THIS WEEK: Thomson chief lands key role

Richard Bowden-Doyle, the man behind tour operator Thomson Holidays’ controversial ‘Tell it like it is’ marketing strategy has been promoted to deputy managing director as part of a senior management restructure.

Richard Bowden-Doyle, the man behind tour operator Thomson Holidays’

controversial ‘Tell it like it is’ marketing strategy has been promoted

to deputy managing director as part of a senior management restructure.



The restructure takes effect from January 1 1997, and Thomson will

divide its products into two divisions: beach holidays, which represent

80% of the business; and specialist holidays, which will be targeted as

the core growth area.



Bowden-Doyle, who is currently marketing director at the company, will

take charge of beach holidays, while managing director Charles Newbold

will head the specialist holidays division. This division includes

cruise, lakes and mountains and city breaks.



The promotion is seen as a reward for Bowden-Doyle, who shook up the

industry in August with the launch of a ‘warts and all’ brochure and new

advertising sending up tour operators’ traditional over-the-top

descriptive style.



Thomson has since declared sales of 150,000 in the first four days of

selling its summer 1997 brochure, which was unveiled on August 1, while

its chief competitor, Airtours, claimed a similar figure for the first

four weeks after its brochure launch on July 2.



Bowden-Doyle will continue to have responsibility for the group’s core

beach holiday products and will also take on management of Holiday

Services, Thomson’s overseas operation. The promotion gives him a seat

on the Thomson Travel Group board.



Meanwhile, Thomson has promoted internally to fill the commercial

director vacancy left by the departure of Steve Allen in August. Steve

Garley, formerly purchasing director, has been handed the role. His work

will develop commercial opportunities in the specialist holiday market.

He will report to Newbold.



‘If we are looking at core beach products we want to drive more out of

them, but their growth potential is likely to be slower than in the

specialist areas where we are tapping into niche markets,’ said a

spokesman.



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The operators

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Holiday share October 1996

Thomson Holidays            33%

Airtours                    24%

First Choice                16%

Sunworld                     8%

Flying Colours               6%

Cosmos/Avro                  5%

Industry sources

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