70% of the population in Huntingdon work either full time, part time or are self employed. These are the people who are likely to book holidays especially the people working full time. 12% of people have retired in Huntingdon, so they have more time on their hands to go on holidays, so Thomas Cook will look at how to market their products to these people. 27% of people own their house outright and 49% of people have a mortgage, which means that people are in good jobs to be able to own their own house and hopefully have enough money to spend on holidays. Most people living in Huntingdonshire are aged between 28 and 56 years old, so Thomas Cook promotes a wide range of holidays to attract them.
However there is also a lot of over 60’s living in Huntingdon as well. This is good for Thomas Cook as older retired people are more likely to go on holiday as they have savings and more time and they prefer to deal and book in a shop rather than using the internet. 70,162 people out of a population in Huntingdonshire of 121,243 either work in a managerial or supervisory position; this means they should earn more money than someone who works as a manual worker, so they should have more disposable income to spend on things such as a holiday. Most people in Huntingdonshire who have children at least two children, this is good for Thomas Cook who can promote family holidays and Disney holidays where kids go free.
From the demographics above, Thomas Cook in Huntingdon has a wide range of people who might purchase a product of them, so they have to promote a wide range of products so they attract all these different types of people. They promote a wide range of holidays in their window displays from family holidays, ski holidays, long haul and city breaks. They have a wide selection of brochures available Thomas Cook SummerSun and JMC are good for families, Prime Time and cruises are good for the older generation, Club 18-30 is for the young generation and Select and Escape are good for couples. They offer discounts on all their holidays and try to find their customers the best value for money holiday they can, if that is what the customer is looking for. They advertise the kids go free and two weeks for the price of one on the front of their brochures if the offer is available within the selected brochure.
The gross disposable household income in Cambridgeshire per head is 15,999. This means people who have a high disposable income are more likely to go on holiday as they have the spare money to do so. However many bills have gone up recently such as water, so this disposable income may decrease. The minimum wage increased at the end of last year by 30p so the new minimum wage is now 5.35, this could mean that people earning more than the minimum wage will get a rise to, as some companies do this. This means people may have more disposable income if they have had a pay rise, and bills have not increased. Prices of holidays and flights however have both increased, so people will need more money to afford a holiday. This is because on average package holidays increase by 5% each year due to the hotel rates and flights going out of the UK will now be more expensive due to increased tax.
The interest rate went up in January 2007 to 5.25% and has stayed there ever since; this means people may not have as much money as normal due to the interest they have to pay. So may not be able to go on holiday. Thomas Cook can not do much when it comes to economic activities as it affects them as well, they cannot lower their holiday prices if they have been raised, however they can use the store discount if there is any left (as they only get a certain amount a month) to try and get that booking. Huntingdon town centre is also going under a major redevelopment which is costing millions of pounds but ill increase the amount of people coming into the town according to the local council as there will be more shops and bus routes won’t take as long as they will have their own designated bus lane around the town centre ring road.
When it comes to Technology, one of Thomas Cook’s main competitors is the internet. Since the rise of internet bookings there has been a decline in the sales at the high street travel agents. The reason why people use the internet for bookings is that is it convenient, they don’t have to drive to the local town, and they can book a holiday from the comfort of their own home. The other reason is cost many people find that the internet is cheaper than the high street travel agent; this is because an internet travel agent does not have to pay costs such as rent on premises, so they can lower their prices.
Another reason people book over the internet is flexibility. Tailor-made holidays are very popular now and the high street travel agent is still associated with package holidays. However Thomas cook was one of the first tour operators to launch a website, this was done in 1996. The website not only lets customers book Thomas Cook holidays but a range of products that are available in the high street stores such as cruises, short breaks, holiday money, airport car parking, airport hotels, car hire, insurance and more. Thomas Cook has also created the first website to offer free downloads, so customers can watch videos off hotels, beaches, local sights and the resorts. The website www.thomascookinspries.com currently features.
The idea for this is almost like a try before you buy, customers can see what the resort and destination is like almost like they are there themselves as just seeing pictures in a brochure does not keep up with technology anymore. The high street travel agents of Thomas Cook do not have email, which would be a good idea as they could email customers if they opted for it rather than post and this would save on paper and the environment.
Terrorism is still a factor in the world, and it is why some destinations are now unpopular and why others have become more popular. Last year there were terrorist’s bombs in both Turkey and Egypt. Bookings to turkey still seem to be on the up but in a different resort, this is because it is cheap and popular with families. Bookings for Egypt have gone down slightly but are still strong, however many people going to Egypt are now booking twin centres holidays so they spend one week on a cruise and a week in a hotel.
Another political factor affecting the travel industry is the new tax being put on flights out of the UK; this is to do with the green issue and carbon emissions. Because of this tax hike people may travel less or look at alternative methods of travel such as train, ferry, Eurostar and/or Eurotunnel. There is nothing Thomas Cook can do about these issues except destinations that are affected by terrorism and are safe to travel to are promoted by the company to get the bookings and let the customers know that it is safe to travel.
Many customers now, when booking a holiday go away for a cultural reason. This can be anything from religion to political. Thomas Cook has had to look at what it is customers want from a holiday and provide this for them or else the customers would go elsewhere. Many customers are now on going on holiday for cultural reasons due to their interests, things they have seen on the television or in a holiday guide or to try something new. Many people go on holiday for historical reasons. One major destination for history is Egypt, and Thomas Cook has a dedicated brochure just on Egypt. Customers can choose form a range off destinations including the historic Luxor.
There are also many Nile cruises to choose from, which is a good way off seeing all the sights in Egypt. Customers can also choose to do a twin centre holiday which is a two week holiday, a week on a cruise and a week in a hotel. Even though Sharm El Sheikh is not a historical location customers staying here can go on excursions provided by Thomas Cook for an extra cost to the pyramids in Cairo or the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Thomas Cook also provides many other historical excursions at other destinations too besides Egypt. Some customers go on holiday for scientific or technical reasons. For example many people going to Florida make a trip not only to the theme parks but also to the Kennedy Space Centre. Thomas Cook Signature offers a trip to the space centre as an excursion for customers going to Florida.