Skift Take

Although this is the first US flagship store in the travel agency’s 60-year history, it has plans to build 15 additional domestic locations over the next 5 years. Who knew?

Despite the proliferation of conversation surrounding things like Apple Passbook’s boarding passes or the fierce competition between online booking sites, it might be surprising to find out that travel agencies are still around and growing.

Liberty Travel went so far as to open its first U.S. flagship store this month with three times the number of employees of a regular outlet.  Is this the desperate last breath of a dying breed or a surprising sign of strength?

The store, located on Madison Avenue between 39th and 40th, is divided into five zones to target customers’ needs. There’s Flight, Cruise, MyTime with resort options, and Discover where in-store events cover specific destinations or brands.

This traditional store incorporates some aspects of the 21st century in its Explore Zone where six iPads are located for customers to browse pictures and destinations while they wait to speak with a live employee.

The back of the store, separated by a glass wall, houses the corporate travel management subsidiary, FCm Travel Solutions, where appointments with consultant are available.

We’d love to hear from our readers whether you still visit your local travel agency, which our founder, Rafat Ali, aptly describes as, “such a novelty these days.”


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Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

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Tags: nyc, otas, travel agents

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