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View Poll Results: How do you book
Direct with airline 173 67.58%
High street agent 25 9.77%
Online agents 58 22.66%
Voters: 256. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 24 Sep 19, 01:58 PM  
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#33
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Originally Posted by cornishfrogboy View Post
Very true and it had never occurred to me. We are by nature, generally internet savvy.

Not to pour further woe on TC, but you also have to take into account that pretty much everybody under the age of 60 is pretty good on the net and Google etc is hardly Rocket Science.

My point is that in 10 years time, all those under 70 will be internet competent.. and then in 20 years etc etc. In addition, people who lack this skill set will eventually either become too frail, or otherwise unable to vacation and they may be a fair proportion of the High St vacation purchasers. The age demographics of the Shop front purchaser might make interesting reading.For instance, my father who is now in his mid 80s would have vacationed most years in the past.. and from the High Street. He is now unable/unwilling.

I believe that the Town Centre travel agent is increasingly living on borrowed time as each year passes. TUI (who had a debt of well over 2 billion of debt as of April this year) will no doubt be looking very long and hard at whether to downsize their High St operation or even shut it completely at a later date in the light of what has happened.. or now have breathing space in view of the fact that their main competitor is now gone, with many ex TC customers about to pass through their doors.
Interestingly I read an article today or yesterday about a constituency no longer having any high street banks in it's area. This was seen as a Bad Thing. But one could argue it's the way the world is going and any bank that still has a high street presence is falling behind the times. We're all doing online banking nowadays.
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Unread 25 Sep 19, 06:24 AM  
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#34
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Usually book direct with the airline but for our trip to Japan, we called into the flight centre store and they found flights for us for a price i was willing to pay as Id been struggling.
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Unread 25 Sep 19, 11:51 AM  
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Not everyone over 70 isn't internet savvy . I have customers who are retired and love scouring the internet for cheap deals for holidays , with no restrictions from working they can jump on deals at short notice, as I work in broadband support I also come across a surprising number of younger people who struggle with technology too.
A growing number of people are wary of internet banking too with all the reports of scams (something I think the banks are miscalculating on with all the branch closures , the banks that keep branches open I think are going to benefit bigtime)
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Unread 25 Sep 19, 11:53 AM  
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#36
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Originally Posted by Nimbus View Post
Interestingly I read an article today or yesterday about a constituency no longer having any high street banks in it's area. This was seen as a Bad Thing. But one could argue it's the way the world is going and any bank that still has a high street presence is falling behind the times. We're all doing online banking nowadays.
You could but I think an increasing number of people are getting exasperated with being forced to use online services rather than having the choice. I see the beginnings of a backlash .
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Unread 25 Sep 19, 01:03 PM  
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Originally Posted by duchy View Post
Not everyone over 70 isn't internet savvy . I have customers who are retired and love scouring the internet for cheap deals for holidays , with no restrictions from working they can jump on deals at short notice, as I work in broadband support I also come across a surprising number of younger people who struggle with technology too.
Oh indeed. No one is suggesting that everyone over 70 is internet-illiterate. I just used my parents as an example.

I also agree that not everyone under 60 is comfortable using the internet. Even here on the DIBB, there are people who aren't that tech-savvy and struggle to do internet-y things (some people don't seem to know that Google exists, for example ).

And, erm, I don't do internet banking myself.

I think the point cornishfrogboy was making was that more and more of us are using the internet to do things which leads to less and less people using physical high street shops for certain things. Of course, as I pointed out earlier, Thomas Cook did both but it didn't seem to help.
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Unread 25 Sep 19, 01:17 PM  
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#38
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Originally Posted by duchy View Post
You could but I think an increasing number of people are getting exasperated with being forced to use online services rather than having the choice. I see the beginnings of a backlash .
This thread is asking "Is the high street travel agent dead?". There is an implication that one of the reasons that Thomas Cook went bust is because they had a lot of high street stores and they weren't being used by enough people. They still had one foot in the 20th Century and hadn't fully embraced the 21st Century way of doing things (as it were) and that was their downfall.

