Thomson Holidays was set up by Canadian-born Roy Thomson who had made his money from the media, having run several newspapers and been involved with publishing and the early days of television. In 1965 he acquired 3 package holiday companies (still a relatively new concept in those days) and Britannia airlines and called the new business the Thomson Travel Group. The company Head Office is in Luton.
Over the years, the company has grown considerably, annexing Lunn Poly, one of the then main High Street travel agent chains, back in 1972. It somehow managed to stay clear of the problems which befell other travel companies such as Clarksons and Laker. Nowadays, it is part of the German-owned TUI group (LSE:TT) which has a turnover of around £14bn on which it has been making a profit of about £500m (3.2%).
TUI employs 50,000 people worldwide. They operate 150 aircraft and claim to help 30 million travellers a year.
The name ‘Thomson’ continues to operate despite the company’s new ownership although they have rebranded it to ‘Thomson Holidays’.
Apart from the usual holidaymaker packages, Thomson provide ‘something different’ as they call it with their ‘Thomson Ski’, ‘Thomson Lakes and Mountains’, ‘Thomson Adventure Travel’ and ‘Thomson Sport’ subdivisions.
Thomson also operates a fleet of five cruise ships – the Celebration, Destiny, Dream, Island Escape and Spirit – which sail around Europe and the Mediterranean.
Thomson Holidays claims to offer ‘A career to smile about’. Recruitment tends to be via Open Days whereby would-be applicants are encouraged to go along and find out more about what working for a holiday company like Thomson can entail. Given the wide range of holidays, destinations and packages it offers, vacancies can arise for just about any skill-set.
A typical entry-level post might be for a Customer Support Advisor – someone who handles pre-departure clients and can manually deal with bookings from travel agents. The stated pay is £15,000 p.a. plus bonuses.
Thomson offer the following benefits package:
Financial– Monthly performance-related bonuses, recommend a friend bonus
Discounts– Holiday concessions after a year of service, travel discounts after 3 months, other staff discounts
Welfare– Company pension scheme, childcare vouchers
General perks– Subsidised gym and restaurant (obviously depends on locations)
In summary, Thomson Holidays is an excellent company to work for especially if you want a career that is in the travel industry as the perks for even the office based jobs can mean that you end up on numerous foreign holidays every year.