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Thomson Travel Group

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Thomson Travel Group
Company typePublic
IndustryTravel and Tourism
Founded1965; 59 years ago (1965)
FounderRoy Thomson
Defunct2002 (2002)
SuccessorTUI Northern Europe Limited
HeadquartersLuton, England
Area served
United Kingdom
ProductsCharter and scheduled passenger airlines, package holidays, cruise lines, hotels and resorts
ParentPreussag AG

Thomson Travel Group plc was a business formed by the Thomson Corporation of Canada, when it was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1998. It was acquired by Preussag AG, an industrial and transport conglomerate, in 2000. The group continued until 2002 when it was renamed TUI Northern Europe Limited, a full subsidiary of TUI AG.



The company was created in 1965 when Thomson Corporation of Canada acquired four tour operators, Skytours, Riviera, Luxitours and Gaytours as well as the airline Britannia Airways, and named the combined business Thomson Travel.[1]

Thomson travel agents in Wetherby, United Kingdom in 2012

In 1970, the business was re-launched as "Thomson Holidays" under the leadership of Bryan Llewellyn as managing director.[2]

In 1972 Thomson acquired Lunn Poly, a small chain of agents which Thomson grew to become the largest chain of travel agents in the United Kingdom.[3]

In 1981, Thomson Holidays were the first recorded users of Business-to-Business online shopping.[4]

The business was floated on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of £1.7 billion as Thomson Travel in May 1998.[5][6]

In 2000, Thomson Travel was acquired by Preussag AG, an industrial and transport conglomerate.[7] Although Preussag AG, which re-named as TUI AG in 2002, retained the Thomson brand for a while, it was retired completely in 2017.[7]

Thomson Founders' Club


When Thomson Travel was floated in 1998, new shareholders were given membership in the "Thomson Founders' Club" which offered a 10% discount on Thomson holidays. Membership was conditional on retaining a minimum of 294 shares, but when Thomson Travel was acquired by Preussag membership of the Founders' Club was made permanent and unconditional. However, on 31 January 2008 the Club was abolished without notice or compensation.[8]


  1. ^ Calder, Simon (18 October 2017). "UK's biggest holiday firm rebrands from Thomson to TUI". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  2. ^ Thomson Holiday changes The Times, Tuesday, 24 June 1969; pg. 20; Issue 57594
  3. ^ "Lunn Poly going away for good". The Telegraph. 6 November 2004. Archived from the original on 22 September 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  4. ^ Palmer, C (1 December 1988). "Using IT for Competitive Advantage at Thomson Holidays: Long Range Planning" (PDF). Institute of Strategic Studies Journal, London Pergamon Press now Elsevier B.V. pp. 26–29.
  5. ^ SFA launches Thomson inquiry: Criticism prompts extension of perks for investors The Times, Saturday, 9 May 1998; pg. 27; Issue 66199
  6. ^ Quick profit for Thomson fans The Times, Tuesday, 12 May 1998; pg. 29; Issue 66199
  7. ^ a b "Goodbye Thomson, hello TUI – how Germany beat Britain in the battle of the sunlounge". The Telegraph. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Thomson Founder's Club". Thomson Holidays.