In 1996, Microsoft established Expedia, one of the world’s first online travel agencies. Suddenly, people who had been using the World Wide Web for email and chat rooms also could use it to make air, car and hotel reservations.
It seems almost quaint now. Back then, however, it was a revelation.
Travel agents were on notice: Like cobblers, blacksmiths and lamplighters, they were about to become obsolete.
But travel agents — or travel advisors, as they call themselves — didn’t disappear. Instead, they adapted.
“One of the things I hear all the time is, ‘Oh, I didn’t know travel