It's child's play to get the right family choice

It's child's play to get the right family choice

Operators are adding more facilities for children in a bid to promote Tunisia's excellent beaches to the family market.

Thomson has just included Tunisia in its Superfamily programme for 2000, featuring a mid-market property in Hammamet, the most popular resort for the Brits.

Clients will benefit from the operator's revamped Activ childrens' club at the three-star Hotel Les Orangers.

Superfamily brand manager Andy Furlong said: "Tunisia is just 2hrs 30mins flying time away and the beaches arefantastic.

"The club will provide new activities such as a drama workshop, and will be organised on a drop-in basis for all-day childcare from 10-6pm, for kids aged 3-12 years."

Outside those times, Thomson's new Breakfast Club gives mums and dads a lie-in while a rep picks up the children and takes them for breakfast. It costs around £2 per child. A new evening club will run three times a week to look after children between 7.30pm and 10.30pm. The service costs around £3 per child.

Other new features on offer at the hotel include prebookable packs of beach toys, Heinz baby food and baby-care packs with nappies, wipes and toiletries.

According to Sunworld, Tunisia's popular all-inclusives are key to the family market. Product director Alan MacLean said: "If you've got a 10-year old, who wants constant drinks and ice-creams, it is ideal for them to have a pass to get a free drink whenever they want. It takes a lot of hassle off the parents," said MacLean.

The operator offers three Tunisian resorts in its All-Inclusive brochure and one in its Summer Sunedition.

A week at the three-star Houda Beach in Skanes leads in at £329 for adults and £99 for children. The deal includes flights and full-board including unlimited soft and locally produced alcoholic drinks as well as a range of sports including windsurfing and mini-golf.

Airtours, the number one operator to Tunisia, has a childrens' club at the three-star plus Sahara Beach in Skanes.

"The hotel is right on the beach, which is great for families. We have a very large allocation there and offer it on an all-inclusive basis or half-board," said senior marketing manager Ken McPherson.

"We consider our other hotels as good for families too - most are on the beach and they all have large rooms, play areas and childrens' pools," he added.

The company has added three new regional departures to Tunisia for summer 2000 - Stansted, Bristol and Glasgow join the company's other airports -Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, East Midlands andManchester.

Tunisian specialist Cadogan is now reaping the benefits of repositioning its programme for the family market.

"We used to position Tunisia as a similar cultural destination to Morocco - an upmarket, historic, cultural destination with product based round four and five-star hotels, suitable for the couples market.

"At that time we only took between 800 and 1,500 people a year," said managing director Gary David.

"Two years ago we started repositioning the country as a beach destination like the Costa del Sol, with a family on the front cover of the brochure."

The company now claims that both volume of passengers and the average group size has increased. "The average booking is now 3.6 people. We are taking big family groups of five, six and seven people. Our annual numbers are now up to 8,500," added David.

Tunisian choices

First Choice: in Port El Kantaoui, at the three-star Hotel Soviva, next year's lead-in price is £315 for a week's half-board accommodation, for an adult. For the first child, clients pay £39 for children under 12, and £110 for the second. Prices are based on charter flights to Monastir. The total cost for a family of four is around £779 for one week.

Panorama: seven-night prices at the three-star El Mehdi hotel in Mahdia lead in at £289 on a bed-and-breakfast basis for adults next year. For children between 2-12 years of age, clients pay £229 on an all-inclusive basis. The price also includes flights to Monastir and transfers to Mahdia. The total for a family of four is around £1,036.

Airtours: prices start at £299 per adult for seven nights' half-board accommodation at the three-star Hotel Sahara Beach at Skanes. The first child goes free and clients pay £209 for the second child. The overall price also includes flights from Gatwick. The total price for a family of four to Sahara Beach is around £807.

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