Statistics show travel brochures aren’t going anywhere just yet

Here’s why travel industry professionals – travel companies, agents, tour operators, hoteliers, local attractions, and souvenir providers – still benefit from hard copy marketing materials like travel brochures, pamphlets, and catalogues.

Why do travelers continue to use travel brochures?

Even though we’re so digitally-inclined these days, travel brochures continue to play an important role before, during, and after travel planning. It’s just that what’s highlighted in said brochures – the content – has changed.

There’s more storytelling – and emotions – involved.

Beyond being informational, travel brochures are now carefully crafted to trigger wanderlust. They focus on the destination, experiences, and local culture – not on price lists.

But aside from being a source of inspiration, print brochures:

  • are easy to share with family, friends, or fellow travel companions;
  • conjure old memories – they are a lovely reminder of where you’ve been and what you’ve seen;
  • whet your appetite for the next adventure.

Also, scrapbook enthusiasts love to collect brochures as mementos or remnants of their travels.

Travel brochures aren't going anywhere just yet - they're still a preferred source of pre-trip information and continue to be picked up and used on location
Image: Unsplash/Janice Oppliger

Why travel brochures remain effective marketing tools

E-confirmations are great, downloadable PDF guides awesome, interactive web resources exciting – but when they hit the road, travelers turn to brochures, maps, and print guides more than the internet.

In other words, while the internet may be our first choice for research or obtaining information, once a trip is booked customers still prefer to walk away with something tangible.

Not convinced just yet?

Well, if you’re still undecided about the value of brochures for your travel and tours business, here are the key statistics you need to know.

Demographic data:

  • Studies show that women tend to be the decision makers on a trip
  • They are 3.4% more likely than men to use a brochure at their destination
  • Brochures are capable of influencing travelers in all age groups, having been appreciated and used by:
  • 68% of those 18-24 years of age, i.e. those typically considered ‘digital natives’
  • 80% of those aged 65+

Travelers’ opinions regarding brochures:

  • 54% of visitors view them as “easy to use hardcopy of information
  • 54% find them trustworthy
  • 48% appreciate that they are convenient and always available

The importance of travel brochures to the industry:

  • 79% of visitors picked up a brochure during their travels
  • 73% of visitors were influenced by a brochure at their destination
  • 85% of visitors became aware of an attraction or business because of a brochure that they picked up
  • 73% of visitors would contemplate changing their plans because of a brochure
  • 61% of visitors planned to buy tickets or merchandise that they learned about through a brochure
  • One brochure is shared with 2.5 other individuals on average, which gives printed brochures an average distribution reach of 3.5 readers per brochure

Source: Bentley University CMT 2018 Visitor Survey

Here are three other notable findings:

Even in 2018, brochures were still a prominent source of pre-trip information. And as you can see, on-location use of brochures continues to increase – not decrease! – in spite of the prevalence of the internet, affordable travel Wi-Fi plans and local SIM cards.

Clearly travel brochures complement web materials and are here to stay. So when was the last time you paid attention to the content and quality of yours?