Tui chief ‘not fussed’ if bookings come from high street or online

Tui chief ‘not fussed’ if bookings come from high street or online

Tui’s chief executive says he is “not fussed” whether the group’s future growth comes from the high street or elsewhere.

Fritz Joussen said the operator and high street agency, which rebranded more than 600 UK retail locations from Thomson to Tui in the autumn, “should be where the customer is”.

He said 65% of its UK business now comes online, but that in other markets the proportion is larger – such as the Nordics where ‘nearly 100%’ of sales come via the web.

He said “online bookings are up in the UK” and suggested that was down to more factors than just the rebrand of the UK division from Thomson.

The collapse of Monarch, he said, meant “one less player in the market” which freed up room for Tui to grow.

“We have more online traffic and more online bookings,” he said. “UK bookings are also good on the high street.”

And when asked if the next five years would see more, less or around the same number of high street shops, he said: “Potentially, there will be more [sales] online. I’m not fussed about it because we should be where the customers are.”

Joussen also revealed that the UK market is now “more or less 95% direct distribution”, a long-stated aim of the business.

The rebrand from Thomson, he said, had boosted “unaided awareness” rates for Tui to 44%, which he described as a “strong number”.

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