TUI credits digital and brand investment for profit lift

TUI Travel has credited its digital strategy and investment in its brands with helping return a spike in revenue and profit for its full fiscal year. 

Thomson Gatwick ad
TUI Travel has credited its digital strategy and investment in its brands with helping lift profit.

The owner of the Thomson and First Choice brands says pre-tax profit for the 12 months to 30 September grew 21 per cent to £473m on revenue up 4 per cent to £15bn.

In a presentation to analysts, chief executive Peter Long highlighted its “digital transformation strategy”. Its work on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TripAdvisor as well as in iPhone app Thomson ViewMaker, which allows holidaymakers to upload and share their holiday highlights and results was highlighted as an example of how “customers are becoming our best marketers”.

He adds the focus on “building lifetime relationships with customers” using digital channels has led to higher customer satisfaction and higher retention and advocacy, which in turn leads to “improved value for shareholders”.  The company quotes internal numbers that show customer satisfaction up 2 percentage points to 79 per cent in the period.   

Jeremy Ellis, marketing director of TUI Travel, told Marketing Week the investment it has made in communicating its exclusive holiday and hotel offering across its brand portfolio has paid off.

“Over the last couple of years we have invested more in marketing to build a brand. Our message has been very clear about how Thomson and First Choice is modernising.

“Our strategy of modernisation combined with changing our proposition both in Thomson and First Choice has strengthened the appeal of our brands,“ he said.

Rival Thomas Cook, which has seen its fortunes improve in the past 12 months, recently unveiled a new visual identity and strapline and a commitment to increase its digital presence. 

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