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A new study from Holiday Which? has found that people who book their holidays through a high street travel agent are paying over the odds when compared to the deals available online.

The group investigated four tour operators, First Choice, MyTravel Group, Thomas Cook, and Thomson, basing its research on a two-week holiday for two adults and one child in Majorca.

As well as finding differences in pricing between the four travel agents and ‘costly extras’ added to the price quoted in the brochure, Holiday Which? found that, in every case, identical holidays were cheaper online.

In one example, a holiday at the Sol Magaluff Park Hotel was quoted in Thomas Cook’s brochure at £2,165, while the equivalent holiday was £1,697 when booked online – a saving of £468.

With such savings on offer, it’s no wonder that the internet is becoming the most important channel for researching and booking holidays.

According to recent Nielsen//NetRatings figures, 55% of UK internet users book their holidays online, while a further 17% research online then buy over the telephone. Only 7% of internet users research and buy holidays from high street travel agents.

Graham Charlton

Published 9 January, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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