Monday, 9 January 2012

Take a break from hackneyed travel copy

By avoiding overused phrases and describing destinations in a fresh way, you can revitilise your travel copy.

Where can you go to absolutely guarantee ‘crystal clear water’, ‘friendly locals’ and all manner of ‘breathtaking views’? Somewhere ‘off the beaten track’? Or perhaps somewhere in the ‘beating heart of the city’?  The standard travel brochure, that’s where.
The brochure did say 'off the beaten track'

Unfriendly locals and unspectacular views
Anyone who’s ever written any travel copy will be guilty of using some of these gems. I’ll hold my hands up and admit I’ve placed a few hotels in ‘picture perfect’ locations.

The problem with using these trite phrases is that, they’re so worn out they’ve all but lost their meaning. And if copy loses its meaning, it ceases to do its job. When a consumer reads a travel brochure they should be able to feel the sand beneath their feet and taste the local cuisine. The words must evoke the destination in such a way that the consumer isn’t just willing to hand over hundreds or thousands of pounds – they’re eager to. 

Fresh, dynamic language is the only way to achieve this. In late 2011 we were given this very brief by Planet Cruise. In addition to evoking their destinations and the cruise experience, they felt they offered a different proposition to competitors. However, this wasn’t shining through in their literature. Our task: make the selling points come alive.

Johnnie Boden, Richard Branson, Jenny West
We racked our brains on how to do this before realising the answer was staring us right in the face. Literally.

Mrs Planet Cruise herself.
The company’s founder, Jenny West, hosts a weekly show on a shopping channel. Her infectious enthusiasm meant she’d picked up something of a following. What’s more, she embodied everything that was great about Planet Cruise: she was fun, knowledgeable and utterly devoted to cruising. So we suggested we write the copy as if it was penned by her. She became the company’s new tone of voice.

This departure from standard travel copy gave the brochure a new vitality. Our new tone was quirky, enthusiastic and a little playful. But it was always well informed and never flippant. It gave a fresh energy to the products.

Suit not sombrero
Of course, this route isn’t always an option. For a start, not all companies have such an obvious spokesperson like Jenny. And secondly, not all target audiences appreciate a slightly offbeat tone.

Last year also saw us encounter the more corporate side of travel copy. We were charged with writing the company profile for Dubai based luxury hotel brand, Jumeirah. The brochure was mainly to be used as a point of reference for the CEO when he was in meetings with potential investors and business partners.

This dictated that it had to be more about cold, hard facts and less about warm, soft beaches. Of course, that’s not to say it could be completely devoid of flair.

Despite being aimed at different audiences, both brochures were selling distinctiveness. By avoiding the laborious, cliché-ridden sentences and evoking destinations in new ways, they both have a far higher chance of doing just that.


  1. Ah. I step away from the blog for a couple of weeks and our comments section descends into this? A rabble of thinly veiled promotions? Is this what the internet's come to? And here I was expecting some intellectual debate. Ruby, Ashley, I'm disappointed.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work. Visit This Link For: Travel

  6. There are many reasons why firms offer diminished, or marked down travel bargains, running from flights, up to bundles which incorporate a few segments, comprehensive in one cost.

  7. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and the biggest city in the country with such a variety of vacation destinations to investigate and appreciate. It offers many energizing exercises which visitors can involvement by utilizing Seoul travel bundles.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Even the words like alluring and fascinating cannot do full justice when it comes to describing this

  10. Flawless and legendary blog, Full of sublime and virtuosic words.

  11. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. Canada eTA Visa

  12. Many families are finding it hard to come up with the money to take a vacation, with the rise in prices for almost everything in the last few years.

  13. One of those online diaries that has left a significant impact on the hearts of the individuals.
    Get More Information

  14. I really enjoy reading and also appreciate your work.
    hotel search engines

  15. I think this is a standout amongst the most huge data for me. What's more, i'm happy perusing your article. Be that as it may, ought to comment on some broad things, The site style is flawless, the articles is truly extraordinary : D. Great job, salud

  16. Amazingly written blog that has transfixed its audience.
    segway stockholm