Travellers prefer a package

By on December 11, 2013

Higher demand for package holidays has pushed up profits at major tour operators.

Tui Travel, Europe’s largest tour operator, says the sale of more expensive package holidays helped push full-year profits up 21 per cent in 2013.

The British firm, which owns the Thomson and First Choice holiday brands, posted a pre-tax profit of R8 billion for the year to the end of September.

Peter Long, Tui’s CEO, says 2013 has been an outstanding year for the company, which has focused on cutting costs and selling tailored and more profitable holiday packages directly to customers. 

Package holiday sales rose five percent in the UK, helped by the rising popularity of resorts such as Sensatori and SplashWorld, with ‘unique’ holidays now accounting for 83 percent of all Tui’s bookings. Unrest in part of North Africa has also impacted on people’s destination choice, with Egypt now accounting for less than five per cent of holidays.

Tui has also been on a cost saving drive. It wrote off R3 billion in its specialist and activity division, which offers themed holidays, after a restructuring that involved shutting down unprofitable lines of business, mainly in North Africa.

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