4 October 2019

“Lots of choice and ambitious plans”

Mary McElligott, Head of Excursions, Activities and Ancillaries Product at TUI Destination Experiences, talks about the development of the excursions programme at TUI

Mary McElligott, Head of Product and Pricing, TUI Destination Experiences

How is the subject of excursions at TUI developing?

Mary McElligott: There is a lot of development going on in excursions at TUI and we are constantly advancing to design and deliver great, differentiated experiences for our guests on holiday. When we are developing our excursions and excursions concepts, we look at lots of different things: guest insights and surveys, excursion feedback surveys, feedback from our teams and market and industry trends. Using all of this, we have developed special differentiated products.

What possibilities arise for tourists from digitalisation?

McElligott: Our guests now have the ability to browse and book from our huge range of excursions on their mobile any time of the day or night. Immediate confirmation and vouchers by email or mobile make it all very easy. Our guests can filter by the type of excursion they are most interested in, and, in the future, we will be able to present our guests with the most suitable trips and activities for them based on their preferences with a guest centric, data-led approach. Our Digital Channel teams are working to ensure the best user experience for our guests in all channels and touchpoints, whether that´s Retail, the TUI Digital Assistant app or our website www.musement.com.

What activities and excursions are particularly popular?

McElligott: Our TUI Collection excursions are some of the most popular, as the destination highlights are what first-time visitors to a destination most want to see. We combine these with other elements in such a way that the excursion becomes a unique experience for the guest. When guests return to a destination many times, they often like to delve deeper and do something different. After sight-seeing and cultural excursions, boats trips are most popular followed by theme parks and waterparks. But, of course, it depends on what our guests want at the time, whether they are travelling as a couple or a family, the type of holiday they want: relaxing boat trips, foodie tours, or adrenaline-pumping adventure trips. So, we have lots of choice.

How will the product portfolio be expanded, what can holidaymakers expect for the coming years?

McElligott: We have ambitious plans to grow our portfolio significantly in order to offer our guests greater choice in terms of the types of excursions, activities and tickets and events but also the number of destinations around the world. For me, getting the right products for our guests will be key. So we will be working on relevance and personalisation in the future as we develop. Our guests definitely want to see environmentally-friendly, sustainable activities and support of local communities. Food and drink, activities and learning are becoming more and more popular. They want more local and authentic experiences and also smaller groups and more flexibility – these are some of the offerings our guests can expect. We will have more short trips available, such as half days, and will have more activities in our portfolio in the future. We are also currently testing some private tours. Holidaymakers can therefore look forward to a number of innovations.