Travel agent business is driving their overload Information

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 Travel agent business is driving their overload Information  

According to new research consumers back to travel agent, their information are  overload.

Independent research conducted for the operator’s annual Trends report found that 79% of holidaymakers were overwhelmed by online searches, with 59% saying they wanted experienced help when booking. A majority – 52% - said they were unsure which online sites, reviews and data to trust when booking their reservations.

The research found that most customers spent an hour carrying out Online research before seeking  a professional's opinion. 

Derek Jones, chief executive Der Touristik UK, Said: "Increasingly People end up with so much incompatible information when they start searching that it ends up being more of a headache than a holiday". Jones added there was a "growing thirst for truly expertise".

Since 2013 Kuoni has opened 50 shops and implants, Including 22 in the high street, 10 in shopping centers and 18 in John Lewis stories. In 2017 the company saw appointments in them jumped up to 38%, with the average length of consulting lasting around two hours. Perhaps surprisingly 59% of those who enter in shops do not have a destination in mind and are happy to be guided.

Technology is still vitally important, however, and the report said internet browsing using a mobile device became more popular than using a desktop computer in 2017. Another shift is towards web chats, which Kuoni introduced four years ago.

“Increasingly online chats go on to more detailed conversations about the trip face-to-face at an appointment or on the phone,” the report added.

Elsewhere, the survey analysed destinations, with the Maldives retaining its crown as Kuoni’s biggest-selling destination for the 15th consecutive year as the the operator added that it showed “no signs of slowing down”.

Arrivals to the islands grew nearly 19% year-on-year in November, with Kuoni estimating that “at least” 27 resorts have opened in the Maldives since 2013, broadening its appeal to markets other than couples. Another 23 resorts are due to open by 2019. Kuoni will feature the new Bathala resort from May, a favorite of divers.

Second place Mauritius is also set for a good year, with the island marking 50 years since independence and with British Airways increasing frequencies.

Kuoni describes Thailand as “one of the start performers for 2018”, overtaking Sri Lanka in third place. It says this was mainly due to new Qatar Airways flights to Chiang Mai, Krabi and Pattaya.

Further down the scale, South Africa is edging into the top 10, having risen from 15th to 12th place. Kuoni says the favorable exchange rate means the country will make the top 10 this year despite Cape Town’s drought issue. It has been beaten to it by Mexico, which climbs from 14th to 10th place driven by Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

The company also tips Costa Rica to enter the top 25. The country is now the operator’s biggest-selling Latin American destination following the launch of direct BA flights in 2016. More beach resorts have been added plus wildlife-spotting locations.

Only one European country, Italy, makes the top 10, rising one place to sixth. Kuoni has added the islands of Ischia, Vulcano and Lipari for 2018.

Meanwhile the report also noted that around half of Kuoni’s bookings are now for special occasion trips.

Honeymoons still top the list, followed by landmark birthdays, weddings and vow renewals, bucket list trips and family gatherings, with overseas engagements becoming a trend.

The Maldives tops the list of special trips destinations, with an average spend of £6,000 per couple.

Kuoni is also benefiting from older clients who have released equity from their homes or who have cashed in some of their pensions following changes to regulations. “Older, wealthier consumers who are fit and healthy are investing in seeing the world as they continue to live life to the full,” the operator added. 


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