AGENTS and operators have agreed they need to work more
closely together to stem the “huge problem” of brochure wastage.

Operators were criticised for over-supplying while agents
were accused of not keeping tight enough stock controls or telling operators what
they needed.

Andrew Dixon, from St Andrew’s Travel, Bolton, said:
“It’s a huge problem because we get brochures we don’t want. It is
difficult for operators to get it right but they have got to cut back on
wastage.”

Agents claim it costs up to £500 to destroy brochures.

While some called for bar-coded brochures, Independent
Options development director Sue Foxall stressed the need for co-operation.

“I think we can keep the cost of distribution down by
managing and working with operators more,” she said.

Operators stressed agents had to control stocks more
carefully.

Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick said: “At a
retail level, there is no excuse for the level of brochure wastage there is
today.”

ABTA president John Harding added: “More control from
agents would make sure we do not put out brochures willy nilly.”

Operators said they had to produce multiple editions of
brochures because of price changes and could not issue separate price
supplements – allowing just one main brochure – because of Trading Standards
guidelines.

TUI UK managing director Chris Mottershead said: “My
preference would be not to have prices in brochures but trading standards will
not allow that.”

Cosmos MD Terry Williamson added: “If trading standards
let us change our prices on a frequent basis, we could produce one edition of
the brochure. I would love to do that.”