TUI’s Turkey bookings plunge 40% as tourists flee after terrorist attacksComments Off on TUI’s Turkey bookings plunge 40% as tourists flee after terrorist attacks
Holidaymakers are shunning Turkey and opting for holidays in Spain and the Canaries, according to TUI, the world’s largest travel operator.
TUI said today that demand for summer holidays in Turkey has plunged by 40% in the wake of a terrorist attack on tourists in Istanbul in January. About one in seven of TUI’s customers have travelled to Turkey in recent years, with most travelling from Germany.
Shares in the travel operator dropped by 4% to 1058p today as chief executive Friedrich Joussen said that the shift in demand away from Turkey was a significant challenge for this year but insisted that TUI stood to benefit, as it has more hotels in the Canaries and Spain than other operators.
Despite bookings being affected by terrorist attacks in Paris, Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey, TUI reported a 7.2% increase in headline earnings in the first three months and said that its traditional first-quarter loss narrowed to 97.3 million from 104.8 million a year earlier.
Joussen said trading for this winter and last summer was in line with expectations, “taking into account the geopolitical backdrop”.
With Tunisia and Egypt also closed to tourists until at least May — on government advice — a sustained drop in demand for holidays in Turkey is likely to lead to higher prices elsewhere in southern Europe and could be difficult for the travel industry to absorb.
TUI said it continues to expect headline earnings to grow by at least 10% in the full year. With one-third of this summer’s holidays now sold, the UK has also put in a strong performance with bookings up 9% on the previous year.
Peter Long, who oversaw the merger of UK travel operator TUI Travel with the German company, today stepped down as joint chief executive.
Long (pictured), already chairman of Royal Mail, will join the supervisory board of the travel group.