Agents are now suffering from a shortage of brochures – after years of claiming they received too many, according to brochure distribution company BP Travel Marketing Services.
Some big operators have slashed their print runs in recent years, so much so that BP has advised them to increase their output as agents have not been receiving enough.
BP managing director Paul Markland told Travel Weekly: “Complaints about too many brochures have gone away as print runs have been reduced. Now some agents say they aren’t getting enough copies.”
Steve Martin, sales and marketing director, added: “Operators have to be careful not to cut too much as agents still need brochures. Customers might pick up a brochure and then book online or over the phone. But I think the brochure is going to go on and on.”
As BP marks its 40th birthday, it still delivers 300,000 brochures on average a day.
The company’s deliveries have been boosted by operators such as Kuoni and Virgin Holidays increasing their high street presence, as well as traditionally direct-sell tour operators starting to sell through the trade in the past year.
BP’s figures reveal that the number of travel agency outlets (including online agents and call centres) has fallen by 39% over the past 10 years to 4,380. The big two, including The Co-operative Travel shops, make up 45.6% of that figure. Taking into account about 500 homeworkers, the reduction in agencies falls to 32%.
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