Travel Brochures – The Fantasy Versus the Reality

Travel Brochures Pisstake Time!

We’ve seen thousands of them before.  All sorts of destinations and activities. Have you ever walked past a travel agent, spotted glossy Travel Brochures, flicked through them and thought to yourself ‘Wow, I’d love to go there!  That place looks fantastic!’

That’s right, you’ve just been sucked in by your travel fantasies! Your brain is playing tricks on you!

Some of us may have been persuaded into travelling somewhere because of these glossy Travel Brochures, only to be disappointed to turn up to something you weren’t quite expecting.

Basically, like any other industry, the travel industry produces copious amounts of intense marketing to ensure they can fleece as many dollars as possible from our hard earned salary.  Marketing can include special deals, professional brochures showing azure waters and white becahes, and other tricks to play with our emotions and desires.

For example, have you noticed the flood of tropical holiday getaway commercials on TV during the middle of winter?


Marketing can often create a Travel Fantasy that is often crushed into the Travel Reality once we turn up to a destination with a pre-conceived impression.

Anyway, I’ve come up with a list of terms that attempt to shear through this marketing jargon of Travel Brochures.  Keep these in mind when you read the next glossy travel brochure you obtain from a travel agent.

Travel Brochures – The Terminology

Here goes:

Travel Brochure Term:Really Means:
Beachfront5 blocks away from the beach
Clean RoomsHas the least number of bed bugs in town
Convenient locationConveniently located 20 km from a convenient location
Full of SurprisesBe surprised if you’re not robbed
Glorious SunshineSkin cancer paradise
Obtaining a visa is easyOnce you have bribed the immigration officer
Party TownTown full of boozed up bucks party (stag party) participants
Popular DestinationTourist Trap
Relaxed AtmosphereMarijuana use is widespread
SafeLocated behind a 10 metre brick wall + an electric fence.
Shopping MeccaCity is full of massive shopping malls
Transfers IncludedWithin an unroadworthy form of transport
Uncrowded beachesStretch out and you’ll touch someone

What other Travel Fantasy terms have you come across?

Leave a comment with your Travel Fantasy Term and its Travel Reality definition!

More Stuff on Travel Brochures

You can check out more with See the USA: The Art of the American Travel Brochure.

You can view your other Travel Fantasies at my 52 Perfect Offbeat Travel Tips, or 52 Travel Tips for Weird Food and Drinks.

You probably won’t find these in any Travel Brochures!

Travel Brochure Term:

Really Means:

Transfers Included

The minibus driver has a deathwish


5 blocks away from the beach



Clean Rooms

Has the least number of bed bugs in town

Convenient location

Conveniently located 20 km from a convenient location

Glorious Sunshine

Skin cancer paradise



Party Town

Town full of boozed up bucks party participants

Popular Destination

Tourist Trap




Located behind a 10 metre brick wall, with either razor wire or an electric fence included.

Uncrowded beaches

Stretch out and you’ll touch someone

Shopping Mecca

City is full of massive shopping malls

Relaxed Atmosphere

Marijuana use is widespread

Obtaining a visa is easy

Once you have bribed the immigration officer

Full of Surprises

Be surprised if you’re not robbed

Feast for the Senses

Relaxing Boat Cruise









About Anthony The Travel Tart

The Travel Tart writes about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Check out ways to say hi below or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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  1. June 29, 2009    

    TravelTart, pretty good post above. Definitely hold some weight. Having worked in a retail agency for a number of years before going online only I can appreciate the annoyance of brochures. What’s worse is, some people still pick their hotel by the few photos and description that is in these paid for brochures. Also, you should see the wastage. Brochures arrive at agencies for free [paid for by the wholesaler and the hotels] and a lot of them are thrown straight out. We tried to recylce some through the local school but we still had too many. We used to through out boxes and boxes each week.

    The downside with the internet is it can become just as corrupt. For a while I relied on tripadvisor but we now know how tainted that can be, and it also attracts only the extreme reviews not what the majority think.

    The decision on where to go and where to stay remains a fine art of word of mouth, internet sites, guidebooks and brochures and combining all of these into some sort of weighted matrix for your decision making.

  2. June 30, 2009    

    Hey Anthony – Great post and very funny!

    I can see a difference though in translation between Australian english and American english – in our brochures “Party Town” means “popular destination for spring-breakers and other hordes of drunken college students” and “Shopping Mecca” means “pretty much every shop sells the same overpriced cheap trinkets, t-shirts, and ugly pottery”….other than those two the rest are spot on…. Thanks for a good laugh!

    .-= TrishaAtTravelWritersExchange´s last blog ..Isnare Article Submission and Distribution =-.

  3. August 10, 2009    

    I guess you can really say “Reality Bites”, and too bad you get to see it when you’re already there. I think it is still best to trust someone else’s review regarding a certain place or vacation destination rather than some brochures handed out by agencies.

  4. saurabh saurabh
    January 10, 2012    

    love to see nice pho nice one thanks

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