A holiday boss has rejected a national newspaper prediction that the High Street travel agent is about to become extinct.

Reporting on the findings of a survey of holidaymakers by market research company Mintel, the Daily Mail says the research suggests the demise of the traditional travel agent is because people are choosing to book online.

Laurence Hicks, director of the tour operator and holiday rentals company CLC Leisure, said: "This story crops up with monotonous regularity. Even before the advent of the internet there were predictions that travel agents would disappear when tour operators started selling direct. And yet many years on they are still here along the length and breadth of the country.

"Sure online bookings have taken market share from the High Street but that's nearly all been in the bog standard commodity travel business. The High Street agent provides an expertise and added value service that online providers cannot hope match especially when it comes to complex and premium travel arrangements.

"To suggest that High Street agents are going to become extinct because of competition from the online sector is like suggesting that NHS Direct is going to replace GPs surgeries. It's just not going to happen."

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