floydbloke: Somehwat off-topic but related. Despite the numerous on-line options available for booking travel and the financial situation of the last few years there must still be money to be made in running a travel-agent shop. I can think of at least 9 within a 1 km radius of the middle of Lambton Quay.
it comes down to knowing what product is right for the customer really. My girlfriend is a travel agent. She puts in a lot of work to make sure the customer is happy.
For people that don't have time to scour the internet to plan a lengthy trip. I'm sure they are a big help. And booking through them generally gives you a point of contact if something isn't right. The agents can work out transit times through multiple destinations. And very easily query suppliers for more info.
Example: People have only booked the flights of their trip through her. but sorted accommodation themselves. They got to their destination only to find what they booked didn't look anywhere near like what it was made out to be, but they were stuck to find an alternative on their own. Which can be pretty daunting in a non-english speaking country. It could have been avoided.
The unfortunate side of things is when the agent spends hours of time working on a quote, gives it to the customer, who then books it all themselves online. It's not a free service the agent is providing.