Specialist brand review starts Thomson business overhaul

Specialist brand review starts Thomson business overhaul

Thomson Breakaway's ski and lakes and mountains programmes are being handed over to sister company Crystal International Travel Group as part of a restructure of Thomson Travel Group's specialist products.

The move has not led to any redundancies but CITG's four offices in Surbiton, Twickenham, Forest Row and East Grinstead and Breakaway's Richmond headquarters are expected to be looked at as part of an ongoing review of the two businesses.

The reorganisation will see responsibility for the Crystal Cities brand given to Thomson Breakaway managing director Steve Garley who will continue to operate the Thomson Breakaway's Cities and Short Breaks products from Breakaway's base in Richmond, Surrey. Garley will also take over responsibility for CITG's direct-sell operation Tropical Places. No personnel will move offices apart from CITGsenior product director Andrew Peters who has been promoted to md for Thomson Ski and Lakes and Mountains and moves to Richmond.

Breakaway and CITG chairman Ian Smith said the trade would not notice any changes following the restructure with separate overseas and management teams retained.

"Crystal is clear market leader in ski and number two in lakes and mountains while Thomson is number two in ski and number one in lakes and moutains. We did not want to damage either of the brands," he said.

Cost savings are expected to be made through systems integration, reservations and general streamlining of back office functions. CITG group managing director Andy Perrin denied there would be confusion in the trade following the changes.

"There is now a dedicated person looking after Thomson Ski and Lakes and Mountains," he said. "We are focusing all the expertise in ski and lakes and mountains under CITG."

The restructure follows Thomson Travel Group's £66.2m acquisition of CITG in September 1998.

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