It’s late August and you know what that means: a mailbox full of
brand-new tour operator brochures.
Scores arrive daily. Glossy page after glossy page showing
couples gazing at pink-streaked skies, couples frolicking in the
surf and couples enjoying some private joke, interspersed with
descriptions of the Tokyo at Night excursion and single supplement
It was this avalanche of marketing that came to mind as I read
that a second U.K. operator, Panorama Holiday Group, has put its
2003-2004 brochures online. Big headline. Discussion topic at a
recent British trade convention too.
It’s not such a big story in the States. Most operators here
have been posting brochure content for years. And some, like the
luxury operator Travcoa, are using print to direct readers to their
Web site for all the tiny-type details.
There’s a real benefit to the Internet versions that, while
perhaps small in scale, is still mighty in principle: saving paper
and relieving our landfills of boxes and boxes of unused, outdated
Tom Stanley, president of Travcoa, told TravelAge West recently
that he doesn’t believe operators will go to online-only brochures
in the near future. “People want to hold something. They want to
bring something to show their friends. Even companies that are
doing their brochures online are doing print collateral as a back
up,” he said.
Meanwhile, Owen Whitehead, Panorama’s marketing director, told
the U.K. trade press that his company’s decision was based on the
perception of “wastage and oversupply of brochures in the
Ever the businessman, he also noted that it cost 1 pound, or
about $1.60, to produce and distribute each brochure. So Panorama
may save money, particularly by updating information online rather
than printing a third or fourth edition of a piece.
Save money and help the environment. What a concept!