Tui Group has identified destination services as a strategic growth area, the European travel giant revealed in today’s first quarter earnings update.

The division, which includes transfers, activities and excursions, will be reported as a separate segment in the firm’s accounts.

In the three months to the end of January destination services saw a 3% increase in customers and 2% increase in the number of excursions. Underlying profit, or EBITA ws up €1.1 million.

Tui said the sector has been defined as one of its strategic growth areas.

“Here, we see great potential to grow through the strength and comprehensive presence of the Tui brand,” Tui chief executive Fritz Joussen said in the Q1 trading update.

“We know our customers. Our customers know us, and they trust the TUI brand. This should help us develop more and better service offerings and generate additional turnover.”

Tui added there is a wide variety of offerings, both before, during and after holidays and modern Customer Relationship Management systems will be used to develop tailored products for the customers and generate additional turnover.

In order to underscore the relevance of the segment, TUI Destination Services is no longer carried under ‘Other Tourism’ in the Group’s reporting, but is shown as an independent segment alongside hotels and cruises.

Tui Destination Services organises 24 million transfers and 4.6 million excursions and tours for more than 12 million customers of the Group every year.

The sector is growing and operates in 115 destinations worldwide with around 1,000 vehicles and 6,500 employees.