ARARAT - Alan Dunn plans to take a short break before heading off on an adventure of his own after spending more than 29 years as a travel adviser at Ararat Travel Centre.
Mr Dunn will retire today after witnessing several changes to the travel booking industry, the biggest the move to online computer and internet bookings.
He said before taking up the position as a travel agent he didn't know much about the profession, but wanted to have a go.
"Going from the written reservations to computers made a huge difference," he said.
"It was a bit daunting at the start because I had never used a computer, but it has definitely made life easier."
Prior to that Mr Dunn would have to hand write airline tickets, something which must seem unimaginable to younger generations who can now literally with a click of a button reserve a flight to anywhere in the world.
He said in the time before computers he would have to call the airline, make a reservation and work to a deadline date for the written domestic tickets.
"They took a lot of time to write, sometimes I would have to come back after close and keep writing the tickets because we didn't have an electronic ticketing machine at our office, it was just too expensive," he said.
"We had to work to deadline dates for all our domestic tickets and they were very small so as you can imagine you had to write to size through layers of carbon paper."
Mr Dunn said he was also qualified to write international tickets and in the early years there would have been a 50-50 ratio of bookings for domestic compared with international flights.
"Now people who want to travel domestically just go more and more online, it is more your overseas traveller who will still want to go through a travel agent," he said.
Mr Dunn said the age of people he prepared flights or trips for wasn't skewed by generations with people of all ages still taking advantage of his experience and expertise.
He said he hadn't been stuck in the Ararat office the entire 29 years with trips to Asia, the United Kingdom and east and west coast of Canada giving him valuable opportunities to see places around the world he was so often helping other people get to visit.
Since the turn of the century the reliance on the internet has grown, but Mr Dunn said he didn't believe travel agencies would die out.
He said there was definitely a trend to cutting out the middle man with airlines offering online booking services but that someone at some level would always want the assistance of a travel agent.
Mr Dunn said he plans to take it easy for a while before embarking on the next chapter of his life, one that will involve travelling Australia.
He said he believed Australia was as good a travel destination as any around the world, but its size and expense unfortunately sometimes worked against it.