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Winter bookings plunge 89% at Tui

Simon Neville, PA City Editor
·2-min read

Winter bookings at Tui fell 89% compared with a year ago as a result of the extended travel restrictions across Europe during November and December, the company has said.

Bosses are hopeful that holidaymakers will return for the peak summer season, with 2.8 million bookings already made for later in the year and the travel agent confirming plans to operate at 80% capacity.

Average daily bookings in January are up 70% compared with December, although Tui said it expects a peak booking period is still on its way.

Holidaymakers are expected to wait to see if Covid-19 vaccination programmes are successful, leading to bookings for the summer – including amendments and voucher re-bookings, down 44% compared with summer 2019.

The company added that there will be “significant upside anticipated” should restrictions lift in time for Easter.

The details came as bosses revealed that revenues in the three months to the end of 2020 fell from 3.86 billion euros (£3.39 billion) to just 468.1 million euros (£410 million) – a drop of 87.8%.

Tui also revealed that it completed a third fundraiser, including tapping up shareholders in a rights issue, to the tune of 1.8 billion euros (£1.58 billion). The money will bridge the gap until the summer, when bosses hope holidays will return.

The company added that 116 hotels were open at the end of the year, compared with 229 at the same point a year ago.

Holidaymakers who did decide to travel headed to Greece and the Caribbean, but other winter destinations including the Canaries and Maldives struggled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Tui’s cruise business operated five ships, making it the only European operator to continuously sail throughout the winter months, the company added.

The company said: “Our focus on the end-to-end delivery of safe holidays already resulted in the successful partial recommencement of operations during Summer 2020.

Coronavirus – Sat Jul 11, 2020
Tui is hoping for a return to success in the summer, following heavy falls during the winter (Ben Queenborough/PinPep/Tui/PA)

“Destinations have recognised this strength of Tui’s, as the governments of Greece and the Balearics selected Tui to implement pilot programmes in summer 2020 aimed at restarting tourism in their regions.

“Our strong customer base and scale gives us an advantage in terms of brand awareness and distribution, securing attractive terms from suppliers, and in gaining greater insight into customer behaviour.

“In addition, selling into a range of source markets helps to diversify our customer base, meaning we are not reliant on a single market.”