Tui thrives as Thomas Cook languishes

Its arch-rival Thomas Cook is stricken, but Tui Travel is still motoring. The holiday giant behind Thomson claimed yesterday it is besting the competition and continuing to attract penny-pinching Brits in need of a break from work.

Sales in the last six months have been strong, insists Tui, with online deals now accounting for half of all revenue. Tui reckons the secret of its success is "differentiated product" – package holidays that offer a wider choice of food and excursions.

UK sales are up 4 per cent. Demand for holidays to destinations in North Africa remain weak, however.

Peter Long, the industry veteran who is chief executive, said: "We are pleased with our winter performance, particularly in the UK."

It has benefited from the difficulties experienced by its main rival Thomas Cook, which issued a string of profit warnings last year before securing a £200m bailout package from its banks. Thomas Cook itself said earlier this week that its performance has picked up lately thanks to a new advertising campaign and improvements to its website.

Shares in Tui closed down 5.2p at 192.2p.

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