Interactive print could breathe new life into travel agent brochures [VIDEO]
The offline travel agent is not dead or going away any time soon, contrary to what many would have the industry or public believe.
The model and process of how consumers search and shop travel products is evolving, for sure, but the smart agents will survive and thrive through a combination of offering online services to work alongside their offline presence, unique product and, lest we forget, experience and knowledge.
One element of the travel agent experience that often still puzzles those determined to write the offline obituary is the popularity of the travel brochure – shelves of magazines containing prices and guides for tour operators and other providers.
But whilst most of the information (and a hell of a lot more, inevitably) is available on the websites of the operators, potential customers still leave their local travel agent with a arm full of brochures.
Let’s face it, digital versions of the brochures (like digital newspapers and magazines) are unwieldy and the user experience is poor.
So perhaps the smart operators and travel agents will have a think about how to take the physical brochure to the next, digital level.
In what is being pushed as the world’s first interactive advertisement, Motorola recently placed an add in the US version of Wired magazine to plug its Moto X brand.
Using wafer-thin LEDs and batteries (created by a marketing technology company, Digitas), readers tap the controls on the page to change the colour of the device on the page.
Gimmicky (and no doubt pricey), of course – but the nascent technology is there and, like the travel agent, will evolve.
Here is a clip:
Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.