TUI UK positions all channels as ‘complementary’

TUI UK has given board-level responsibility for its online business to newly appointed distribution director, Nick Longman.

As previously reported, Alun Williams replaced Graham Donoghue as TUI UK’s new media director this April after Donohue left to become managing director for travelsupermarket.

Williams will now report in to Longman. Donoghue had reported in to tour operations director, David Burling.

Donohue also had a seat on the UK board, while Williams does not.

A spokesperson told Travolution that the decision to remove the key online role from the board was historical rather than strategic, as Donoghue was on the TUI UK board before the merger with First Choice.

Longman has been given responsibility for the web to ensure that its distribution channels – shops, call centres, hypermarkets and third party agents as well as the web – are “complementary rather than territorial”.

While 30% of TUI UK’s business is booked on the web, it admitted that currently it does not know how many of these bookings are influenced by other channels, and vice versa.

“How do we reward shops who do the work for a booking that is then fulfilled online,” the spokesperson said.

The new distribution director will be looking “at what the requirements” are before deciding between in-house systems, outsourcing and partnerships, although the challenge is not only with the systems but also the cultures of the different channels.


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