Travel: Brochures of the week

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The Independent Travel
A few years ago, if you wanted to take a break in Croatia you'd have needed to pack a flak-jacket along with your swimming costume. But now that peace has returned to the fledgling nation, so have the package holiday-makers. Transun's new Croatia brochure doesn't make any mention of the war (indeed reading the breezy copy, you'd imagine that the fighting never took place) and instead concentrates on selling the undeniable charm of this stretch of the Mediterranean.

Plenty of thought has gone into the look of this brochure and the selection of photographs is astute (even if the skies and sea are too blue to be believable). You get the impression that the resorts are still unspoilt, that there are local people living in the quaint villages, and that you will be able to see more than a pool and bar on your holiday (there are enticing shots of street markets, ancient towns and Roman ruins). The brochure additionally features breaks in the mountains of Slovenia and on the Venetian Riviera.

If you'd prefer a very British version of the Mediterranean, you should get hold of the Gibraltar Tourist Board's guide to the Rock. In fact you should also nab a copy if you want to see just how naff desk-top publishing can be in the wrong hands.

A clumsy lay out, cheap-looking paper, uninspiring photographs and lame copywriting, conspire to put you off visiting one of Britain's last colonies. Take, for example, the entry for the Caleta Palace Hotel that starts, "The Caleta Palace is a wonderfully is a wonderfully relaxing hotel". Did nobody read this before it was sent to press? And what do these choice phrases mean: "All guestrooms are large by standard", "The centre offers guests a light gym", or "It is an easy matter to spend time swimming". And how many pictures of nasty looking monkeys can you be bothered to look at? Cheap rubbish.

Transun, 01865 798888; Gibraltar Tourist Board, 0171 836 0777.

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