For too long travel agents have viewed the web as the enemy. It was never assured that agents would be replaced, unless they were order takers for airline tickets which, of course, too many were only a few years ago. Now increasingly they are becoming destination specialists acquiring detailed knowledge.
Having said that, to apply this know how they need to find an audience and this audience is increasingly turning to the web from the very beginning to research, plan and book vacation trips. Especially the younger generation often has no idea that travel agents even exist and if they do, what they can offer.
I remember an industry panel a year ago, where this became manifestly true on a consumer panel that included a university student who told the audience of agent that she never knew they existed….!
So, yes, agents have a place in the industry and a role to play, but it’s not going to get easier…..