Comment: TUI’s web pricing trial is not before time

TWgroup editor Lucy HuxleyThe tactic of tailoring your product to the specific spending power of individual clients is nothing new.

At TUI Travel, boss Dermot Blastland has been inspired to take on ‘discount culture’ by the way women in the world’s oldest profession approach pricing, as executed so successfully by Billie Piper’s character in Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

It’s not uncommon in more mainstream society either. Tesco excels in using the intelligence it gathers about its customers to promote higher margin items to those who spend more.

And online, the development of behavioural advertising, although still in its infancy, will allow companies to target each potential customer browsing their website with highly tailored ads.

So TUI’s trial to move its pricing strategy away from blanket discounting comes, you might argue, not before time.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard readers moan about the discounting culture in the industry, the undercutting it encourages and how it devalues our industry.

As Kuoni’s survey of typical holidaymakers suggests, consumers are not necessarily interested in joining the fevered hunt for last-minute bargains.

Most independents will accuse the big boys, such as TUI, of being complicit in educating the public that they can expect a discount and that travel firms are always prepared to undercut each other.

But the more sensible approach to driving profit, which is emerging from the big two now the eyes of the City are on them, could be good news for everyone.


Your views

I can’t quite comprehend why they haven’t listend to the travel trade in the UK, but a prostitute in Chicago
Nick McKay


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