Studies have shown that online travel booking has increased, while the number of bookings by store-front travel agencies has decreased. However, the situation is not all doom and gloom for traditional agents. Sharon Ireland, 25, of Australia, recently discovered that the convenience of the Internet doesn't always compare with having an expert to speak with about a trip. Ireland, who has traveled quite a bit without using a travel agent, was recently converted by some friends who did. "The personal knowledge, hints and assistance with adjusted travel plans ensured their travel was seamless," she says. "This has prompted me to do the same for the future."

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