How many independent travel agents are there in the UK and what is the market share of each one?
Thank you very much for your question.
Travel agents in the UK were negatively affected by the global recession. However, thanks to the 2012 summer Olympic and Paralympic games in London, the travel and tourism industry has rebounded. Government funded tourist campaigns also are helping the industry thrive.
Timetric’s report Travel and Tourism in the UK to 2018 analyzes the industry by category and explores historical data. Some of the highlights include an examination of marketing strategies to attract tourists, where the UK ranks in terms of price competitiveness, British tourist locations, and the value of the airline-, hotel- and car-rental markets.
In 2013, domestic tourism was worth $125.7 billion and inbound tourism was worth $35.8 billion. Business travel accounted for $57 billion and is expected to increase to $76 billion by 2020.
According to the industry organization Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), there are 1,200 registered travel agents in the UK. However, the website World of Work, puts the number at 40,000 and declining. The majority of these agents are women. Agencies ranges from one- person operations to national chains. In recent years, some travel agents have been relegated to working from home or call centers.
Travel agents are threatened by the Internet. Seven out of 10 Britons book travel using an Internet web service, according to the Daily Mail. A survey conducted by analyst group Mintel found most people now believe websites are more informative than travel agents and half believe that booking through a website would save money. In addition, 40% enjoy creating their own travel packages.
If you are seeking a larger perspective, Plimsoll Publishing’s Travel Agents European Industry report details the top 500 travel companies on the Continent. These 500 companies are worth $192 billion.
Current events often affect travel. In 2016, terrorist attacks have negatively affected travel. The European travel and tourism industry had just recovered from the 2015 Paris attacks when Brussels was struck. The closure of the Brussels airport, a major hub, as well as the closure of the train station forced tourists, business travelers and domestic travelers to find alternative transportation.
In Europe, travel is the 10th highest industry by revenue, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Twenty percent of American tourists have cancelled summer travel plans to Europe, according to NBC News, with another 28% considering doing so.
“We’ve never been in this kind of situation. It isn’t just one event, it is a series of events, so it might take longer to recover,” said Julien Richer, hotels and tourism analyst at Raymond James, told the Wall Street Journal. “We thought the situation would stabilize, that now won’t happen.”
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