TUI UK’s first programme launch following the Thomson/First Choice merger has been designed to continue highlighting the two different brands.
TUI UK director of marketing and product Tim Williamson said research undertaken by the operator has already shown Thomson is more associated with the couples and adult markets, while First Choice continues to be popular with families, particularly younger ones.
However, he added staff have worked hard to ensure neither brand is mutually exclusive to its preferred markets, and that both offer product to attract all markets.
Williamson said the company is continuing with a clear positioning between both brands. He added: “We’re trying to harness the heritage of both of them.
“We’ve got two very strong brands and we don’t want to alter the positioning of either.”
TUI UK head of product Alan Pugh said the decision to introduce the first Sensatori resort, a luxury property pitched at the premium end of the market, to a long-haul destination in Mexico in the Thomson Premier Collection was a good example of this.
He added: “This resort is very much for couples but does allow families. It is a very well designed complex and a lot of thought has gone into what it is customers really want.”
First Choice’s budget Sunstart brand has been the only casualty of the merger and the programme has now been folded into the Skytours portfolio.
Williamson added: “We’ve been moving Thomson and First Choice more upmarket but we’ve also realised we need value brands as well.”