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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 04:55 GMT 05:55 UK
Postcard popularity wanes
Holidaymakers say they have no time to write
"Wish you were here" is more likely to be sent by text message than scribbled on a postcard, a survey has found.

The traditional postcard is losing its popularity to modern technology such as mobile phones and e-mail, the survey of 1,000 people by tour company Thomson Holidays said.

More than 50% of people said they intended to send fewer postcards in future, with 25% of respondents complained that postcards take too long to arrive.

In addition, 14% reckoned they had no time to write a card, while 10% preferred to call home rather than write.

"As technology brings everyone closer, it is natural that people should use their phones to stay in touch when on holiday," said Chris Mottershead of Thomson.

"However our research has proven that if the British postcard did become extinct, a great national tradition might be lost forever.

"Our message is `Send a text but don't forget the postcard'."

'Real atmosphere'

In response to these findings, psychologist Dr Marie Angelou of the University of Sussex was commissioned by Thomson to investigate the impact of sending postcards.

"Postcards are nothing like phone calls, instant texting and direct photo shots via the mobile," Dr Angelou said.

"All these are useful, practical devices; but postcards offer something else, something additional that is not mundane and simply functional, but imaginative and personal.

"Postcards can evoke the real atmosphere of your holiday in a way that nothing else can do, and postcards are for more than a moment, with some people adding them to collections built up over years and years."

The BBC's Kevin Bocquet
"The number of postcards we send is falling by a million a year"

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