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Flight Centre flies the flag for bricks-and-mortar travel agents

Source: Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=15,867).

Although booking holidays and accommodation online is now well and truly mainstream among Australians of all ages and technological inclinations, traditional travel agents retain an important place in the nation’s tourism industry. Not only do several agents with bricks-and-mortar presences feature among the most popular travel agents/tour operators used by Australian holiday-makers, but many Australians say they would consider using them for their next trip, according to the latest Roy Morgan Research State of the Nation report.

In the 12 months to June 2015, 13 million Australians 14+ (or two-thirds of the population) took at least one holiday. Data from the latest Roy Morgan Research State of the Nation — which contains an in-depth spotlight on the tourism industry — reveals that Flight Centre was the top travel agent/tour operator used by holidaying Aussies during this time.

With a comfortable lead over both its online and bricks-and-mortar rivals, Flight Centre was used by 9.4% of the population for a holiday at least once between July 2014 and June 2015.

In second place is dedicated online agent, used by 5.8% of Australians; ahead of booking websites (5.2%), (3.7%) and (3.2%).

Top 15 travel agents/tour operators used at least once for holiday, last 12 months


Source: Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=15,867).

Well down the list (in eleventh place overall), helloworld was the second-most popular travel agent with a bricks-and-mortar presence, used by 1.3% of Australians, with other chains Harvey World Travel (1.3%) Escape Travel (1.1%), and STA Travel (0.7%) bringing up the rear.

Flight Centre also tops for consideration

Flight Centre’s lead is even more resounding when it comes to the travel agents/tour operators that Australians would consider using for their next trip. Almost a quarter (23.6%) of the population say they’d consider using the chain, well ahead of (10.9%), (10.0%), (9.4%) and (7.2%).

Again, other agents with bricks-and-mortar stores feature among the top 15, but none come close to Flight Centre in terms of popularity.

Top 15 travel agents/tour operators consider using for next holiday or leisure trip


Source: Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey (Australia), April 2014 – March 2015 (n=15,867).

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The latest State of the Nation confirms that Flight Centre’s long-standing position as Australia’s leading travel agent remains unchallenged. Having such a strong brand presence (more than two thirds of the population have heard of the company) certainly helps, as does the fact that it has a comprehensive online offering on top of its traditional stores.

“Other bricks-and-mortar travel agents such as Harvey World Travel and Escape Travel haven’t done as well, even though the former also has a high recognition rate (almost 60% of the population have heard of it). With Australians increasingly booking part if not all of their holidays online, it is imperative that travel agents adapt and evolve to remain relevant in the digital age.

“Our data indicates that it is not all doom and gloom for bricks-and-mortar chains: not only do Australians still use them (albeit to a much lesser extent than ten years ago), but many are open to the idea of using them for their next trip. Particularly for overseas travel, when specialist knowledge and personal service are often required, bricks-and-mortar agents have the edge over their strictly online rivals.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%