Opinion: Why the holiday brochure is still alive and kicking

Following Tui Travel’s decision to phase out brochures by 2020, Funway Holidays MD Stephen Rhodes says print is not dead it’s getting more exciting than ever

In the digital era that we live in, there is a belief that print is dead and it’s only worth advertising on the web or mobile to generate bookings.

The reality is that travellers still love print. Demand at Funway continues to prove this point, with brochure orders from travel agents seeing a modest 3% increase from this time last year.

Feedback from our agents shows it’s clear customers switch between online and traditional channels during the booking process so it’s important a tour operator gives equal prominence to both offline and online channels and ensure cohesion between the two.

Although we’ve re-developed our dedicated trade website and improved our social media activity with more innovative competitions and incentives we will not forget the brochure.

There’s no better way to decide on a holiday destination or a hotel, than picking up a brochure to look through back home on your sofa with a cuppa in hand.

Researching your holiday should be a positive experience and a brochure definitely ticks this box. The brochure can tap into a more aspirational post-purchase feeling.

The buyer keeps the document at hand and flicks through it as they would a lifestyle magazine and the physical ink-on-paper aspect is intrinsic in their relationship with their purchase.

Brochures are particularly popular for high-value items, especially where the time taken between making the decision to purchase and actually experiencing the product can be lengthy. Booking a holiday is a good example.

Add to this, some of our holidays, such as the more crafted and tailor-made itineraries including fly-drives, multi-centres, rail holidays and escorted tours, customers tend to benefit from using a brochure to guide them.

Our brochure style is constantly developing to meet customer needs, with a focus on providing much more detailed information such as comprehensive maps, weather and climate, top experiences and useful information such as flight times.

It really is a mixed media world, and both print and digital are important, and that is why we are providing travel information on all platforms – a multi-media approach is essential. However travel shops and brochures go hand in hand; brochures are an integral part of most high street holiday sales.

Consumers still want printed brochures, and it’s important to recognise that the holiday brochure is still very much alive and kicking and if a company chooses not to provide them – their competitors will!

Even with huge websites full of content, print still captures the imagination.

It’s eye catching and draws you in to read and keep the product. It is proven that consumers do scan one side, at the very least of any print product used or put in front of them. Look and think of bill boards, banners, posters, signs – these are all effective printed products that catch your eye and draw you in. A customer physically takes your brochure with them and holds on to it.

Print stands without using any technology by the consumer. How many times have you wanted to do something on your phone when you don’t have a signal or Wi-Fi connection? Plus we all have those moments in life when we want to unplug, turn off the computer, tablet and mobile phone, just to have a break preferring to engage with magazines and books.

So how can people think that print is dead? Print is not dead, it is just changing and adapting, and with online and offline integration, print is actually getting more exciting than ever.

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