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The strong desire for travel remains, as shown by the full-year outcomes of Tui, Europe’s largest tour company.
According to Sebastian Ebel, the chief executive, the consumer is still placing a high importance on taking trips overseas. He also shared that business is doing very well.
The Anglo-German company’s earnings before interest and taxes nearly doubled to €977m (£838m) for the fiscal year ending in September 2023. The total number of customers increased by 14% to 19.1 million.
Sales for the current winter are 11 per cent up on the previous spell – with travellers paying an average of 5 per cent more.
The trend will persist in the summer of 2024, as current bookings have increased by 13% and average prices have risen by 4%. During the previous summer, Tui’s prices were 27% higher than in 2019, resulting in a one-third increase for the average vacationer in 2024 compared to pre-pandemic times.
According to Mr. Ebel, the prices for luxury properties in Greece are expected to be exceptionally high for the upcoming summer season.
From 14 June to 14 July, the Euro 2024 football finals will take place in Germany. Traditionally holiday sales have slumped during big football tournaments, allowing travellers to find bargains.
According to Mr. Ebel, speaking to The Independent, the impact has decreased significantly over time. He recalls that 10 or 15 years ago, it was a major impact, but now all hotels broadcast the matches.
According to Mr. Ebel, the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza caused a temporary decline in holiday sales in Egypt.
“We witnessed a decrease in bookings for six consecutive weeks. However, those who had made reservations still proceeded with their plans,” he stated.
After the holiday season, I expect that our business will resume its growth trajectory. Egypt is a highly desirable location for travelers.
Tui ranks Egypt as one of the top three winter destinations, along with the Canary Islands and Cape Verde.
According to Mr. Ebel, the wildfires in the Mediterranean region in 2023 did not result in any significant changes in customer behavior. However, he noted that adverse weather conditions in northern Europe had a greater influence, leading to increased sales.
The cruise division of Tui, which includes Marella based in the UK, experienced a significant increase in occupancy from an average of 64% to 84%. According to Mr. Ebel, the cruise sector is performing exceptionally well.
The CEO of Tui has revealed that David Burling, a prominent figure in the UK travel industry, will be departing from Tui at the conclusion of this year. This comes after 34 years of service with the company and its predecessors.
Mr Burling, currently Tui’s CEO for Markets and Airlines, joined Thomson Holidays as a trainee in 1990. He will be replaced by David Schelp, a serving Tui executive.