Flight Centre may not have been the most utilised Travel Agent for Aussie holiday bookings last year but it was definitely the one front of mind, according to a new study.

Latest Roy Morgan research revealed that Flight Centre retained its popularity and brand awareness throughout 2016, with some 23.4 percent of Australians saying they would consider booking their next holiday through the group.

The traditional model toppled online travel planner Bookings.com, which sat in second place with 13.6 percent of Aussies saying they’d consider booking with the online site.

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Airbnb managed to claw its way up the chart to gain consideration from 10.7 percent of Australians, while 4.7 percent said they’d think about going through Helloworld.

Although Flight Centre may have been ahead of the rest for considered bookings, the agency group fell slightly short when it came to actual bookings and for the first time did not occupy the number one spot on the list of ‘travel agents used at least once in 2016’.

Some nine percent of respondents admitted to using Flight Centre over the 12 months to secure their holidays, three percent less than those utilising Bookings.com.

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Roy Morgan Research Industry Communications Director Norman Morris said that while the shift is “big news” because it signified the rise of online-only operators, the study also revealed that traditional stores have the edge with face-to-face service consumers are still very much looking for.

“Flight Centre is clearly still viewed positively by Australians, topping the ‘consideration set’ for future holiday use.”

Norman Morris, Roy Morgan Research Industry Communications Director

“Importantly, Roy Morgan data indicates that Flight Centre was more popular than any of its online-only rivals among Aussies who headed overseas on their last trip.

“While there is no denying the ease and convenience of the friction-free booking experience provided by web-based travel agents, bricks-and-mortar stores have the edge when it comes to personalised service—and Roy Morgan’s Holiday Tracker can help them identify those travellers for whom this is especially important.”

Click here for the full results.

What are your thoughts on the study?