Tui Travel will push through “phenomenal” technological change as it bids to become an online-driven business, chief executive Peter Long told delegates at Abta’s Travel Convention.
Speaking in Palma while interviewing Iberostar boss Miguel Fluxa, Long described the online arena as fascinating, and warned convention attendees to ignore online “at your peril”.
He said: “We have a clear view of what we need to do at Tui and the journey involved. The pace of technological change we are going to see is phenomenal. We want to be an online driven business and have a long way to go.”
Long also talked about the importance of gaining new customers outside its traditional markets:
“Geographical expansion is important to us given the volume of new consumers in emerging markets.”
Fluxa said it was as important as ever for tour operators and hoteliers to work closely together and to avoid online business damaging those relationships.
He revealed that of the growing online business Iberostar gets just 20% is from consumers. The rest is B2B, for example from agents dynamic packaging with low cost flights.
Fluxa also pointed out that passengers on low cost flights are not necessarily low quality clients in terms of spend – many are trying to channel as much money as possible into the quality of accommodation.
And said quality of service would improve as those who work in hotels have realised, more than ever due to difficult economic times, that the guests are the key to their livelihoods.