Robots should replace travel agents to deliver information to clients and take bookings, according to a leading travel design director.

Nick Talbot, who works for product design agency Seymour Powell, said this would free agents to “check holiday products out in the field”.

He said travel firms were wasting a valuable resource by paying agents to sit behind desks in shops and answer phones.

“The most valuable resource in a company is its staff. They are the most expensive resource too, yet travel firms waste them by having them stuck behind a desk, looking at a screen and, on a slow day, drinking coffee or stacking a few brochures,” said Talbot.

“Delivering information should be done by  technology, whether that’s robots, artificial intelligence or networks.

“Agents can then be used instead to sample holidays and relay their first-hand experience back to potential customers.”

Talbot will speak at the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) conference next week in a session called The Shape of Things to Come.

Seymour Powell has also produced concept designs for a revolutionary new form of ‘aircruise’ travel. The giant ‘hotel in the sky’ would be powered by natural energy.

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