Last year Thomson, rebranded as Tui, the UK’s biggest travel firm, said it was phasing out printed brochures by 2020. The idea was to replace the brochure with instore technology.
At the time, the managing director, Nick Longman, said that the decision reflected the changing way consumers research and book holidays.
The phase-out of the printed brochure had started some some ago. Tui said it had already cut brochure production by two-thirds during the previous five years, in a bid to phase out brochures all together and replace them “with improved digital infrastructure”.
This year, the Tui have scrapped that decision.
It’s a radical move by the travel company in the light of today’s digital world, but the decision is being made following customer research which revealed that customers do indeed like brochures and that they are an “important part of the customer journey”
In 2016, Tui printed 4.7 million brochures a year, with 56 different titles, at a cost of millions of pounds.
That number has been reduced to 39 this year and all brochure titles are also available in digital format. This scenario is likely to be maintained for the foreseeable future.
Agents working with Tui will continue to receive brochures and Tui said there were “no immediate plans to change this”.
A spokeswoman said:
“We are still committed to reducing our brochure line‑up and will continue to provide lifestyle-led content to inspire customers and assist in the holiday selection and booking process. This includes some printed materials in-store.
“We are more focused than ever on the customer and their journey. With this in mind, we undertook customer research last year which identified brochures are still an important part of the customer journey for some of our customers.”
The first brochure published by Thomson was in 1953 for SkyTours, but they were not the first. Rival travel company Thomas Cook began publishing holiday printed material in 1845.
Do you still use printed brochures? Or do you prefer surfing the net? Or are they not relevant in the digital age?