Are we seeing a resurgence of the package holiday? Given that the mainstream media has been writing its obituary in the light of Thomas Cook’s woes it might seem a strange thing to ask at this time.
But this week’s annual results from Tui Travel suggest talk of the demise of the package is premature.
That is also the message from Jet2.com, which recently announced plans to offer 80,000 more holidays from Newcastle next summer, and even the latest online stats from Google show growth in packages this year keeping pace with other travel sectors.
In difficult market conditions it’s not just that consumers are rediscovering the safety of the package holiday: new forms of marketing and selling, such as the ‘deals’ phenomenon, are demanding it.
And as part of this package revival, it seems the operators that are faring best are those that emphasise quality.
Tui UK chief Dave Burling was keen to stress this point when he visited Travel Weekly’s offices this week to talk us through their results, which included a 1% increase in passenger numbers despite the difficulties currently facing the economy.
The message is clear: if you are in travel retail, whoever you are, you will always need quality product to sell.
So, with the economy as it is, any trade supplier prepared to spend millions to put aircraft in the skies or develop fantastic new hotels should be supported.
And what better way than by selling an outstanding package deal, rather than leaving consumers to take their chances among the bewildering array of product online.
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