Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Fri September 09 2016

Is Your Mailbox Being Bombarded With Travel Brochures?

Features & Advice | Janeen Christoff | September 09, 2016

Is Your Mailbox Being Bombarded With Travel Brochures?

 Photo courtesy of Thinkstock 

It’s probably happened to everyone who has traveled. You return from a trip and slowly, travel-related brochures begin to pile up in your mail. Sometimes, there can be so many, it overwhelms your mailbox. Christopher Elliott noted in an article for the Washington Post that this junk mail pile up can often be hard to prevent and avoid. 

Diana Lee Craig took a luxury cruise only to return to a mailbox filled with travel brochures. 

“Now I receive the brochures almost daily,” Craig told Elliott. “I have no intention of going on a cruise ever again. Whenever cruise trips come up in social conversation, this — these brochures — seem to be a huge problem.”

Elliott was able to get Craig removed from the cruise company mailing list, but pointed out that this is only half the battle. 

“Craig will almost certainly continue to receive brochures. The reason: Other parties, such as her travel agent, may have sold her mailing address to a third party. She’s probably on everyone’s mailing list now because she lives in affluent Sonoma County and is tagged as a hot prospect for booking a luxury cruise,” he noted. 

This pervasive marketing is a big problem for the travel industry. Just how do you, as a consumer, control who receives your information when you purchase travel? Federal laws that protect the consumer seem to be inadequate, as Elliott pointed out. 

“While there are several ways to remove your name from these lists, they take time and effort. Her case, and others like it, highlight the inadequacy of federal laws and voluntary compliance by an industry that sometimes doesn’t seem to know when enough is enough,” Elliott said. 

Outreach is often an important part of a travel company’s business — whether you are a travel agent, a tour operator, hotel, cruise line, etc. But if that outreach becomes a nuisance, travelers will ultimately tune out — or worse yet — become turned off of your product as Craig was. 

 READ MORE: How to Master the Art of Budget Travel  

So how can this problem be solved? The answer is complicated and ultimately comes down to a need for more regulation. You can read more analysis on how to resolve these issues in Elliott’s article here


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