This summer is “encouraging”

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

“Encouraging” was the word used by the boss of TUI, Fritz Joussen, as he explained the third quarter performance of the biggest tour operator in Europe this week.

One of the Marella vessels in Madeira in pre-pandemic days

But the company has taken only four point two million bookings for this summer holiday period. And that doesn’t include many Britons it seems since the UK was in effective lockdown for overseas travel until well into July.

So what can we learn about the overseas holiday market as it relates to Britons from the TUI figures?

The answer would appear to be not much.

Whilst overall bookings are down 56% compared to the summer of 2019, UK figures are probably below that due to the British government’s travel restrictions and those restrictions put in place by destination governments anxious not to allow in Britons because of the delta variant. TUI’s business is being driven by its customers in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland not the UK.

The only other comment I could find about UK influences on its figures was a comment about its UK cruise brand Marella. That had resumed sailing with Explorer at the end of June from Southampton. But its occupancy rate was just 48%, two percentage points below the cap of 50% imposed according to UK government restrictions.

That suggests that despite the so-called pent-up demand, a torrent of bookings from UK cruise passengers hadn’t even filled the available berths on Marella ships.

Yes, TUI might be seeing encouraging signs. Just not many from Britons!

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