Travel Agents

Does the travel industry have a brochure problem?

Chimu Adventures is challenging the industry to use fewer brochures.

Through a recent survey, the Latin America and Polar travel company found 68 per cent of travel agents they work with receive too many brochures and 96 per cent would prefer to order brochures instead of being sent a large initial distribution.

According to Chimu, the travel industry, driven by unspoken demand, has been locked in a brochure oversupply for many years.

“It has long been perceived that travel agents need something in hard copy to give to clients to convert their enquiries into bookings, which, as many savvy agents will tell you, is just not the case,” Said Greg Carter, Co-founder of Chimu Adventures.

“They are better to build a relationship with potential clients from the outset, instead of giving them a brochure.

“Agents should be requesting an email address and controlling the communication by creating a rapport based on their knowledge, something that money just can’t buy.”

Carter said wholesalers also need to look at their methods of educating and training in the industry.

“It’s no longer good enough to drop a brochure and tick it off as a sales call.  There is a gross overuse of the printed brochure and we implore the entire industry to seek environmentally friendly training methods,” he said.

While Chimu acknowledges that the printed brochure still has a place in the industry, they firmly believe that sending smaller initial brochure distributions and educating travel agents about companies and products through sustainable resources can effectively equip travel agents with the tools to be able to sell confidently and even receive a higher rate of conversion.

“We understand there is a perceived demand for hard copy brochures in the industry, but stress that there are more effective ways of selling,” Chimu’s Sales and Product Manager, Sarah Baxter said.

“We have already taken steps to reduce the number of brochures we produce. We, instead, channel our efforts into more effective training methods where we help our agents to reach their clients online.

“We emphasise the importance of relationship building and knowledge sharing and we personally help our travel agents to achieve this.

“Don’t let a potential client walk out of your door without leaving their contact details. An email address gives you a powerful tool to showcase your knowledge base and as a natural result your bookings will increase.”

The statistics on brochure usage come from a survey which was prompted by Chimu’s Travel Revolution movement; a movement about challenging the mainstream mindset of the travel industry.

The positive news is that 83 per cent of the travel agents surveyed recycle any unused brochures when they become invalid. Chimu, however, believe that as an industry we need to address the number of brochures being sent in the first instance.

“Just as we confronted the dominant mentality of the industry with our Travel Revolution concepts for product, we want to set the next challenge of how to sell more of this product without relying on hard copy brochures which have a significant environmental impact,” the company said in a statement.

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