A survey of independent tour operators shows bookings and the average value of sales through independent travel agents are up year on year.

In a poll of the Truly Independent Professional Travel Organisation’s 20 members found bookings through independent agents were 13% up for the first three weeks of January compared to the same time last year. Meanwhile, booking values were up 4%.

According to TIPTO chairman Colin Wilson, independent agents are in many cases outperforming high-street multiples.

“Our members had a gut feeling that 2007 had got off to a flier,” he says. “The key message is that the New Year has got off to a cracking start for everyone.”

Tour operator members added that agents were competing effecting with online travel businesses.