Consumers amplify online research

first_imgWhen it comes to hotel bookings, travel agents face increased competition from consumer websites, according to the results of a new study.Amadeus’ Asia-Pacific travel distribution survey revealed that while the travel agent’s advice remains relevant, more consumers are comparing agent offers with consumer sites and online reviews.Respondents said 62 percent of travellers conducted price comparisons, compared with 48 percent in 2010.Travel agents experienced a gradual decrease in the degree of influence that they have on traveller’s final choice of hotel, with just one in three agents reporting that customers accepted their recommendation without question, compared to one in two in 2010.Travel agents consider ease of booking and commission guarantees as the most important criteria when selecting a channel to book hotels, while in 2010 the amount of commission was top priority.Post-sales support on booking modifications is also a key factor, ranking as the third most important criteria when selecting a hotel booking channel.“Travel agents today need to respond to changing consumer preferences by providing a one-stop service to travellers, particularly given the rising demand for ancillary options when travellers book their hotels,” Amadeus Asia-Pacific hotel distribution regional director Kartikeya Tripathi said.“The ability to cross reference multiple price options and complement the same with reviews, the ability to pre-pay are a must have.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Travel agents influence waning. last_img read more