Tui to relaunch First Choice as DIY package operator for younger travellers

Tui is to relaunch its First Choice brand as an online and app-based platform targeted at younger customers who “value the flexibility of DIY and the convenience of a package”.

Holidays will be available under the Tui Atol to almost 200 destinations in more than 60 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America, with accommodation ranging from five-star hotels to apartments and hostels.

The packages will be available only via First Choice channels, and not through Tui’s retail estate or third-party agents.

Existing First Choice product, including its all-inclusive resorts, will continue to be available within the Tui portfolio.

The company said the relaunch reflected “changing holiday behaviours” which were being “led by travellers with an independent mindset and different priorities to Tui’s typical customers”.

In addition to sun and beach holidays, the portfolio will include less-mainstream package destinations including Albania, the French Riviera. Tel Aviv, Cape Town and Jordan.

Customers will have the option to travel by train, following a tie-up with flight-free operator Byway, and can customise their packages with destination experiences.

A Weather Guarantee for some holidays will also be offered as a bookable extra, allowing customers to generate a bespoke guarantee based on their trip and receive reimbursement for days with more than two hours of rain.

The brand will be led by managing director Bart Quinton Smith, who said its product and partnerships would continue to evolve based on trending destinations and those which offered particularly good value.

Tui UK & Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham said: “First Choice has been helping holidaymakers choose their perfect trips for nearly 30 years, first on the high street and later as part of the Tui Group.

“But in 2023, travellers’ needs are changing, and so is First Choice. We’re putting personal choice, value and flexibility at the heart of it, and helping travel lovers pick the trips they really want, so they can make the most of the time before they go, and every second when they’re there.”

Quinton Smith added: “We’re bringing together all the elements travel lovers could want from a holiday, in one place. It’s not about offering endless options; it’s about helping people pick the things they – and everyone they’re travelling with – will love most on holiday.

“Our research tells us that two in five (40%) holidaymakers feel overwhelmed by travel choice anxiety when booking a trip and the average person invests 53 hours into holiday planning every year.

“We understand that with access to a growing amount of social media inspiration, travel reviews and advice, many people can feel overwhelmed. In a world of endless choices, we believe that people should have a right to be picky when it comes to their holidays, and our job is to help them pick the trip they really want.”

The operator will feature new branding but will retain its distinctive pink colour scheme. Marketing will primarily focus on online and social media, in addition to out-of-home placements.

Meanwhile, in an update on the Morocco earthquake, Tui said: “We are pleased to confirm that we’ve seen minimal damage to hotels and that our customers in Morocco are continuing with their holidays.

“As always, we ask our customers in Morocco to please follow instructions by your hoteliers and local authorities.”

The next planned Tui Airways flights to Morocco are on Friday (September 15) following services which departed on Monday.

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