Four out of five small and medium-sized (SME) travel and tourism companies believe this week’s hike in UK postal charges will affect their business.
Almost one in ten fear the increases could be damaging enough to put them out of business, according to a survey for business communications group Pitney Bowes.
The survey of 1,000 SMEs found 81% of travel and tourism companies believe the increased rates will have a negative impact on their business and 8% “fear they may not survive”.
The price of the UK first-class post rose from 46p to 60p on Monday and second class from 36p to 50p. The survey found 30% of SMEs expect to send less post or to change the way they communicate to cut costs in other ways.
Seven out of ten (69%) and said they were unaware the increases would be so high and agreed advance information on the charges was “poor and confusing”. One in two SMEs across the economy agreed they fear the postal charges will have a “big impact” on their business.
Pitney Bowes UK marketing director Phil Hutchison said the rise in charges would “inevitably have an impact on SMEs“. However, he said: “It is important businesses don’t panic. Traditional print campaigns are likely to remain critical [to marketing].”
Hutchison suggested businesses move to ‘metered mail‘ - sending printed, self-addressed envelopes or postcards to clients. He said an alternative was to fold A4 documents into a letter format, which would reduce the cost of larger first-class mail from 90p to 60p and second class from 69p to 50p.
The cost of franked mail also remains lower than standard postage rates, at 44p for first class (up from 39p) and 31p for second, up from 28p.
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