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Gordon Ritter

Purchasing director, Ski, Lakes & Mountains tui UK & ireland, tui Group

Session: AROUND THE WORLD IN 60 Minutes
Country: UK

I have worked in the ski industry for over 25 years, specifically in tour operating with an extensive period based in Europe and North America.  I started on the operational side of the business moving into a General Management role and eventually  Product & Purchasing.  I now head up the purchasing effort for the UK & Irelands largest winter sports operator Crystal.  Over the same period I have covered summer products formerly known as Thomson Lakes & Mountains and now TUI Lakes & Mountains.  I have experienced significant change not only in the work place but also in the marketplace.  Internally change has come about through acquisitions, mergers, re-brands & the need to stay current - you could say change has been the only constant.  I now lead a team of specialists deployed across the globe to deliver on the product and purchasing strategy with a keen eye on differentiation, exclusivity and value. 


At TUI UK & Ireland we recognise consumer and the consumers’ needs have changed significantly not least in recent years with the emergence of online booking channels coupled with a change in consumer expectations and booking habits.  We pride ourselves in  ensuring our customer is at the heart of everything we do.  We are without doubt the market leader when it comes to the digitalisation & innovation ensuring at the very least we deliver our customers products they desire not what we want them to buy.

Our scale is underpinned not just by choice and service but also by our vertically integrated model.  Our global business model pulls source markets together allowing us to realise scale opportunities.  By controlling the end to end customer experience we can deliver/exceed customer expectations.  Year-round our customers book through our controlled channels, travel to our destinations on our aircraft and more often than not stay in TUI Group hotels & resorts.  That said, our customers can and often do choose to  fly on alternate airlines and stay in an extensive choice of independent accommodations/resorts, flexibility is key when you work in the specialist sector.