The big summer getaway started in earnest last weekend with record numbers of Brits heading off on holiday.

Since way before the start of the last recession, we’ve been hearing how holidays are sacrosanct and no longer regarded as a luxury.

Those bookings have got to go to someone – and it’s no longer a given they will go to agents.

Thankfully, though, many have reinvented themselves to ensure they get their fair share – something that was evident at the Travel 2/Gold Medal golf day last week, where I met many diverse agents all thriving in specific niches.

People such as David Walker, aka ‘The Travel Snob’ – an agent who has been in business only a few years, but who is making regular high-value bookings. He’s convinced clients are attracted by his slightly controversial company name and that, as a self-confessed travel snob, they value his honesty and trust his judgment.

‘Trust’ remains one of the key reasons people will book with an agent rather than direct. It’s something The Travel Network Group is capitalising on with its new ‘Trust Us’ campaign to extol the virtues of independent agents’ impartiality, knowledge and experience.

And the message seems to be getting through. Last month, The Guardian published an article headlined ‘Why are human travel agents still so much better than websites?’ And just last week, even Vogue ran an article entitled ‘Are we witnessing the return of the travel agent?’, reporting that ‘travel designers’, who create bespoke holidays tailored for each client, are back in fashion.

Being an agent will always be challenging, but millions who jet off abroad this year will return grateful for the advice and service of their agent, and will hopefully spread the word.