Editor’s letter: First Choice all-inclusive move is bold and shrewd

TWgroup editor Lucy HuxleyAll-inclusive holidays used to be a staple for more ‘exotic’ destinations where customers were less confident about venturing outside of the confines of their resorts.

But in recent years, more operators have switched an increasing proportion of their holidays to all-inclusive.

By squeezing more value out of hoteliers they can help customers worried about their finances to budget better.

Official GfK Ascent booking figures show all-inclusive bookings have increased for the past five years. And so it may not be too surprising to learn that Tui Travel is to take its entire First Choice brand all-inclusive from next summer.

The announcement was timely, coming in the same week as we heard at Abta’s excellent Travel Matters conference that the economy is likely to be in bad shape for some time.

First Choice will do all it can, I am sure, to promote itself as the number one choice for affordability in hard times.

Not only is that shrewd given the current climate, but it’s also good news for the group’s bottom line as all-inclusives drive up average selling prices.

The move also clearly differentiates Tui’s family-focused First Choice holidays from Thomson – something the group has been doing through its focus on First Choice Holiday Villages and Splash resorts.

Tui’s bold move is an indication it believes the all-inclusive trend is not just a short-term tactic to keep people buying holidays while times are hard, but one that’s here to stay.

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