First Choice to sell all-inclusive holidays only

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Car Rental News - 11/04/2011


First Choice says it will sell all-inclusive packages exlusively.

Starting next summer, British travel chain First Choice it is to end the sale of anything but all-inclusive holidays. The change will make First Choice the first British travel company to specialise in the class of holiday.

First Choice says its new packages are to include flights and hotel accommodations, as well as three daily meals, unlimited local beverages, and all in-resort transfers.

The change of product range marks an about turn from the trend created over the previous ten years. Over the last decade, the industry had gravitated towards selling increased choice, with travellers allowed to customise their own holidays.

Increased competition from budget options from low-cost airlines and internet travel sales gave holiday makers much more flexibility and exposed the profit margins of the traditional travel chains. The travel industry mounted a defence of its position by deploy two types of upmarket package – cruise deals and all-inclusive resort holidays.

The new resort holidays were marketed on exclusivity and upmarket travel. Between these and the new era of holidays arranged through online bookers and budget carriers, major travel chains lost substantial market share.

Figures available through the Office for National Statistics show the package holiday industry having had its strongest year almost ten years ago. In 2002, the industry sold approximately 20.6 million packages. By 2010, that was down to 17.9 million.

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