First Choice plans to sell only all-inclusive holidays from summer 2012, reflecting the growing dominance of this holiday type for UK customers.
The operator will no longer offer self-catering or half-board options and is working with hotels and resorts to help them convert to all-inclusive. Any hotels that cannot offer all-inclusive may be switched to the Thomson programme.
All holidays in the summer 2012 programme, which will be available to book by the beginning of May, will include flights, transfers, accommodation, three daily meals and unlimited local drinks.
Johan Lundgren, managing director of Tui Travel’s northern region, said the move would help differentiate the First Choice product from Thomson and its competitors.
“All-inclusive is becoming the holiday of choice for many British consumers, yet there is no mainstream holiday company offering a completely all-inclusive portfolio.
“With differentiated product we will move further away from customers choosing tour operators based on cost alone, which is unsustainable.”
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All-inclusive has seen steady growth during the recession as consumers seek to control costs. The sector accounted for 60% of First Choice holidays in 2010 and is expected to account for 65% of holidays this year.
Industry bookings analyst GfK Ascent reported that all-inclusive now accounted for 37% of the total UK holiday market and predicted that government spending cuts were likely to drive this trend.
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