Tui has reversed a radical decision to scrap all of its holiday brochures by 2020.
Research last year by the UK's largest tour operator found that the brochure “is still an important part of the customer journey” for some of its clients.
In 2016, Tui, the UK’s biggest travel company, announced that it would phase out traditional brochures by 2020, using digital versions and new technology in their place.
Nick Longman, then-managing director of then-Thomson, said in 2016 that the decision was based on changes in the way customers research and book holidays.
The company was printing 4.7 million brochures a year in 2016, across 58 different titles. This has been reduced to 39 titles in 2019.
A Tui UK spokesperson said the firm is still committed to reducing its brochure line up, but that they are here to stay.
“We undertook customer research last year which identified that the brochure it is still an important part of the customer journey for some of our customers. Because of these findings, we are now referring to the previous ‘brochure reduction strategy’ as a ‘brochure evolution strategy," the spokesperson said.
Its brochure titles are available in print and digital formats. Their printing has been carbon-balanced since 2017, according to Tui.
“We will continue to adapt and work with our customers at the heart of our decisions,” the spokesperson added.
In April, research by easyJet showed that Instagram was replacing travel brochures with holidaymakers choosing where to go based on social media, rather than travel agents.
Among 18 to 65 year olds, more than half (55 per cent) had booked trips based only on images that they had seen on Instagram, according to the airline’s survey.
Despite the rise of social media as a tool for travel inspiration, many UK firms continue to produce travel brochures.
They include Thomas Cook – which produced its first travel handbook in 1845 – as well as Saga, Audley Travel, Riviera Travel, Trailfinders, Great Rail Journeys and the majority of cruise lines.
Thompson published its first brochure for Sky Tours in 1953.
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