On the one hand we have people saying TC failed because they had high street stores but on the other hand we have people bemoaning the loss of high street stores.

The thing is, in order to keep our high street stores we need to actually use them. And we're not - at least not as much as we used to. It's not because we are being forced to use online services - it's because we (as a society) are choosing to use high street services less.
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Unread 25 Sep 19, 02:36 PM  
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#39
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Originally Posted by Nimbus View Post
This thread is asking "Is the high street travel agent dead?". There is an implication that one of the reasons that Thomas Cook went bust is because they had a lot of high street stores and they weren't being used by enough people. They still had one foot in the 20th Century and hadn't fully embraced the 21st Century way of doing things (as it were) and that was their downfall.

On the one hand we have people saying TC failed because they had high street stores but on the other hand we have people bemoaning the loss of high street stores.

The thing is, in order to keep our high street stores we need to actually use them. And we're not - at least not as much as we used to. It's not because we are being forced to use online services - it's because we (as a society) are choosing to use high street services less.
I think that in some ways, we can liken the demise of the high street in general to Comet in particular.

When I wanted, say a washing machine.. I would go into Comet, feel them, touch them, identify quality or otherwise, even have a nice chat with the salesman.. and then go on line to purchase at best price. Unfortunately in my area (Falmouth) and partially due to people like me, the only outlet that we now have left within at least 50 miles with a range on display is Currys/PC World. It is Currys in Truro... or Plymouth.

With vacations, I go into TUI, Thomas Cook (when they were still around), Virgin (when they had an outlet in our Sainsbury), Newells.. and discuss what I sought. They would give advice, work on it and eventually come up with a price. I would then go home and research, look at Tripadvisor form my own opinion and then research whether I could do better with either an identical packager something as similar as made no difference. I would then offer the TA a chance to match and then almost inevitably buy on line with credit card (for S75) or with another element if app to form an ABTA/ATOL protected package.

Whilst I no longer need to do these things with N America as I guess that I have more personal knowledge, experience (and recourse to the DIBB) than all of the TAs in my local TUI combined, , you can be sure that in the next few years, when I look Eastward and where I have no personal experience, I will be doing exactly the same again, (if there are any high St travel agents left).

Also, when you become very knowledgeable in one area (say Florida) and visit your local TA, then you soon realise that they are totally reliant on their own, company screens and are merely telling you what you can easily see on your home computer yourself. In a typical TUI type Sales Office, few have visited an area in which you have an interest, yet alone a particular resort or Hotel. They are therefore not telling you anything anything and in any case, their assertions re Orlando are often inaccurate or even plain wrong. Not their fault.

If shopping continues like this, then the High St will only get worse.. and I am more guilty than most. I wont pay high car parking costs and in any case havent purchased anything at all in Falmouth or Truro high streets (other than at Trago Mills when I need something now), for many, many months. All we have is

Pasty Shops, better one in Penryn.
Coffee Shops, Wont pay stupid money so dont use them .
Charity Shops, Now increasingly greedy and over priced.
Hairdresser/Barbers, I am bald(ish) and use a razor.
Estate Agents, Dont need a house and research on Right move, Zoopla or both when I do.
Mobile phone Shops, Might buy, but only if mine breaks.. but online after testing in the shop.
Bookies, Never betted.
Restaurants, (occasionally).
Pubs, never as I can buy 5 Magners in Asda for the price of 1 in the pub.
.. plus TUI and Newells, (who I admittedly misuse).

I do visit out of town retail parks, where I can park for nothing.
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Edited at 04:23 PM.
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Unread 25 Sep 19, 02:44 PM  
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#40
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There's a real irony here as back in the late 80s and early 90s TC went on a buying spree buying up the competition both chain and independent agencies with a view to high street domination.
Of course once the Internet arrived in homes from the mid nineties onwards that proved to be a less clever move as the market diluted and agents became one way but no longer the primary way to book.

I do try and use my high street for shopping but in all honesty it's often quicker and cheaper to buy on line. ... even before factoring in bus fare or parking and my time.

Edited at 02:46 PM.
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