TORONTO - The Canadian Automobile Association announced Tuesday it will close seven of its retail stores in southern Ontario, putting 120 people out of work.
The move affects 70 staff at the retail level and another 50 employees at the company's head office in Thornhill, Ont., north of Toronto.
Company officials say while the tumbling economy played a role in their decision, so too did a change in how people are making their travel plans.
''The traditional travel customer is starting to move to a more 21st-century model,'' said Jason Ballantyne, communications manager for CAA South Central Ontario.
''They're booking trips online and they're doing a lot of stuff over the phone. They don't go into the traditional bricks-and-mortar place.''
The CAA's retail outlets offer luggage, passport photos and the company's popular TripTik personalized travel maps. The stores are also staffed by travel and insurance agents.
The affected stores in London, Woodstock, Pickering, Georgetown and Toronto will close their doors for good April 30.
Officials stress the cuts will not affect roadside services.