Millennials ‘turn to agents to book domestic breaks’

Almost 60% of millennials used a traditional travel agency to book a domestic break in the last year – more than any other age group, according to new research.

By comparison, only 19% of 54-72-year-olds and 36% of 40-53-year-olds used a high street agent for the same type of holiday.

Tourism marketing organisation MMGY Global, which commissioned the study, said high street agents had an opportunity to capitalise on the trend.

Its Portrait of UK Travellers report found 57% of millennials – those aged 18-39 – used a high street agent to book at least one UK break in the last 12 months.

The trend was reversed for overseas travel, with 84% of millennials surveyed saying they had booked a trip with an agent in the last year, compared with 97% of 54-72-year-olds and 88% of 40-53-year-olds.

More than 2,000 active leisure travellers participated in the survey in January and February. Respondents had to have an annual household income of at least £30,000; to have taken at least one overnight holiday outside the UK in the past two years; and be intending to take one during the next two years. The survey did not include bookings made with online travel agents.

Agents and operators echoed the findings. Tony Mann, director of Idle Travel, said: “We’ve noticed an increase in millennials booking with us for holidays abroad, and in turn we’ve noticed an increase in bookings for cottages, lodges and London breaks.

“Online, I think there’s too much information; once they come in here, we can quickly match what they’re after.”

Gary Gillespie, head of trade sales at Super Break, said he could “understand a trend suggesting millennials are using agents to book domestic breaks” but added it was a trend for all age groups.

He said: “It is much easier to research and book an overseas city‑break online than it is a UK one as [the latter] doesn’t always fit the standard ‘dynamic package’ model that most OTAs work with.”

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