It's been a story for years. The high street as we once knew it is changing and no matter what traditional travel agencies do, they seem to be losing out to OTAs and aggregators.
So news this weekend of the closing of even more of Thomas Cook's high street retail stores has, whilst not a complete shock, highlighted the issue once again.
High street brands have been focused on innovation to help stem this flow of blood. Introduction of VR, personalised experiences, and partnerships with department stores have acted as a plaster, but inevitably this has proved to be just a temporary measure.
To really secure their place (or not) on the high street, travel agencies need to look at the root cause of the problem - the issue of convenience in today's fast paced, internet everywhere, 'I want it now' world. In a world where everyone with the disposable income to spend on holidays is moving at 100 miles an hour the traditional travel agent just does not fit.
High street agencies have been designed as places to linger; places to pour through brochures and talk at length to experienced travel professionals. But what if this model, no matter how exciting the technology involved, or how personalised the experience is, simply no longer appeals to consumers?
Online travel researching and buying has become the default for many simply because it can be done in between more pressing tasks. A lunchtime spent scouring the web for that idyllic break can be much more appealing than traipsing down to the high street and queuing in a travel agent.
So perhaps, instead of closing stores, travel agents should look at fixing the basic experience provided to consumers. Forget about introducing robots and start thinking about how to change the setup to appeal to convenience shoppers. Starting at the beginning may be a way to change the ending.
Thomas Cook has said it is planning to close 50 of its 690 stores as part of a review of its UK retail network. The proposed closures will take place by March next year and will affect up to 400 staff at a mix of Thomas Cook and Co-operative Travel branded stores.