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Print lives: the travel brochure is still relevant

May 15th, 2018 | | industry

For decades, tour operators (Edit. + activity & accommodation providers and destinations) have been printing costly paper brochures in order to better illustrate and sell their destinations and itineraries. And despite the hefty investment, the onset of the internet, the proliferation of email and social media and talk of virtual reality and artificial intelligence being the wave of the future, those tangible brochures are proving that, against all odds, not only is print not dead, it’s experiencing a comeback.

“For years, we said, ‘Okay, the brochures are going to go away,'” said Ginny Caragol, executive director of leisure for Valerie Wilson Travel in New York. “But as I’ve seen them coming back and having a second life, I think they’re going to stay here for a while.”

What Caragol and other travel sellers say they have noticed is that, rather than fade into obscurity as agents and consumers have moved to relying more on their mobile devices and on web-based materials, paper brochures are in the midst of a bit of a renaissance. The current revival of the print brochure is being fueled by demand from travelers, both young and old, as well as by the fact that travel companies have seriously upped their brochure game of late.

“People still like to have something tangible that they can hold in their hands,” said Amy Eben, of Travel Leaders Travel Advantage in Sioux Center, Iowa. “They want to walk out of the door of an agency and take something with them to remember the conversation. They want to be able to take notes and mark certain resorts and itineraries and then share it with their friends. We often hear clients say, ‘We are getting together with our friends this weekend and will discuss the options.’ A paper brochure makes that easier.”

While some travel agents noted that it’s often their older clientele who still want to have and engage with paper brochures, the medium is also back in vogue with younger travelers.

Adam Cooper, president of Contiki USA, said, “Interestingly, there is a bit of a trend toward ‘analog’ with millennials and Gen Z. We’re seeing that with the revived popularity of vinyl over digital streaming, or books over e-readers. It’s all part of the overall nostalgia trend.”

Contiki released a 2018 brochure that feels much more like a glossy travel magazine, complete with colorful features, travel tips and engaging photography, a total departure from the paper brochures of the past. Those early brochures were crammed with itinerary and pricing details, all of which can now be obtained online, arguably more easily and with more up-to-date info.

“We try to make our brochures much closer to an editorial publication than to a catalog,” Cooper said.

Less information, more inspiration

While brochures are no less relevant today than they were before access to the internet became so prolific, the purpose of the brochure has evolved to complement rather than compete with the web.

 

Source and more reading: Travel Weekly