Travel giant Tui has cheered a rise in bookings as it restarts holidays across a raft of European destinations, but forecast no quick recovery as trips for Britons remain on hold.
The UK’s biggest tour operator said it is partially resuming its holiday programme from markets including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland to a small number of destinations from mid-June and the beginning of July.
It said it has seen a “notable” rise in bookings for summer holidays over the past week, in particular among German and Belgian customers.
But, with holidays from the UK and other markets not being restarted until later in the summer, the group is still expecting to be operating at just 30% of its capacity in its final quarter.
It has sold around a quarter of its 2020 summer holidays so far, while prices have rocketed by 14%.
Tui last week extended the suspension of holidays for customers from the UK due to coronavirus travel restrictions as the Government brought in a 14-day quarantine policy for international arrivals.
The Anglo-German company cancelled all trips from the UK up to and including July 10, having previously set a date of June 30.
In its latest update, Tui said UK bookings for winter 2020/21 are up 6% with selling prices 5% higher on average, while it added that bookings for summer 2021 look “promising”.
The group said: “Since the suspension of our programme in mid-March, online inquiries have indicated that holidays remain important to our customers and we have seen our customers committing for future seasons.
“Following the recent easing of travel restrictions in Europe, we have seen a notable increase in bookings for our summer holidays over the last week, with Germany and Belgium seeing strong recovery week on week.”
It added: “Further source markets and destinations will reopen as government restrictions across Europe or worldwide are lifted.
“We continue to work through different demand scenarios as we move through the current summer and upcoming seasons.”
The travel industry has been dealt a hammer blow by coronavirus, with airlines and tour operators axing thousands of jobs.
Tui said in May that it is looking to axe up to 8,000 roles worldwide to help slash costs by 30% to weather the pandemic and after-effects of the crisis.