Tui appoints Jo Hickson as innovation chief to spearhead digitisation

Tui appoints Jo Hickson as innovation chief to spearhead digitisation

The first head of innovation has been named by Tui UK & Ireland as the group looks to further digitise the business.

Jo Hickson, joins from Home Retail Group where she spent five years as group head of innovation.

The appointment of the former Tui graduate follows the operator signaling the end of paper brochures.

She will run the new Tui Holiday Lab as the firm’s centre of innovation and collaboration.

The Lab is also recruiting an additional member, as it looks to add a creative technologist with user experience and user interface capabilities.

The Holiday Lab was created in March to explore and develop new and emerging technologies.

A Thomson Apple TV app has since been introduced, containing videos of destinations, including Costa Rica and Iceland, and Sensatori resorts.

Tui UK & Ireland claims to have been the first UK travel brand to have a presence in the TV app store, and the first in the world to have an app based on video content.

Hickson will focus on anticipating the next advances in technology and customer behaviour, looking for future disruptive trends and innovation opportunities – including natural language processing and virtual reality – and using this to feed a pipeline of innovation projects.

Jeremy Osborne, strategic business change and innovation director, said: “The Tui Holiday Lab allows us to take new ideas through to delivery quicker than ever before.

“With the creation of this new role, we now have a strong team working together to anticipate our customers’ future needs and create innovative solutions.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to set the vision and agenda for innovation at Tui UK, and I’m delighted to be working with Jo and the rest of the team to create genuine business change to benefit our customers.”

Hickson added: “It’s great to be back at Tui UK & Ireland where I started my career on its award winning graduate scheme.

“This is an exciting time for the business and the launch of the Tui Holiday Lab marks a real passion for innovation and new technologies.

“We’re committed to driving the business forward, while putting our customers at the heart of everything we do.

“For us, innovation has to be all about enhancing customer experience, whether that’s impressing existing holidaymakers or attracting new ones.”

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