A total of 64% of agents have said they would charge for brochures after reading the story of a London travel agent whose sales jumped20% after adding a £1 per brochure charge.


In an online poll of 225 readers by Travel Weekly, 4% said they already charge for brochures, 64% said they would consider doing it and 32% said brochures should always be free of charge.


Agent Harv Sethi introduced the scheme four months ago at Hackney Travel, owned by Funevents.com, in London. Each time a customer asks to take home a brochure, Sethi charges them £1 and gives them a receipt.


The customers can swap the brochure whenever they wish, and ultimately receive a £5 discount on their booking.


Sethi said the scheme has contributed to a 20% increase in bookings during July and August, prompting other agents to consider adopting a charge.


Norfolk agency Broadland Travel managing director Nick Lee said: “We have been looking at the charge purely from a point of view of incentivising the customer to return. It seems like a good idea.”


However, other agents felt the scheme would only work in certain circumstances. Rutland-based Meadows World Travel manager Julie Northage said: “That’s okay if you are the only agent in the area, but here they would just get it from someone down the road.“


BP Travel Marketing Services director of sales and marketing Steve Martin  welcomed the idea. “I like the idea of brochures having a perceived value. If it is working for Hackney Travel it could work for others. If brochures are kept behind the counter it would encourage interaction between the customer and travel agent.”


Do you charge for brochures? Contact chloe.berman@rbi.co.uk