I mean at this stage in all our lives, who doesn’t know that if you perhaps want to book a hotel near the airport where you might be stopping over for a while, you go online and use a platform such as airporthotels.com? Furthermore, you can even tailor your search to the exact airport you’ll be staying nearest to and perhaps run a tailored Manchester airport hotels search on the very same platform, for example. So with online tools such as these directly available to each of us, do travel agencies still have a place in the age of the internet?
Well the fact that travel agencies still exist suggests that they do still have a place in the age of the internet where just about all the information you need is available to you in your pocket through your Smartphone or via your laptop / desktop computer. They don’t only exist though — they’re thriving and it makes for some rather interesting observations to explore just why they’re doing better than ever and what form they take these days.
I mean when one looks at the entire process you complete when you’re organising anything today, let alone a trip abroad or somewhere far, you would be justified in wondering just how on earth people travelled back in the days when the likes of Uber didn’t exist and when you couldn’t use your Smartphone with something like Google Maps. Smartphones didn’t even exist back then.
Perhaps even more interestingly though, you’d be justified in concluding that travel agencies as they existed back then had more of a place than they do now. I mean now you can perhaps even get a better rate from a hotel by emailing the manager or any staff member, but online booking platforms perhaps make the process safer because you have a third-party involved which can act as mediator should the need arise.
But that’s the form in which travel agencies actually exist these days. Unless you’re visiting a small island or unless you’re in an expressly touristy type town or city, you won’t find a travel agency existing in the form of a physical building you can visit anymore. Travel agencies have gone as digital as we all have and their existence is justified in that they act as aggregators of all the information which is available online — information which would otherwise be quite overwhelming if you tried to put it all together yourself to finalise the organisation of your next trip.
To go back to the example of emailing each hotel or other place of accommodation to inquire about room availability, this would be a seriously cumbersome process because they’d each have to get back to you with the room availability and the prices on offer — prices which are often subject to change based on a number of factors such as occupancy rates and the likes. The modern day travel agency in the form of something like an online booking platform takes all the hassle out of the process and makes it easier to even compare hotels, flights, etc. at the click of a mouse button.