Dec 27, 2016 08:47 AM EST

Travel Agencies & Small Manufacturers Among Industries At Risk of Disappearing

Developments and advancements in technology have led and are likely to lead to a decline in certain sectors forcing industries to either adapt to the new environment and change the way business is run or risk disappearing entirely.

Forbes has arrived at five industries that are in danger of becoming obsolete due to technology. These are financial advisers, travel agencies, small component manufacturers, motor insurers, and car repair garages.

First of all, financial advisers may disappear due to tougher regulation. When advisers’ necessary qualification level was raised, commissions banned, and business models changed, many advisers left the industry.

This also caused a rise in automated financial advice websites that recommend a fund portfolio based on answers to an online questionnaire. Thus, investors turn to these “robo-advisers” rather than paying the raised fees of retail advisers.

Secondly, travel agencies are starting to become obsolete due to the presence of online travel platforms. People are becoming more and more independent when it comes to booking flights by themselves and via online websites.

If this industry wants to stay in the game, it will need to change, says Fritz Joussen, Chief Executive of Tui, the world’s largest tour operator, and Henry Hartveldt, the founder of Atmosphere Research. The latter stated that a niche needs to be found (i.e. booking honeymoons, family getaways, etc.) while the former recommends shifting to another business like owning hotels. 

Third, 3D printers are threatening small industry manufacturers and distributors because in the near future, companies will no longer purchase supplies overseas but print it themselves. According to Bosch Rexroth, private German electronics group’s drive and control unit, up to 40% of manufacturing equipment could be printed in five to ten years.

Another sector is motor insurance. When driverless cars become all the rage and autonomous driving has really kicked off in the streets, it would mean that there are fewer accidents, more safe roads, but also lesser need for insurance.

Furthermore, it is predicted that car manufacturers, and not consumers, will be buying the insurance and will be in a stronger position to sell it than insurance companies themselves. Already, Mitsui Sumitomo and Tokio Marine, big insurance groups in Japan, are looking at other possible insurance products.

Lastly, with low maintenance electric cars, car repair garages are likely to close down. This is because electric cars do not really have anything in them that might be damaged.

According to Steve Nash, the chief executive of the Institute of Motor Industry, “electric mothers need virtually nothing to them.” Car repair garages will need to train on electric cars and gain electrical expertise. 

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