UK: Sun-seeking Britons boost TUI’s prospects for 2013

HOLIDAYS giant TUI Travel today reported a surge in bookings for next year as families look to avoid another miserable British summer.

The Thomson and First Choice operator said UK bookings for next summer were already up 10% against the same period last year.

And the European travel giant’s programme for this summer is now almost fully sold after an improvement in UK booking trends over the last two months.

Sales in its key UK market were up 5% for this summer as a whole after a 10% rise in average selling prices offset a 6% reduction in its capacity.

There was an improved trend in overall summer bookings from the UK, down 2% in August and September against the 5% decline in the rate seen at the end of July.

As well as the poor weather, a weakened euro has proved attractive for many Britons opting for short-haul destinations such as Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca.

However the weaker euro is a double-edged sword for TUI as the exchange rate is also impacting profits from its northern and central European markets.

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TUI added that bookings for this winter have been encouraging and that UK bookings for next summer are up 10%, with a slight increase in capacity.

It said of next year: “We are significantly outperforming the market and average selling prices are up by 3%.”