Hoseasons is to stop bulk deliveries of brochures to agents.
The landmark decision comes as the operator reports that 75% of third-party bookings are now made online and 90% of customers go online to research breaks.
The domestic specialist will deliver file copies of its three 2018 brochures covering its lodge, holiday parks and boating breaks to agents, but no brochure packs.
Agents can request a new mini brochure with key selling points for the group’s main specialist lodge brands: Autograph Lodge Holidays, Evermore, Go Active Breaks, Wanderwood, Bouja, Daisy Door and boating brand Starboard.
There are no Hoseasons contact details in the brochure, so clients are encouraged to speak to their agent instead.
The radical move follows a recent shift away from brochures by the big two. Tui has pledged to scrap brochures by 2020, while Thomas Cook is moving towards a magazine-style publication.
Hoseasons sales director Sally Henry said the change would safeguard against customers taking brochures from agencies and booking direct. Real-time information and prices helped close a sale, she added.
“Agents said people would come in and pick up brochures, and they would lose the booking,” Henry said. “We have developed an e-tool for agents to show customers the brochure and download the parts they want to give them a better chance of converting [sales].
“Brochure requests have declined from agents because the brochure is genuinely not the best [sales] tool any more. We are not expecting agents to be upset.”
Henry denied the move was to cut costs, and said money saved had been reinvested. Its website is now mobile-friendly “at considerable cost” and offers downloadable offers, posters, videos, testimonials and concessions for agents.
An online training section is due to go live by the end of the year.
Hoseasons has developed technology for agents to link 30,000 properties into their own websites and secure real-time bookings.
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