Jasons Travel Media and AA Travel that are often affectionately referred to as the "The Ugly Sisters".
October is the time when both companies release their traditional door-stop accommodation guides.
I must admit that for a motel-phile like myself, it used to be an exciting occasion when the courier van pulled up outside my reception and delivered the first boxes of guides for the season. Work at the motel would come to a standstill as I hurriedly pawed through the freshly printed pages to see what was new and how fellow moteliers were marketing themselves.
This year the boxes sat around for a few hours before I opened them... after all, the content of the guides is a snapshot of advertising decisions made many months ago. The immediacy of the web has largely replaced my voyeuristic motel fix and I suspect that printed guides have less importance for many end users as well.
It is always interesting to see who can hit the streets first and this year the winner is.......Jasons!
Soon after opening the box, the first thing I noticed was that Jasons have continued their slimming program with the guide over 100 pages lighter than last year.
After having a rest last year, it's good to see that Jasons have continued the tradition of placing a picture of people on the front cover.
The title of the guide has also changed: from Motels, Apartments and Motor Lodges to Motels, Hotels and Apartments. The phrase "Motor Lodges" has been dropped (this was always just another term for motel) and "Hotels" have been included to reflect the fact that a selection of this sector have been included in the directory listings for some time.
In this year's edition there is plenty of opportunity for the reader to connect with Jasons online products particularly with the Mothership website, Jasons.com & the Jasons (booking) App.
One missed opportunity is underselling the Jasons unique TxT2Check product that doesn't seem to stand out as it should.
There is still a place for printed guides as they remain a valid part of many customers multi-media decision making process - particularly in the domestic leisure market. I just wonder for how much longer...