As well as innovative new competition from the web, traditional travel firms have been hit hard by the recession and more recently unrest in popular destinations. The Foreign Office has warned against all but essential travel to Egypt, for instance. Casualties last year included the Northampton-based chain Bowen Travel Group, which had 38 branches. Even the original travel agent, Thomas Cook, was forced to embark on radical restructuring that led to the loss of 2,500 jobs and closure of 195 branches. “The writing’s been on the wall for some time, now the internet is really taking over,” said Anthony Cork of Wilkins Kennedy. Travellers have been able to serve themselves online for years, but the new wave of do-it-yourself service, led by AirBnB, allows them to completely bypass the traditional travel industry by booking rooms direct from home owners. Get the full story at The Telegraph