TUI in a tizz over city-break strategy

The TUI group has admitted there is “internal conflict” over its strategic online city break strategy.

Corporate director of strategy Thies Rheinsberg revealed the group is unsure how to develop its city-break programme and take on Expedia and other traditional online agents in their strongest area.

The group’s online growth – in the UK more than half of Thomson’s sales are through the Internet – has been fuelled by selling its beach product on the web.

TUI believes it is harder for Expedia to break into beach holidays than it is for it to move into city breaks.

“The city-break market is important for both the business and leisure market,” Rheinsberg said.

“We want to build up our city hotels portfolio but there is a lot of internal conflict over how to do it.”

During the appearance at the Eye for Travel conference in London, he ruled out buying city hotels or building its own city-break accommodation. Instead, he favours teaming up with an accommodation specialist.

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