence. Having a user-friendly website, strong search engine rankings, a strong social media presence, and a mobile app has never been more important.

High fixed costs

Most traditional travel agencies have higher fixed costs compared to online options due to high street fares. This may inspire many to grow and become a full-fledged online travel business in the future.

If the tourists he to survive long term, they must grow in more than one species.

In many cases, this change is happening.

The growth of the traveler

The internet, the virus, and many other factors have completely changed the way social travelers work. And they change in many ways:

Crisis managers

Due to the uncertainty that COVID has brought, travelers have become more important than travel planners and suppliers. Many sellers recommend that travelers be prepared with a plan in case something goes wrong during the trip.

It is believed that travelers are playing an important role in the role of counselor, or crisis manager. Some companies have started offering 24-hour email support to help serve this demand.

In the world of business travel – as a platform where companies can book and manage all aspects of their travel – TravelPerk has worked to address this growing need for advice and including risk management. We offer tools like easy travel alerts, partnered with customer care teams, and have 24/7 customer support with real people, no bots, and a 15-second response time. .

We do all of this to ensure safety, convenience, and information.

International relations experts

Some departments have begun to discuss world issues in church staff meetings. They then prepare emails about these issues to send to concerned customers.

Focusing on small customers

Many clinics have been downgraded during the pandemic, and some have decided to stay that way. By taking on fewer clients, they can focus on common practices and benefits for each client. This helps them build good long-term relationships with each customer.

Exclusive agreements

Employee furloughs and remote work have been approved for the expansion of independent travel agencies. Many travel professionals have adapted to this new environment by working for independent travel agencies or choosing to partner with travel agencies.

So it seems that in one way or another, travelers live! Perhaps they will continue to grow and serve the ever-changing world of travel.

This is something we at TravelPerk are always striving to do in the world of business travel.

The new way of booking business travel

In the world of leisure travel, travelers must evolve to survive. For business travel, we believe that evolution is also necessary.

That’s why we’ve created a new customer platform to handle all aspects of business travel. Our platform offers more than a traditional travel agency, including everything you need from booking and expense reporting. Some examples are:

  • The default threshold is set.
  • The setup fee is $0 and there are no hidden costs.
  • 15-second response time for customer support.
  • 80% of costs refunded on canceled trips.
  • Easily claim 20% of your travel VAT.
  • Free trial on any paid plan.

We have a wide selection with the world’s largest travel directory, and we’ve made corporate travel easier than ever with FlexiPerk. This allows you to book flights, hotels, buses, or trains at any time, and cancel at any time, no questions asked. All business trips can be returned at least 80% with just one click.

If you want to learn more about how TravelPerk is developing in the world of business travel, please request a demo for more information.

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