BP Travel Marketing Services is acquiring rival brochure distribution rival Au Logistics.

BP managing director Paul Markland said the overall number of brochure packages sent out to agents has reduced from 12 million five years ago to seven million today.  This is a reflection of the drop in the number of high street travel agents over the last three years, he said.

Markland said these are the two factors which have driven the acquisition which is being undertaken for an undisclosed sum and which will require regulatory approval.

Markland said: “The current shared distribution model, which delivers a pack of brochures to a high street travel shop anywhere on the mainland for less than the price of a litre of diesel, relies on volume to maintain its economies of scale.

“For understandable reasons brochure print runs have reduced so, by pulling the two sets of volume together, we can maintain the current service levels and pricing.”

He said the cost-cutting will come largely from back office integration and improved delivery consolidation, adding: “This acquisition puts BP and Au in a strong position to deal with the changes the internet is making to the marketing of holidays, any effects from current economic downturn and the consolidation of brands and shops resulting from the four into two mergers of the major tour operators.

“However let’s be upbeat – travel agents and brochures are a valuable part of the holiday sales chain and will be for a long time to come.”