Spanish bookings boost holiday giant TUI amid terror fears


Thomson and First Choice owner TUI has said UK holidaymakers are returning to old favourites including Spain and the Canaries in the wake of recent terror attacks around the world.

It said summer bookings from British sunseekers jumped by 9% year on year, with mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands "seeing the most significant growth". It added that sales lifted by 8%.

The German travel giant said in a half-year trading update to the end of March that, in light of the recent terrorist attacks, demand for Turkey was "subdued", while travel restrictions for flights to Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh also remain in place.

The travel industry has been shaken by a number of terror attacks in recent months in Brussels, Turkey, Paris, Tunisia and Egypt. Last month TUI revealed that summer holidays to Turkey had fallen 40%.

It added that, due to consumer demand, it has shifted its holiday packages to alternative popular destinations.

The group said its long-haul routes were also growing in demand, with Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica remaining its most popular destinations. It said it would add Costa Rica to its summer programme this year.

TUI stuck to its guidance of boosting full-year earnings by at least 10%, sending shares up by 4% in early trading.

Across the group it said its summer holidays were 47% sold, broadly in line with last year. Sales rose by 3%, driven by a mixture of stronger bookings and a 1% rise in average selling prices.

It added that its winter holidays are 95% sold across the group, in line with last year. Winter sales rose by 3%, driven a rise in average selling prices.

The firm said group winter bookings were flat, although bookings in the UK market rose by 2%.