TUI UK is the corporate name of the merged businesses of Thomson Holidays and UK distribution, which incorporates the retail outlets and includes some of the functions of the former Thomson Travel Group.
TUI UK forms part of TUI Northern Europe, which also includes the Specialist Holidays Group, TUI Ireland and TUI Nordic. TUI Northern Europe is, in turn, part of TUI AG, which was formerly known as Preussag. TUI AG includes 81 tour operator brands, over 3700 travel agencies, 88 aircraft and 32 incoming agencies.
The company was established when the Canadian Lord Thomson started UK operations in 1965. Thomson Holidays, Skytours and Portland Direct operated under the banner Thomson Tour Operations, until September 1997, when the named changed to Thomson Holidays. In 2001, Preussag, now TUI AG, acquired the Thomson Travel Group.
The past year has been busy for the company. In October 2001, Thomson Travel Group announced the merger of Thomson Holidays with Lunn Poly.
The merged company was named TUI UK although the brands remained the same.
In April 2002, TUI UK announced a two-year sponsorship deal worth £5m with the Premiership football team, Tottenham Hotspur. The deal was part of a major rethink of its marketing budget, which saw the company decide to increase trade advertising and agent training, which will replace TV advertising "at a fraction of the cost".
Also in April 2002, TUI UK announced a new pricing policy that was "clearer and more honest". Its new 'Your Holiday, Your Choice' strategy enables customers to build their own packages for summer 2003.
In July 2002, TUI UK announced a new strategy to focus on the product, rather than pricing, of its Lunn Poly and Thomson Holidays brands for its August press, radio and bus-side activity. In October 2002, TUI UK withdrew MyTravel brands from sale in its outlets after the troubled rival company issued a third profit warning in three months.
In November 2002, TUI revamped its travel documents and airline tickets.
Thomson, Skytours, Just, Portland Direct, Thomson Lakes and Mountains, Thomson Ski and Crystal customers now receive all documentation and paperwork in a chequebook-sized booklet. The 40-page booklets include airline tickets and personalised pre-printed luggage labels.
Operating profits £811m
(Figures for year to Dec 31, 2001)
Hugh Edwards, marketing director, TUI UK
Media Planning Group, McCann-Erickson UK, Universal McCann
Adspend (year to Oct 2002)
Direct mail £765,527
Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7SD
Tel: 020 7387 9321
Fax: 020 7387 8451
Web site thomsontravelgroup.com
This article was first published on Marketing