Neilson has dismissed as “futile” and “misleading” a price‑comparison chart that Club Med sent to agents which claimed its La Plagne ski holidays were cheaper than its rivals’.
The French all-inclusive operator’s ‘crib sheet’ suggested a sample Club Med holiday was £400 less per person than Mark Warner and Crystal, and £1,000 less than Neilson. The chart estimated the full cost of comparable holidays, including ski lessons, lift passes and meals and drinks, both included and in addition to the core package.
Neilson responded by challenging the comparison used by Club Med and the concept of price comparison in an age of fluid pricing when operators yield manage.
Andy Furlong, sales and marketing director at Neilson Active Holidays, said: “There is a reason that price comparisons such as these haven’t been used by Neilson for several years as we find them to be a largely futile exercise which can actually be quite misleading.”
Neilson called on agents to “look beyond the crib sheet” before making a decision about who to book with.
Speaking after an ITT event, chief executive Richard Bowden‑Doyle said Tui pioneered fluid pricing in tour operating in the 1990s when he was managing director of Thomson Holidays.
He conceded the sector still has a long way to go to match airlines, whose use of sophisticated yield management systems has made the public come to expect higher prices closer to departure.
“We all spend a lot of time trying to understand each other’s pricing but it’s very hard to get to the bottom of it,” he said.
Referring to Club Med’s crib sheet, he added: “It’s irritating, but nobody reads that and believes it.”
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