Will Tui bring in single pricing? It 'could'

Will Tui bring in single pricing? It 'could'

Will Tui Travel stay good to its word and bring in single pricing across web and offline, following the move to price parity by rival Thomas Cook?

The travel giant was early out of the traps last year in indicating this was its ultimate intention when travel distribution and online director Nick Longman addressed the Travel Convention in Turkey.

He indicated that a move to flat pricing would happen within two years as Tui rolled out its new Phoenix in-store technology system and would see agents add a service charge.

But last week his former UK boss, Johan Lundgren, now chief executive Peter Long's deputy, struck a more cautious sounding note while accepting the logic of single prices across multiple channels.

As Tui revealed plans for new generation concept stores last week, Lundgren stopped short of promising to bring in flat pricing or setting a date by which it would be implemented.

He told Travel Weekly: "It's not unlikely that this will come at some point. There is logic to the idea that there should be the same price in all channels - that is a logical evolution."

Asked for an assurance that it was Tui policy to bring it in, he said: "It could be coming," adding: "there is a logic to the fact that the price is the same in all channels.

"We should remember some of the logic about the online discount is that if the customer does the work themselves they get something for it."

In what some have seen as an audatious bid to outflank its rival, Cook announced its move to price parity with very little fanfare shortly before Christmas.

The move to flat pricing was widely praised in the trade for offering customers clarity and an attempt to move them away from the assumption that online is always cheaper.

Speaking during a filming day ahead of today's Barclays Travel Forum John Hays, managing director of Hays Travel, said the impact had been noticeable and was welcome.

"Thomas Cook seems as if they are implementing what they said they would in terms of reducing discounting online - it appears they are implementing a one-price strategy. “Tui said they needed to do that, but it's less obvious with their online discounting."


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