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Retailers get caught up in web

THE
proportion of UK travel agencies with Internet access has more than doubled in
the past three years while the number of bricks and mortar shops has dropped by
4%.

An
independent survey by market research company NOP shows a significant hike in
agencies with Internet access – which could be just one shop terminal – from
37% in 2000 to 79% in 2003. The number of agents with personal access to the
Internet at work has risen at a similar rate, from 32% to 75%. In both cases
staff could access the web either at their own desk or via a shop terminal.

The
research was based on 500 interviews in March and April 2003 with agents drawn
from lists provided by ABTA, Advantage, Worldchoice, Global Travel Group,
Travel Trust Association and Guild of Business Travel Agents. Three hundred
managerial staff and 200 counter staff were interviewed at 289 agencies of up
to nine branches and 211 agencies with 10 or more outlets. The figures were
weighted to reflect the true size of the UK market.

Worldchoice chairman Colin Heal said virtually all his
consortium’s members – 95% – now had web access. “There’s been a dramatic
increase. Unless you invest in technology you are going to struggle.”

 

 

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