TUI Warns Against Discounting???

Just saw this article: TUI Adventure boss warns industry: ‘don’t be fooled into discounting’ has he seen that one of the TUI youth companies discounts every month??? It brings up an interesting question, should discounting ever be done in voluntourism and if so once you start the discount spiral how can a company every come out of it???

“The backpacking sector has been urged to hold its nerve and avoid discounting as source markets emerge from recession. Speaking exclusively to Thumbrella, TUI Travel managing director adventure Colin Stump, whose portfolio includes Adventure Tours Australia, Oz Experience and Western Xposure, warned: “The danger is that the recovery is on its way, and customers know what they want to do, but they’re holding on to their cash. That panics the industry and, instead of incentivising the ones who book early, we reward those who book late through discounts.”

Stump said adventure travellers are often ‘box tickers’ with a ‘bucket list’ of things they want to see and do, creating pent-up demand as they were forced to put off their travels during the global financial crisis.”


One thought on “TUI Warns Against Discounting???

  1. I would love to hear what they think about discounting for volunteer programs. Each month I get the old standard 20% off i-to-i volunteer programs…i-to-i is owned by Tui.

    Apart from that, over the years when we have offered % off or even drastically lowered some program fees, very few people availed themselves of the offer. And Colin is right. It penalizes those who have already applied.

    More than discounting, what troubles me in the finance of volunteering abroad is this:

    1. Fees that are not real. $160 (or whatever) come on, and when you get to the site there are so many additional fees. It does nothing to help people’s consumer skepticism and that skepticism runs down hill. Why is $$ the leading part of the message? Rather than sustainable programs.

    2. Copy-cats. There are so many sites out there offering the same program. Head over to and search Costa Rica, Ghana and India. You’ll find the exact same projects offered by dozens of providers, all with different prices. But the receiving organization is exactly the same. Why don’t you put your own unique twist on a program? Why do you have to copy what those of us have done for so many years? Be unique. GROW the field of volunteer abroad with your own unique program rather than piling on.

    3. Google Pay Per Click. If you rank on the first couple of pages on a search term (volunteer costa rica), it’s because you have Google authority. However, if you pay enough money, you can also PAY to rank on the same page as those of us who have worked hard to rank organically. Pay Per Click allows you to be lazy. If you have the money, you can spend it at Google, and rank on page one, where some of us have worked many years to rank organically.

    Responsibility and Innovation. If we all take on these two themes today, this space will become more healthy. REVIEW AND RENEW. Review what you do and how you do it. Renew with a sense of added responsibility and innovation.

    My 2 cents on discounting and the impact of thinking with your wallet and not voting with your feet.

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