Barrhead Travel Reports More Customers ‘Book Human’ as Research Suggests a Strong Return to High Street Agents

June 27, 2022

We’ve said all along in the industry that the pandemic presented an opportunity to attract new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones.

GLASGOW (June 27, 2022) – Glasgow-based Barrhead Travel and their parent, Internova Travel Group, say that more holidaymakers are set to return to the high street this year following the release of their latest consumer survey.


The recent survey, conducted as part of their Book Human campaign, found that 81% of UK holidaymakers will consider using a travel agent for their next trip. Notably, the data found that 18-29 age group were most likely to change their online booking habits in favour of turning to a high street travel agent with 62% citing financial protection as the main reason for switching.


When asked the reasons for using a travel expert for booking a holiday, the top answers were:

  1. To ensure holiday plans are financially protected (63%)
  2. To speak to an experienced professional (51%)
  3. Get recommendations from a travel expert (42%)
  4. Receive support on travel guidance post-pandemic (38%)

As cost-of-living becomes front of mind, the results indicated that price and value for money was the most important consideration when booking a holiday. The top five most important things were:

  1. Price and value for money (89%)
  2. Guaranteed financial protection (65%)
  3. Flexible booking options (51%)
  4. Booking with a trusted business (44%)
  5. Getting first choice of accommodation and destination (43%)

Jacqueline Dobson, President of Barrhead Travel, said the findings chimed with their own feedback from stores across the country who were welcoming new customers and younger demographics:


“We’ve said all along in the industry that the pandemic presented an opportunity to attract new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones.


“Customers are entrusting reputable travel agents with their holiday plans with a notable growth in younger demographics who may have previously booked independently online.


“As well as seeking robust financial protection and expert advice, people are time-poor and have realised the value of a good travel advisor extends much further than they may have realised. Extensive research, price-comparison, itinerary planning, booking excursions and arranging paperwork are all time-consuming activities – but it’s what we, as travel experts, thrive on. Some of our new customers simply can’t believe they’ve not turned to an agent in the past.”


Barrhead Travel’s booking levels are frequently breaching 2019 numbers and are recruiting for travel advisor positions across the network to meet accelerating demand across their retail network.


About Barrhead Travel

Since it was founded in 1975, Barrhead Travel has expanded from a traditional ‘bucket and spade’ travel agent to a multi-faceted travel group offering bespoke holidays to all corners of the globe, running an in-house training facility, employing specialist consultants providing expert advice in areas such as long haul, cruise and touring holidays, and promoting youth employment through its apprenticeship scheme. Its network of stores span across over 85 locations throughout the UK.


The company has won many awards over the years, the most recent including Best Touring and Adventure Travel Agency and has been named Best Travel Agency in Scotland for 19 years running. The Barrhead Travel Stress Free Guarantee means holidays are fully financially protected and offer customers extra peace of mind when holidaying abroad with access to 24/7 support services.


Barrhead Travel is a brand of Travel Leaders Group, a division of Internova Travel Group.

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