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Agents told to ditch “evil” brochures

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Thomas Cook says agencies must be “inspirational”

Travel agencies need to become more “inspirational” and get rid the racks of “evil” brochures, according to Thomas Cook’s digital chief.

John Straw, chairman of Cook’s digital advisory board, expressed his disgust for holiday brochures during a presentation at the Travel Technology Initiative’s spring conference in London.

“We need to change the format of stores,” he said. “They need to be places of inspiration rather than places with rows and rows of brochures.”

He described brochures as being “pure evil” because of the limited information they contain, compared to the details and reviews that can be found on the internet.

“In a brochure you are restricted to 30 or 40 words on each property and every time you want to put in a picture of the hotel it costs more money in printing and distribution,” he said.

Travel companies need to embrace the idea of increasing online content, which does not “cost anything meaningful” to display, he explained. He used the example of Apple’s shops as places which “inspired me with their products”. “Whenever I go into an Apple store I seem to come away having bought something. Travel agencies need to be a lot more inspiring.”

He said that Cook was planning to install new technology in its shops which could determine the gender of customers and then play images of different types of holiday experiences on LCD screens based on whether they were male or female.

TTG Digital

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