Thomson and First Choice drive on with exclusive product agenda

Thomson and First Choice drive on with exclusive product agenda

Tui UK and Ireland will continue to focus on improving and developing its product offering, as it looks to “further differentiate” itself from competitors.

Speaking at the launch of Thomson and First Choice’s summer 2016 programme David Burling (pictured), managing director, said its product remains key for customers.

He said: "Product is key for us because our business lives and dies by what our customers think about the relevance of our product.

"It has to be relevant and preferred to other competitors and that’s incredibly important in what we do.

“We’re about taking product agenda one step further every season. We always want to improve the product.

"We are never complacent, we can’t rest on our laurels, we know that what we did last year, our competitors will try and copy so we are always trying to move the agenda on.”

He said the Thomson and First Choice model - which means that the majority of hotels are exclusive - was difficult for competitors to copy.

Burling added that to do so would require expertise “gained from years of experience”, strong ties with hotel partners which takes “decades to develop”, and having the same scale that Tui has.

New resorts

Launching the 2016 programme, Burling revealed there would be two new Sensatori hotels, a new SplashWorld resort and several new long haul routes launching on the Dreamliner.

The new Sensatori’s will open in May 2016 and will be in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Rhodes.

The property in the Dominican Republic will have 256 rooms and a dedicated adults-only section. The latter will have 330 rooms and the most swim-up rooms of any of the Sensatori resorts.

First Choice’s newest SplashWorld property will open in Majorca and will be the biggest of its kind.

As part of the changes being made to product offering, Thomson is also offering its adult-only product and rebranding its Thomson Couples product to Thomson Sensimar.

New flights

Burling said the operator would also drive for further long-haul growth in summer 2016 having seen double digit growth in the sector due to the introduction of the Dreamliner.

New long-haul routes include a weekly flight from Aruba to Manchester and the operator’s first long haul flights from Stansted.

The new routes from the Essex airport will be to Cancun, Mexico, and Orlando, Florida. 

A new route from Birmingham will connect the midlands to the Dominican Republic with a new direct flight on the Dreamliner.

Four other flights are also being introduced from Birmingham - to Agadir, Morocco; Sardinia, Italy; Izmir, Turkey; and Split, Croatia.

The Dreamliner will also serve new routes from Newcastle and Glasgow to Cancun in Mexico.

Thomson and First Choice are also returning to Cuba in summer 2016 and will offer a first flight to Varadero from Gatwick on the Dreamliner.

The new programme also includes additional short-haul routes. Two new routes have been introduced from Leeds Bradford to Menorca and Paphos.

New Scottish routes include Edinburgh to Rhodes and Aberdeen to Gran Canaria. Doncaster Sheffield will gain two new tours to Heraklion, Crete, and Larnaca in Cyprus.

Three new summer routes are also on the cards for Bristol Airport to Catania, Italy; Hurghada, Egypt and Sal, Cape Verde.


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