Travel Agents Adapt To Stay In Business

By: Roger Munns

Getting ready and planning an annual holiday used to be a relatively easy task - either pay at a travel agent up-front or put down a deposit and make some monthly payments, and holiday companies knew their market, and while some destinations would fade and new ones would appear, it was a steady pretty predictable industry.

Technology, low cost airlines, and people's expectations have changed all that.

Popular holiday destinations for many Europeans included Spain and the islands of Majorca and Menorca.

The traditional two week holiday is fast becoming redundant, with many families now taking two, three and sometimes even four shorter breaks a year, with some of those two or three day trips.

Traditional travel agents are certainly having to adapt to the new world of travel, for not only are they having to rise to the challenge of a different market place for the number of holidays and time taken from a decade ago, but unless they have a strong on-line presence they are in a declining market, as more and more people change from booking at a bricks and mortar store to creating their own holidays on the internet.

A good example of the changing tourist scene is the Menorca holidays market.

The Spanish island's economy is pretty reliant on tourism, and in the seventies, eighties and nineties marketed itself successfully as a quiet destination, with two week package holidays typically taken between June and September the normal tourist season.

But now in an effort to stay as a major player in the European holidays game, the season has been extended from June back to April, and from mid September to early October.

In addition not only is the typical holiday no longer two weeks but one, the island is also marketing itself as a holiday destination good for three and four day breaks.

Although the scenery and terrain may be enough in itself to keep holidaymakers busy for a fortnight, Menorca is rich in culture and history for those who take culture breaks for three or four days. Examples are the collection of ancient stone monoliths which bear tales of prehistoric times.

Daytime summer temperatures hover around the mid to high seventies farenheit on the island, and are mid sixties to mid seventies in the months Menorca is broadening her season for, tourists who might visit in April, May, September and October.

Menorca, like many holiday destinations, has adapted to a fast changing holiday mix, but will no doubt hope that there aren't too many change of habits coming along in the future that might rock the boat.

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