Travel agents have broadly welcomed the late release of summer 2010 brochures by operators.

The big two and some smaller tour operators July, with the aim of focusing agents on selling this summer. Traditionally, they have launched their first-edition brochures in May.

Global Travel Lounge managing director Peter Buckell said the move had helped this year’s late sales. He said: “It does give you an opportunity to move stock for this year.”

Broadland Travel owner Nick Lee said the brochure delay had led to an increase in the number of bookings for next summer.

He said: “It created a real sense of build-up, similar to when customers used to queue up outside the shop. Also, people who normally dawdle on making a decision have made their minds up because they’ve had to wait.”

St Ives Travel Agency owner Steve Murphy said: “I prefer it when operators delay their brochures, as there is only so many you can stock and put on display.”

Can-Am Travel owner Alan Hubbard said his staff gave customers who were desperate for early brochures estimates based on this year’s prices before calling them with the exact price the minute they knew it.

However, Kinver Travel Centre owner Sue Foxall denied the delayed brochures had helped agents focus on late sales, and said: “If someone wants to go away next year, they’re not going to book this year instead.

“Customers want to go, so let’s get the brochures out and get the business in now.”