Given the momentous events that have taken place this week, it would be easy to overlook an announcement made by TUI. The travel giant – owner of the travel brands Thomson and First Choice – will be scrapping printing glossy travel brochures by the end of the decade.
Now we at Explorer Travel recognise that this doesn’t compare with the country’s Brexit decision or the appointment of a new Prime Minister, together with an entirely new Cabinet, but we do see it as the end of an era.
Flicking through travel brochures on a cold rainy day spent indoors was an essential part of the British family holiday. As was arguing over where to go and how much to pay. But TUI’s decision recognises that those days are coming to a close and that most families now opt to search for holidays online instead. Although we think the arguing probably still goes on.
Their decision will mean an end to no less than 58 titles, with a combined print run of 4.7million. Good news for the trees but perhaps not such good news for the printer who printed them. TUI is replacing the brochures with digital screens and tablet in-store as well as ‘immersive walls’ which show videos of destinations. Clearly, to be immersed in the wall, you’ll need to visit one of their shops, which is a good way of maintaining their high street presence.
Rival Thomas Cook has not yet announced that it’s following suit so the rainy day activities can continue at home for a while yet. And in any event, TUI aren’t planning to end the brochures until 2020, so you’ve still got plenty of time to add to your collection.
The first brochure printed under the Thomson brand was in 1953 (for skytours). Now if any of our readers has one of those, in mint condition, preferably still in its original envelope, then we’d like to know.