Although there's a large drop off in travel agency locations in the US - from 30'000 in the mid-1990s to 12,700 today - the number of transactions sold through ARC agencies has fluctuated somewhat, but has stayed at roughly 150 million tickets per year. “Clearly, there’s been lots of consolidation, but the business didn’t go away. Agencies closed locations that weren’t profitable, and they merged and consolidated locations,” says Mike Premo, president and CEO, Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). “The more experiential the trip, that’s when they’re going to look for that advice, that expertise,” says James Kinnard, director of Strategy and Analysis, Expedia. He explained that Expedia receives very few customer calls for simple flight bookings, but 85% of cruise bookings are made with an advisor. “The data shows that something like 70% of international trips are still booked by travel agents,” adds Premo. Get the full story at apex