TUI peers into its crystal ball

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Yesterday TUI, The UK’s biggest tour operator, gave a trading report.

TUI is optimistic we will holiday abroad next year

For anyone in the travel industry it doesn’t cheer you.

Since the restart of holidays after lockdown the whole of Tui has had only 1.4 million holiday customers which- in a usual year – would be less than the number it would have just in the UK let alone Ireland, Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

Generally it said that its capacity during the summer 2020 period was way below the business it could do. Against what was originally planned it amounted to just 15% sold compared to 97% sold in the previous year. But even allowing for the cutbacks and reductions in holiday numbers that they introduced, bookings were only 82% of what they could sell suggesting that many of us were nervous about travelling abroad. That shouldn’t surprise anyone so the real interest is not the past but the future.

It claims that the company’s planning and decision-making is being made difficult by the chopping and changing of different governments in Europe. What it can do one week may not be the case the next.

It is seeing a trend in last minute bookings as holidaymakers wait almost until the very last moment before they book and holiday so that they can be sure they can travel to the country concerned. They expect that to continue.

For the coming winter it has sold about the same percentage of holidays as it did last year although obviously the number of holidays is drastically cut compared to 2019.

For next summer it plans to only offer 80% of the holidays that it could but they do see bookings up 84%. That is made up with both new bookings and re-bookings from those people who had previously booked a 2020 holiday but had to alter the bookings to 2021.

On an underlying basis, TUI says, “we see strong customer intention to travel, with many customers wanting to secure their summer holidays well ahead of time.”

But, as we all know, an intention isn’t a purchase.

It is optimistic but it would be, wouldn’t it? Are the rest of holidaymakers like-minded?

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