TUI Travel UK overhauls marketing team

TUI Travel UK has unveiled its senior marketing structure following the arrival of marketing and product director Tim Williamson (Marketing, 5 September).

Andrew Laurillard, formerly head of marketing at First Choice, has been appointed as head of brand strategy. He is responsible for developing the Thomson and First Choice brands, as well as Portland, Eclipse Direct, 2wentys, Freestyle, Sunstart and Skytours; he will also oversee the customer insight team.

Jeremy Ellis, previously head of CRM at Thomson, has been made head of innovation and CRM with responsibility for innovation in the mainstream package holiday category.

Former Thomson head of planning Alan Pugh becomes head of product, overseeing publishing and design.

Thomson head of marketing and brand development Andrew Rayner has left, after Williamson beat him to the lead marketing role at the merged company.

TUI Travel UK is part of the Mainstream division of TUI Travel, the company created by the merger of TUI's tourism division and First Choice. Mainstream, comprising Thomson, First Choice and TUI Deutschland, focuses on flights, accommodation, car hire, transfers and excursions, and package holidays.

Brands including Sunsail, Hayes & Jarvis and Exodus, which operate out of the UK as part of other TUI Travel divisions, have their own marketing teams.

Separately, TUI Travel is slashing its UK capacity by 12% next summer, mainly by reducing its short-haul operations, in a bid to scale back the loss-making scheduled flying programme within Thomson.

According to TUI Travel, sales at its UK Mainstream division are up 7% for the winter season, driven by the popularity of destinations such as Egypt, Tunisia and Mexico.

TUI Travel's chief executive is the former First Choice chief executive Peter Long. The company, which owns more than 170 brands, is expected to generate sales of £12bn for 2007.

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