The shift to digital continues relentlessly: almost 700 high street travel agents closed their shutters in the UK last year, due to stiff competition with online rivals, according to a new report from the Local Data Company (LDC). LDC’s retail and leisure trends report found that 679 travel agency outlets closed in 2017, accounting for the third highest number of business closures among high street sector operators. Pubs saw the biggest decline with 747 outlets shutting their doors, followed closely by banks which closed 711 branches. Ian Bell, head of travel and tourism at RSM, said: “The competition from online travel firms is not a new phenomenon but the pace of decline among high street operators is still quite alarming. Consumers are still choosing to visit the high street in large numbers, but the overwhelming majority prefer the ease and convenience of booking their holidays online.”. Get the full story at Travel Daily