I agree, there are a plethora of travel agents all over London, but they must be experiencing difficult times, and not just because of the downturn.
I honestly cannot remember the last time that I used one to book a holiday, I remember going in Thomas Cook at Surrey Quays in order to split a €100 note into two €50's so that I could enclose one each for my two German grand-children for their Christmas gift, but that's it.
Travel agents were okay in the '70s and '80s when most people wanted a two week trip to the Costas/Greek Islands/Portugal/Majorca/Ibiza wherever. Just give the agent the money, then turn up at the airport.
People evolve, things and horizons change.
Following my divorce in 1973, until I eventually surrendered to the inevitable in 1981, I would travel to Heathrow or Gatwick, scan the departure board, make a choice and go wherever I fancied, hop in a taxi on arrival to a decent hotel then chill out by the pool or beach until I got low on cash then regretfully return to this blighted isle.
For years now my wife and I have rented a house wherever we want to go, via various websites, then arrange flights/car hire the same way.
Get off the plane, pick up the car, make sure that I get the seat that has no steering wheel in front of it, and go where you want, when you want, ( pull into that bar's parking lot love, I'll have a sensible vodka and tonic and you can have a diet coke).
Those group meetings in the hotel lounge where reps try to sell you trips and excursions, and advise you how much a postcard stamp costs, and where the Post Office is are a nightmare from the past thank Christ.
You've brought back memories of my first ever foreign holiday, Tom. August 1966, two weeks Majorca. Can't remember how much it cost, but I do remember taking thirty quid spending money and coming back with a fiver. A Bacardi and Coke cost the peseta equivelent of one shiling and sixpence, (seven and a half pence in today's dosh.) It was two thirds Bacardi in the glass and a bottle of Coke by the side to top up. Me and my three mates met at West London Air Terminal and got the coach to 'London Airport.) It wasn't called Heathrow back then. The plane was an old turbo prop, but it got us there and back.
Seems like yesterday.