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Londoners now more likely to use travel agents than before pandemic

The travel industry finally meets again at WTM London
The travel industry finally meets again at WTM London
Written by Harry Johnson

Travel agents have been the unsung heroes of the pandemic – working for months on end without pay, rebooking, refunding and reorganizing people’s dream holidays.

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Confusion around constantly changing COVID-related travel regulations is pushing holidaymakers in certain parts of the country towards travel agents who can advise them correctly, rather than risk getting it wrong with a DIY booking, reveals research released today (Monday 1 November) by WTM London.

Londoners are the most likely to turn to travel professionals, with more than one in five saying they will use an agent from now on, reveals the WTM Industry Report unveiled at WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, taking place over the next three days (Monday 1- Wednesday 3 November) at ExCeL – London.

When asked: Has the confusion around travel caused by the pandemic made you more likely to book future holidays through a travel agent? 22% of Londoners said they were ‘more likely’ to do so, closely followed by 18% in Scotland and Wales.

Meanwhile, 12% of respondents from Yorkshire and Humberside and 13% from the North East and South East (outside of London) said they’d be more likely to use a travel agent, reveals the report of 1,000 UK consumers.

Under 44s are more likely to book with an agent since the COVID crisis began, with 20% of 18-21s; 21% of 22-24s and 22% of 35-44s saying they would ask an agent.

This compares to 13% of 45-54s, 12% of 55-64s and 14% of over 65s who said they are now more likely to book with a travel agent since before the pandemic.

WTM London Exhibition Director Simon Press said: “The research results are good news for travel agents. WTM London has been saying for a long time that travel agents are here to stay.

“Travel agents have been the unsung heroes of the pandemic – working for months on end without pay, rebooking, refunding and reorganizing people’s dream holidays.

“They’ve also had to keep on top of the constantly changing rules – not only which countries are, or were, on the green, amber or red list, but also whether those countries are actually open to UK visitors and whether they are on the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)’s list of ‘safe’ destinations.

“In addition, agents are having to keep up with the rules on COVID tests and entry requirements for individual countries. No wonder agents tell us all they are working harder than ever before.

“Many agents have also dealt with requests from people who didn’t book with them – who either booked direct with a company that they were later unable to get hold of when something went wrong, or did a DIY booking and became unstuck.

“The fact that people are understanding and appreciating agents’ worth is great to see.”

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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