Luxury travel operators have said they will not stop producing brochures despite their environmental impact. Panellists at WTM’s Luxury Debate agreed that although the effects were doing nothing for their carbon footprint, the benefits to travel agents and consumers were clear. “In an ideal world we wouldn’t have brochures but people like them and sit with them,” said Sally Bond, marketing manager at the Eden Luxury Group. Kerry Gold, tour operations director at Western & Oriental Travel added that brochures were also important for the trade and that the style of editions had changed. “More operators have gone for a coffee-table style brochures because it is more inspirational lead and consumer habits have changed so much,” she said. Paul Cleary, managing director at Caribtours and Private Travel Company also realised the importance of brochures to agents. “90% of our trade is through travel agents and it is a very crowded market,” he explained. “Brochures are relevant but also tangible and portable.” Meanwhile the panellists, who were also joined by Alastair Poulain from Original Travel and Andrew Loyd from Loyd and Townsend Rose, said that luxury travel has continued to be popular this year despite a series of disruptive events. Bond revealed that Seasons’ core products had seen 15-20% growth, while its tailormade programme has increased 70%, although these numbers are ‘inflated’. Likewise, Western & Oriental Travel has had a ‘positive 2010’ that focused on company integration. “We had a strong start to the year until the skies shut in April and the latter has been more challenging,” said Gold.