Airtours launches £5m low-cost holidays drive

Airtours Holidays is to take on Thomson Holidays and other rivals in the low-cost holiday price war with a &£5m marketing campaign, which aims to hammer home the lower cost of the company’s holidays.

Marketing director Robin Parry says that the tour operator’s new outdoor and press advertising, created by Connectpoint, will contain “an element of comparative advertising” and that activity will “very much focus on price”.

The campaign, to promote the second-edition brochures for summer 2003, breaks on July 20.

Parry also says that he is looking for a direct marketing agency to pick up the campaign in the autumn. The incumbent is Tequila.

Airtours Holidays, owned by MyTravel, launches its new brochures on July 18. Parry says that the brochures will contain transparent pricing that is cheaper in real terms than the 2002 offerings.

Unlike the Thomson version, owned by TUI UK, the Airtours Holidays product retains the in-flight meal and cost of transfer to the resort hotel within the quoted holiday price.

Thomson now prices these items separately, claiming to offer customers more choice, but observers suggest it is a way of raising holiday prices by stealth.

Airtours Holidays products for 2003 include an overhauled family offering called Family First, which offers an expanded “Bobby Charles” Soccer Schools programme, and a revamped Weddings brochure.

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