The package holiday is not dead, the boss of Tui UK declared after introducing a “third way” of holiday sales as part of the company’s rebrand from Thomson.
Nick Longman, managing director for Tui UK and Ireland, outlined how Tui wanted to create a “third way” of travelling, that’s placed between the traditional package holiday and independent travel.
He said this will give customers a more personalised experience than a ‘fly and flop’ but more comfort and security than doing it all themselves.
Speaking to Travel Weekly at the Tui rebrand launch party and asked whether he thought the “third way” meant the traditional package holiday was dead, he said:
“I don’t think so. Holidays are an emotional thing. It’s about inspiring people and creating a fun experience.
“It can be really confusing going on independent travel. There are thousands of options and you might not know what to do. But the traditional package can be very regimented. We are aiming somewhere in the middle.
“I still think there are lots of people who still want to go on a traditional package holiday. The ‘third way’ is an evolution of the package holiday, even if it might sound like an X Factor band.”
Longman said that the perception of travel agencies being full of “an older demographic” due to a rise in online sales among young people – 60% of Tui UK’s business is done online – were unfounded.
He added: “You go into a retail store and you see a completely different spectrum of people.”
The rebrand from Thomson to Tui, he said, would help move customers away from the idea that package holidays is the firm’s only product.
“With it being a new, modern brand people who may have thought Thomson was just package holidays will consider it.”