“Britons, French or Germans – all our guests arrive at the same airports in the destinations. For many of them, their holiday actually starts at the airport,” says Luc Coussement, Director Guest Experience. “First and foremost, however, the airport is an opportunity for TUI to play to its strengths.“
Thanks to TUI’s global oneBrand strategy, the Group can make strategic use of the airport and guide holidaymakers with the help of large logos placed along the airport. Depending on the situation, the guests are either welcomed to the destination with messages playing with words, or seen off with a tongue-in cheek message for a relaxed trip home. Along the lines of ‘Follow the Smile’, all they need to do is find and follow the next TUI logo.
“Smart airport branding does not only communicate the reliability of the brand but also assists travellers in finding their way through the airport jungle. Feedback from our guests has shown that the ‘Follow the smile’ approach has been a huge success,” says Barbara Haase, Chief Creative Officer at TUI Group. Identical uniforms additionally enable the guests to immediately spot all TUI employees.
In the past, there were two strong reasons not to prominently display the branding at the airport: Only two years ago, TUI operated under different brand names in many markets –from Fritidsresor in Sweden and Jetair in Belgium all the way to Arke in the Netherlands. More than 15 TUI-owned brands were visible at the counters or gates. This only changed in the past few months in the wake of the rollout of the one global TUI brand, which has resulted in unified branding with a high recognition value – an ideal starting point for the signage at international, highly frequented places like airports. The TUI Smile is now not only visible at the ticket counters but also in many lobbies, in places in between the shop windows and even at the luggage belts.
Overall, TUI employs over 1,000 staff members (excluding pilots and flight attendants) in many holiday airports around the globe, where the TUI logo is already prominently displayed. The ‘Follow the Smile’ principle has meanwhile been implemented in five airports in destinations handling several hundreds of thousands of guests per year – including airports in the Canaries but also Palma de Mallorca.