Tui said its customers were continuing to desert Turkey and North Africa, as the package holiday provider announced an overall recovery in bookings by European holidaymakers at the start of its summer booking season.
Tui, which runs the Thomson and First Choice brands, said there had been more demand for holidays in Greece, the Canary Islands and long haul destinations, but had seen “a further shift away from Turkey (having already reduced significantly as a destination in prior year).”
“Similar to Winter, lower demand for North Africa and Turkey is offset by higher demand for other destinations such as the Western Mediterranean and Caribbean.”
A number of travel groups have reported shifting demand as customers look to avoid political uncertainty and terror threats in destinations such as Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt.
However, Tui’s latest comments contrast with rival Thomas Cook, which on Tuesday said there were early, tentative signs that tourists were returning to Turkey.
Tui said Summer 2017 was trading in line with expectations, with revenue up 9 per cent and customer numbers up 4 per cent. It reiterated its forecast for at least 10 per cent growth in Group underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation this year.
Chief Executive of TUI Group, Friedrich Joussen, commented:
Winter 2016/17 is closing out as expected, with a good performance by Hotels & Resorts, Cruise and growth in Source Market revenues, increasingly booked via our direct and online channels. Overall, Summer 2017 remains in line with our expectations, with almost half of the Source Markets’ programme sold, further openings scheduled in our Group hotel brands, and cruise ship launches in both TUI Cruises and the UK.