Online Travel Sites Betting On Offline Services

from the not-quite-how-many-expected-things-to-go... dept

Remember back when people would talk about how online companies were going to wipe out their brick-and-mortar competitors? This was especially supposed to be true of travel agencies -- where the theory was that there was simply no need for them in the face of online competition. Well, apparently that's not true. Travelocity and Expedia are both rapidly rolling out brick-and-mortar kiosks staffed by human employees to help travelers with their travel booking needs in real life, rather than over a computer. So far, these seem most focused on local tourist sight-seeing in tourist-trap areas, rather than full fledged travel agencies, but the fact that both companies are doing this, suggests they've realized the limitations to being online only.


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  1.  
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    Bob, Jan 17th, 2005 @ 4:33am

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    people still want to talk to a person when handling traveling questions. there is something soothing about talking to a person who is kind, helpful, speaks clear English, and knows a bit more about the business than the average traveler.
    granted this gets thrown out the window when the help person is a schmuck, but it seems people tend to get more frustrated, quit, and/or fear they are going to mess up or miss something when they can't speak with someone in person, if not on the phone.
    IMO: smart move by travel companies!

     

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