I have enjoyed reading your on-line journal and was intrigued by your article titled “Death of the Brochure.” I am a researcher and a part-time tour operator, so this is an interest area for me.
I have just completed a study on this topic and have copied it below the executive summary. One finding was that for the during-trip stage, the brochure was by far the most important source of information, compared to visitors centers and the internet. So it is still very heavily relied upon at this stage. I am involved in a study now on how the wireless web may impact the need for brochures in the future.
As an outfitter running river trips in Utah (Adrift Adventures Inc., www.adrift.com) the majority of our new contacts now come through the internet. But by far the majority of people still want to have a brochure in hand before they will book with us. We have not improved our brochure in several years and it doesn`t seem to have hurt us. It is clear that the importance of having an outrageous, flashy and very costly brochure is declining for smaller outfitters. At the same time the brochures of the largest and most expensive companies continue to get more elaborate, bigger and more costly.
I think for the pre-departure stage of trip planning some day all the outfitters will cut back on the size and cost of brochures, but it isn`t here yet.