The Amadeus report stated that, in the face of increasingly stiff competition from consumer websites, travel agents have experienced a gradual drop in the degree of influence that they have on a traveller’s final choice of hotel. Fewer than one in three (32%) customers will now accept the agent’s suggestion without question, according to the study, compared with more than one in two (51%) in the 2010 study. Amadeus noted that while travel agents’ advice “remains relevant”, customers now compare agent opinions with consumer websites and online reviews. Travel agents reported that 70% of travellers now check online reviews prior to choosing a hotel, while 62% of customers now conduct price comparisons – up from 48% in 2010. Amadeus noted however, that travel agents can influence travellers’ choice of hotel by cross-selling a greater range of other products and service. The survey found that airport transfers and sightseeing tours represent the biggest cross-selling opportunities, while travel agents are also now offering to help travellers purchase concert tickets, make dinner reservations, and even metro passes. “Travel agents today need to respond to changing consumer preferences by providing a one-stop service to travellers,” said Kartikeya Tripathi, Regional Director of Hotel Distribution for Amadeus Asia Pacific. Get the full story at Travel Daily Asia