First Choice and Thomson have at last confirmed speculation that the two brands will target different markets.

TUI Travel director of product and marketing Tim Williamson  said First choice will focus on the younger, more family-orientated population while Thomson will further target wealthier, older empty-nester customers.

He said: “The new focus for these brands does not mean that First Choice won’t sell adult-only holidays and Thomson won’t sell to families. We see the changes taking place as a gradual shift over the next few years.

“We have placed a strong emphasis on innovation and service delivery and both of these will prove crucial in developing the products and brands further.”

Williamson said the two brands plan to provide more targeted holidays with exclusive additional add-ons. He also predicted a 33% drop in sales of standard package holidays by 2011.

Both operators will continue to focus on the long-haul sector with both operators flying 600,000 customers in the sector a year.

Williamson added with the group set to be the launch customer of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and other aircraft set to arrive in winter 2009, both mainstream operators could soon be featuring destinations including Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bali, South Africa, Argentina, Hawaii and skiing in the Rockies.