TUI was formed from the merger of Thomson Holidays and First Choice and remains one of the key players in both the UK and European holiday markets alongside stalwarts Thomas Cook.

The travel sector has been hit by the internet's arrival and the current credit crunch. TUI has struggled to get customer to book their holidays early and winter holidays remain very difficult to sell, but in recent months it has reported that in the UK bookings for 2010 holidays in "in line" with previous years and as expected customers are booking their holiday much later than before.

TUI has been modernising its technology and using IBM BI tools to provide it with greater analysis of its business. Elsewhere it has carried out virtualisation projects with VMware to reduce the number of servers in its datacentres, which has reduced its datacentre costs by 20 per cent.

The TUI HR department has opted for the Stepstone system for handling online staff recruitment and it claims this has reduced the time taken to take a recruit from offer to contract from three weeks to 48 hours.