Sometimes there’s no substitute for the real thing: in this case, a living, breathing travel agent. Indeed, the latest Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey reveals that more Australians use travel agents than the internet when gathering information to choose an overseas holiday destination.
For the 12 months to December 2012, 37% of Australians taking an overseas holiday used a travel agent to help them choose their destination — down from 52% in March 2001, but still ahead of the internet (34%). While the popularity of the internet when deciding on a destination has slipped slightly since October 2010 (when it peaked at 40%), it remains much higher than it was back in March 2001 (11%).
Word-of-mouth continues to be very influential when considering where to holiday, with 26% of travellers saying they sought advice from friends or relatives. Previous experience of a destination is also important, with 18% reporting that they’d been to the destination previously and were going back.
Jane Ianniello, International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Although more Australians book an overseas holiday via the internet than face-to-face with a travel agent (58% as against 34%), travel agents are still the most popular source of information to assist in choosing an overseas holiday destination.
“Although fewer Australians are seeking the expert advice of travel agents when planning their overseas holiday itinerary the majority end up booking with a travel agent, either online, in person or by phone.
“However, with the increasing penetration of home computers and iPhones, the trend towards using the internet to research and book overseas holidays directly is likely to continue.
“It is important for travel agents and airlines to understand the demographics, attitudes and behavioural profile of their target market, so as to tailor appropriate messages that get them visiting their websites and retail outlets.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.
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