How package-tour customers are “changing”
Battling against everything anti-tourism from 9/11 to bird flu, TUI under chief executive Michael Frenzel has transformed what was once a diversified industrial conglomerate named Preussag into a more slim-lined tourism and transport giant. He will step down in February 2013, and it looks likely that the one last thing to be done to complete the company’s transformation – selling TUI’s 22% stake in Hapag-Lloyd, owner of one of the world’s biggest container fleets – will be left to his successor Friedrich Joussen.
But other changes are being made too. As Frenzel has said, package tours are still popular but “our customers are changing”. An increasingly commoditised market means that more packages are being tailor-made for specific groups of consumers – for art-lovers or adventure enthusiasts, for example. Social media are being used to sell holidays, as websites promoting particular brands bring together likeminded travellers. Industry analysts say that TUI will keep benefiting from its strategy as its rival Thomas Cook struggles to follow.
[pictured: Mountain near St Moritz, Switzerland; © 2009 TUI AG]