Tui is focusing its advertising on “inspiration” and will not try to tempt customers back with promotions or late deals, the operator’s chief marketing officer has said.

Katie McAlister said Tui’s recently-launched campaign was worth multiple millions of pounds, but said the company had negotiated to push back a lot of the TV ads it had already paid for as they didn’t run at the height of the outbreak – meaning it had not incurred substantial new costs.

The new campaign, with the tagline ‘It’s time to look forward’ was launched earlier this month as the government relaxed travel restrictions to certain destinations deemed safe.

Speaking to Travel Weekly on a media trip to Ibiza as the operator resumed its programme, McAlister said it was important not to push the idea of travelling on customers by tempting them with offers, but instead inspire them to book again “in their own time”.

She said: “What we really wanted to celebrate was that feeling of being able to go on holiday again.

McAlister said the campaign had been designed to be “quite inspirational” by portraying “moments where people are feeling free”.

“We didn’t want to make it specific,” she said. “We wanted to invite customers to look forward to going on holidays again – but that’s very much in their own time.

“We are not putting the emphasis on deals or focusing on promotions. That’s not what people want to be shown right now, they want to be shown what a holiday will look like.

McAlister said “we are being very inspirational”, noting that “buying patterns aren’t as normal”. She said: “If it’s inspirational it covers more of a broad range of holidays, so we can encourage bookings not just for now, or this winter, but into 2021.”

She reiterated Tui’s Holiday Promise, where the firm guarantees: “If it doesn’t feel like a holiday, we won’t take you, we won’t take you anywhere you’ll have to quarantine.”

And she added that the ads tried to answer some of the main questions customers had been asking ahead of the restart, including: “We have lots of reps here to help you and we’ll encourage people to use digital services in resort.”

The campaign has cost Tui millions of pounds, but McAlister pointed out that the money had already been spent before the outbreak of the pandemic and Tui had negotiated with TV channels and other media to run the ads now in place of those that were pulled as the pandemic spread to Europe.