TUI repositions First Choice and Thomson away from package holidays

TUI, the travel company, is repositioning its First Choice and Thomson holiday brands in a bid to target different segments of the travel market. The plans aim to shift the company away from selling “commodity” packaged holidays.

The First Choice brand will become a more family-oriented brand while Thomson will target older, more affluent consumers. TUI says it plans aim to develop more “differentiated product content”, which it hopes will shift both brands more upmarket.

TUI marketing director Tim Williamson says: “The new focus for these brands does not mean that First Choice won’t sell adult-only holidays and Thomson won’t sell to families.

“We see the changes taking place as a gradual shift over the next few years. We have a strong emphasis on innovation and service delivery and both of these will prove crucial in developing the products and brands further.”

A review of other brands under the TUI umbrella, including Hayes and Jarvis Travel and Sovereign, is ongoing.

It also has announced a new marketing structure as gears up for the closure of 100 outlets, in areas where it has an overlap stores.

Andrew Laurillard will head the brand strategy department, overseeing strategy for the different brands. Simon Aldridge, general manager of the First Choice brand, will work alongside Laurillard. Jeremy Ellis will lead innovation and customer relationship management.

The company says it will keep buying up smaller rivals and expects to spend around £150 million pounds a year on deals.

The company has also told the city that it has revised its synergy savings targets as a result of the merger of TUI and First Choice from £100m to £150m within two years following a 100-day review.

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