Tour Operators: The end of brochures is getting closer

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Tour Operators: The end of brochures is getting closer

Recent media reports revealed that Thomson and First Choice have pledged to get rid of brochures by 2020.

According to these reports, "Retail staff across the group's 600 travel agencies nationwide are being briefed this morning on the decision to gradually phase out brochures over the next four years and replace them with technology in stores such as digital screens.

The company is also exploring the option of introducing free wi-fi and virtual reality headsets across its travel agency network.

Thomson's concept stores, called Holiday Design Stores, already boast state-of-the-art technology, such as interactive maps, and do not feature brochure racks...

The Tui-owned tour operators currently print 4.7 million holiday brochures a year, with 58 different titles, at a cost of millions of pounds.

Agents will still be able to print out brochure information for customers, while a print magazine - in the style of a glossy magazine - will also be produced for customers to take away and read instead of traditional brochures.

The company, which has already rolled out iPads to its resort teams and airline staff and launched its own app, mobile website and an Apple TV app, also plans to invest more heavily in online videos to "bring holidays to life" and offer more personalised content."

It is almost certain that sooner or later, the example of TUI will be followed by other tour operators as well, if they haven't done so already. This means that the tourist enterprises included in the brochures, mainly accommodation units and travel agencies will have to adjust as well. It will not easy and the time to do so will be limited. Within a digital framework, customers cannot browse as leisurely as they used to, but will have to tick boxes with criteria and filters that guide them according to their interests. Thus, supplying the correct information shall require study, preparation and very good organization.

I imagine that the tour operators themselves will soon initiate a process to inform and support their partners, for the new "tricks" and tools of the trade. In any case, we are definitely moving towards "the end of an era", a turning point for the whole tourist industry, at least in relation to tour operating.

In short, the future is at hand...

 

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