Retail travel agencies are often referred to as ‘Bricks and Mortar’ agencies, as they have a shop front for the customer to personally engage with travel consultants. You will usually find them located in suburban high streets, shopping centres or in the central business district.
Online Travel Agents (OTA) are virtual businesses with an online presence. The customer can engage with OTA’s via phone, email or messenger services.
Retail travel agents may have higher operational costs than an OTA due to the salary costs of the travel consultant/s and the physical store operating costs. It is important to remember as a customer you are paying for personalised service with a travel agent, so if you value expert advice, you will have the best experience with a retail travel agent.
OTA’s don’t have a shop front. The service they provide is online, whereby the customer has access to travel content (Air, Hotel, Car) which can all be self-booked at a click of a button. This business model generally allows OTA’s to operate on a lower cost model, however it is not a personalised service. They do provide customer support services, should you have technical difficulties or a general enquiry, and perhaps best suited to those that like to choose their own adventure.
Consider what’s best for you when you start to think about your next holiday.