Tui admits it faces a “mighty challenge” to protect digital sales, as the Thomson name is officially ditched today after 52 years.
Tui claims it will reach “nearly 100% of the UK population” with a marketing campaign this week that will include TV, radio, digital and print, however Tui UK and Ireland marketing director Jeremy Ellis admitted the operator faced difficulties in retaining its online strength.
“Tui’s re-brand is one of the biggest migrations of an online brand in UK history,” he said. “Sixty per cent of Tui’s business is online and protecting the huge SEO equity from the old Thomson brand is a mighty challenge.”
The Thomson name will disappear after 52 years as leader of the mainstream package sector, but Tui claims its new brand is already recognised by “over half the UK population” following a six-month awareness campaign.
Tui has also confirmed a sponsorship deal with Sky One to promote its rebrand and a “complete takeover” of the Gatwick shuttle.
Tui UK and Ireland managing director Nick Longman added: “As Thomson we modernised the package holiday and as Tui we’ll push the boundaries even further. We have more data than any other holiday company in the world and we want to use this to offer experiences that match individual needs.
“It’s our ambition to create holidays so personalised that they choose ‘you’ and define a new “third way” to travel, combining the ease and convenience of a package holiday with the flexibility and choice of independent travel. Ultimately we want to transform the UK travel industry.”
Last week the group also revealed that it was rebranding its cruise line from Thomson Cruises to Marella Cruises.
What was to be the Tui Explorer ship, arriving next year, will now be called Marella Explorer.
Tui Discovery and Tui Discovery 2 meanwhile will become known as Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2.