Tui’s UK boss says consumers are now more likely to take fewer, longer trips; travel more with family and seek experiences – and said Tui’s vision was for “mass personalisation” of its holidays.
Speaking at a Tui Talks event for media held last week, northern region managing director Andrew Flintham also tipped the rise of extended holidays including some remote working.
“People are travelling longer, some of that is to make up for the lost holidays in 2019, but we believe people will start to consider how they travel in line with more flexible working patterns,” he said.
“People will also start to consider the number of short trips – and instead could consider truly immersing themselves in the destination for a period.
“Why not take a 10-day trip but relax for seven days and work for three days. We all know the three days’ working will have many more of the recuperative benefits of the holiday than if they were spent at home or in the office.”
Flintham said multi-generational holidays had been an increasing trend before the pandemic and predicted it would continue to grow.
He added consumers were also looking for experiences, such as “the opportunity to give back to local communities, or maybe do things closer to home”.
“Our vision is for mass personalisation when we look at our holidays. The breadth is huge – from beach, to tours, city breaks, ski, river cruise and cruise ships and experiences,” he said.
“Our focus in the future will be about creating something unique for our customers and allowing the flexibility to create the perfect holiday.”
Flintham said that “without question, the biggest post-pandemic trend is flexibility and that is something we believe is set to stay”.
“As an industry we tore up the rule book in the last 20 months, and customers liked that level of control they had,” he added.
“Whilst we don’t believe customers will require the same level of flexibility they did during the pandemic – this trend is certainly something that will shape travel as we move into the future.”
He said: “[Flexibility] can be choosing the hotel room you stay in at your favourite resort, the food you wish to pre-order on your flight, the entertainment you’d like to download and watch on the inflight entertainment – or simply having the ability to change your hotel or move the holiday to a later point if you needed to do so.
“How people travel – when people travel – and why people travel are the questions we ask ourselves every day and will ultimately drive us to look at how we address flexibility in the future.”