Only 1 in 4 S'poreans uses travel agency
A survey of 1,000 Singaporeans last year by travel search engine Kayak showed that only about 26 per cent turn to traditional travel agents when planning their holidays.
More than half (61 per cent) said they consult online travel agencies.
This seems to also be reflected in government and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) statistics.
From 2010 to 2015, the number of Singapore residents who made outbound flights increased by 31 per cent, according to Immigration & Checkpoints Authority statistics.
But over the same period, STB figures showed that the number of travel agents who have closed shop here has increased - from 92 in 2010 to 119 last year.
In an e-mail reply to The New Paper, Mr Clifford Neo, chairman of the outbound travel committee at the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas),acknowledged the challenges its 400 members face.
"It is important that bricks-and-mortar travel agents work towards adapting to the changing times," he said.
"Many travellers still prefer in-person bookings that come with a human touch and allow for customisation and last-minute changes."
He urged travel agents to transform their business processes to focus on personalised services so as to reach out to new customers.