Selection of other long haul destinations added to the winter 2017 programme
The island of Phu Quoc off Vietnam is exciting addition to long-haul portfolio
- St Lucia and Cayo St Maria extended for winter season
- Travel industry first – multi-centre holidays launch with leading technology
- Three Thomson Cruises ships to be based in the Caribbean for the first time
The UK’s leading holiday brands, Thomson and First Choice, are announcing the introduction of Vietnam to its winter 2017 programme. The Caribbean islands of St Lucia and Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba, which were new additions to its summer 2017 programme, will also be extended into the winter season. The move is part of continued interest in long haul destinations and builds on the 350% increase in long haul holidays over a 10 year period that the brands revealed last year.
NEW DESTINATION FOR WINTER 2017 – VIETNAM
The stunning beach island of Phu Quoc, off the coast of Vietnam, is the latest long-haul destination to be added to Thomson and First Choice’s long-haul line up. Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island and is fringed with white-sand beaches ideal for relaxing, and features dense, tropical jungle and stunning reefs, perfect for intrepid explorers.
A choice of tour and stay options, such as teaming up a stay in Phu Quoc with time exploring highlights such as Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as a trip along the Mekong River to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, will open up even more of Vietnam for its customers.
The first direct flights to Phu Quoc International Airport from the UK will operate on Thomson Airways’ 787 Dreamliners and will depart from London Gatwick every Wednesday, taking just 12 hours to reach this far off favourite.
MORE CHOICE AND FLEXIBILITY – MULTI-CENTRE HOLIDAYS
In a UK first for the travel industry Thomson is launching multi-centre holidays via its website using market leading technology, enabling customers to design and book their multi-trip break online without having to wait for their itinerary details to be confirmed. Six long-haul destinations will have dynamic multi-centre options for the first phase of Thomson’s commitment to offering customers more flexibility and choice in a technologically innovative, user-friendly, and efficient format.
Costa Rica, Cuba, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Goa are the first destinations to be bookable on a dedicated tab on Thomson’s website which goes live mid-late November. In the future holidaymakers will be able to book over 40 different multi centre types and more than 1500 options ranging from Tour & Stay Combinations to mixing different hotels in different parts of a country using Thomson’s expertise and tailoring.
At the end of the month Thomson city breaks also go on sale and customers will have even more choice thanks to the leading holiday brand’s partnership with scheduled airline providers to hot-spots like New York, Las Vegas and Singapore. The city break hotels have been handpicked by its team of experts. A dedicated representative will then meet customers at the airport, to provide information and arrange transfers and there is also support available through Thomson’s 24/7 Holidayline.
In recent research, nine out of 10 holidaymakers revealed that they enjoy experiencing new and exciting excursions, such as a variety of tours available through Thomson including the Hoover Dam Deluxe in Las Vegas, Singapore by Nights and the Floating market in Bangkok. However, seven in 10 people polled said they feel overwhelmed by the amount of activities available during city breaks. With this in mind, Thomson has created a new web-based tool to offer suggestions to customers of things to see and do, using left and right swipe functionality to seamlessly build an itinerary for a city break.
The Caribbean has long been a popular spot for cruise customers as demand for cruise holidays continues to increase year on year. In winter 2017 Thomson Cruises will have three ships based in the Caribbean. Thomson Celebration will move to a new homeport La Romana in the Dominican Republic, TUI Discovery will be based in Bridgetown, Barbados and TUI Discovery 2 will sail from Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Mark Hall, Director of Product for Thomson and First Choice, says, “Our focus for winter 2017 remains on the growth of our long-haul programme using our fantastic 787 Dreamliner and Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island is a fantastic addition. We are also thrilled to announce the extension of St Lucia and Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba into our winter programme, along with an array of new city breaks and long haul destinations. Our multi-centre holiday offering is an exciting venture and another important part of our continued commitment to offering customers more choice and flexibility seizing the opportunity to deliver what customers are demanding.”
The programme for winter 2017 will be on sale from mid-late November.
Notes to Editors:
For more information please contact the Thomson and First Choice press office:
New homeports and itineraries for Thomson Cruises
Thomson Celebration will move to new homeport La Romana in the Dominican Republic and will sail on two itineraries – Caribbean Gems and Coral Islands, taking in stunning islands such as St Kitts, Martinique, St Lucia, St Maarten and Antigua. TUI Discovery will be based in Bridgetown, Barbados and TUI Discovery 2 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Five new ports of call have been added across the Caribbean and Central America for winter 2017, including St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, San Juan in Puerto Rico, Porto Santo and Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala. Also announced today are 12 new itineraries, including Exotic Explorer, calling at Belize, Guatemala, and the islands of Roatan and Trujillo, and Atlantic Discoveries, which is a longer sailing that includes calls at Havana, Nassau in the Bahamas and an overnight call in King’s Wharf, Bermuda.
City Breaks and itinerary planner:
Destinations: Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur
UK Departure airports: London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, London Heathrow, Glasgow
Choice of durations: 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 14, 21 and 28 nights priced
The first phase of the new city break itinerary planner web tool will launch with New York, Las Vegas and Miami and the concept will allow users to swipe left or right and then click through up to 30 attractions per destination to build an itinerary while in resort. The new tool is on schedule to launch at the end of October.