Thomson claims to be market leader in the UK's package-holiday market, with a 25% share of the air-inclusive tour operator market and a turnover of ?2.5bn. It claims to have held this position since 1974, but in recent times the travel company has been forced to adapt. The rise of online travel businesses, such as Expedia.co.uk and Lastminute.com, and the growth of low-cost airlines forced conventional tour operators to re-evaluate their products and services.

Brewin Dolphin Securities leisure analyst David Pope says: "Thomson did not adapt as quickly as some to the new competition landscape. This was partly due to its considerable size and partly because it operates mainly from Germany and Europe."

Thomson advertising manager Zoe Dark admits the company is no longer at the forefront of travel as it was a decade ago. She says: "Consumers have changed with the onset of the internet, so we have also had to move with the times and offer what they expect: a wider range of services."

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