Thomson and First Choice launch ‘Collection’ range of exclusive excursions

Thomson and First Choice have launched a new range of exclusive excursions – ‘Collection’ – tailored to help customers get a taste of their holiday destination.

With the launch, Thomson and First Choice customers can now browse and book a range of special, exclusive excursions online and in-store before they travel.

Each of the holiday destinations has reportedly been verified to guarantee that they deliver greener, fairer holidays and comply with sustainability principles. The excursions that are part of the Thomson Collection and First Choice Collection are required to meet at least three of the six features enlisted to set them apart from excursions offered by other tour operators. To qualify, every excursion must be exclusive to TUI, should have no commercial stops, as well as meet minimum criteria for sustainability.

Jane Ashton, Group Director of Sustainable Development, says: ‘We’re delighted to be offering a range of exclusive and exciting excursions with sustainability principles that our customers can’t get anywhere else.

We’ve put criteria in place to make sure that all excursions which are part of either the Thomson or the First Choice Collection are exclusive to us with whilst meeting sustainability minimum criteria. We’re very conscious about the impact of our holidays on the environment and local community and are always looking at ways of reducing this, and including our excursions in this is the next step for us.’

Thomson and First Choice Collection excursions are available in Majorca, Cyprus, Corfu, Crete, Tenerife, Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata and Punta Cana) and Turkey (Dalaman).

Where possible the offer will include Wi-Fi on the excursion, and point out local charms that only a tour guide with detailed local knowledge would usually find.


Choice Announces Nine New UK Hotels

Choice Hotels International, a US based hotel brand, will be opening nine new Choice Hotel properties in the UK.

The company has entered into a franchise agreement with UK-based Akkeron Hotels Group Limited, to open the nine hotels in the UK, which will increase the brand’s presence in the country by around 25 percent.

The new agreement will see the transformation of five Akkeron hotels in Bristol, Bury St. Edmunds, Colchester, Peterborough and Kings Lynn, to be re-branded as Quality Hotels, and another four hotels located in Winchester, Darlington, Ringwood and Stevenage will be re-branded under the Clarion Collection name.

Duncan Berry, the chief executive officer for Choice Hotels Europe in the UK¸ said, ‘We are delighted to have entered into this relationship with Akkeron Hotels Group Limited. Akkeron is a strong hotel operator and an ideal company for Choice Hotels Europe to work with and grow its presence in the UK. The agreement initially will focus on re-branding nine hotels with the opportunity to discuss re-branding further Akkeron hotels in the future.’

Matthew Welbourn, the managing director of Akkeron Hotels Group Limited, said, ‘Our relationship with Choice Hotels is about developing a long term strategy of increasing UK market share for both companies. It is clear that Choice Hotels is prepared to invest in the UK market in terms of brand and distribution. Alongside the change in brand comes a significant investment into the nine hotels to reposition those businesses along with the conversion to the Clarion Collection and Quality brands.’

The company currently operates hotels in more than 17 destinations in the UK, with its brands including Comfort, Quality and Clarion. The company has franchised around 500 hotels in Europe.