TOUR

Tui sees record bookings as travel recovery remains on track

Holiday firm Tui has cheered a record jump in bookings for summer 2023 as demand for overseas breaks continues to rebound.

The travel giant said it nearly halved losses in its first quarter to December 31 to 153 million euros (£134 million) down from losses of 273.6 million (£241.3 million) a year earlier.

It carried 3.3 million customers in the quarter, up by one million on a year ago, and said it had seen “significant” bookings with record days for holidays sold online in both the UK and Germany.

Tui said booking numbers in the last four weeks surpassed levels seen before the pandemic struck, up by 5% for winter 2022-23 and 10% ahead for summer 2023, despite higher prices.

But the figures come after industry data on Monday showed Tui was overtaken by rival Jet2holidays to become the UK’s largest tour operator for the first time.

Data published by the Civil Aviation Authority showed Jet2holidays is licensed to provide package holidays to 5.9 million people in the year to the end of September.

That is compared with 5.3 million for Tui.

But Tui’s chief executive Sebastian Ebel said bookings were “encouraging” and reiterated the firm is set to see a “significant” jump in underlying earnings over the full year.

He said: “Our strategy is clear: quality, cost discipline and winning market share.”

He added: “We agreed on a clear programme in late summer, which is currently being implemented.

“The swift implementation of the strategy is having an effect.

“At the same time, we see the encouraging booking momentum for summer 2023, especially in the last few weeks.

“Both factors strengthen our expectations: We want to significantly increase our underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) in the full year 2023.”

Demand for holidays has so far ramped up despite

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TOUR

Tour operators report heavy demand for last-minute summer package trips | News

Besides late-summer getaways, holiday packages for next winter are selling like hotcakes.

The Greek island of Rhodes remains a perennial favourite destination for tourists from Finland. Image: AOP

The recent spell of cool, damp weather has spurred many in Finland to seek getaways to sunnier climes. Tour operators say that the remaining offerings for this summer are slim due to high demand as travel restrictions are scaled back.

They report only a few slots still left for southern destinations in late July.

“Demand has been enormous this summer. We haven’t had to offer [discount] sudden departure offers like in previous years,” said Mia Kopola, the director responsible for hotel purchasing at tour operator Aurinkomatkat.

“In terms of customer numbers, we are not quite at the normal level yet, but some weeks we do sell holiday trips at the same rate as before the pandemic, said Laura Aaltonen, TUI Finland’s communications manager.

“Everything that we have, will sell. One of the reasons is that in the aftermath of Covid, we have fewer available spots than normally,” said Satu Kontulainen, marketing manager at Apollomatkat.

Pandemic changed booking habits

Traditionally, sales of summer holiday trips have started in January. This year, travel bookings only started to pick up after Easter.

The pandemic has caused people to delay booking trips, Kontulainen said.

“Even though we are in the midst of the hottest summer holiday season, people would be willing to book and leave for a holiday within just the span of a week,” she explained.

After the travel restrictions have been lifted, the number of bookings has slowly increased. The tourism sector is returning to normal, as customers once again are daring to make longer-term plans.

“We’re already busy booking autumn vacations and next winter’s trips. The booking trend is

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VACATION

Top 5 Last Minute Summer Vacation Plans for Washington

We’re about halfway through summer, some people still haven’t had that summer vacation they’ve been looking for. So we dug around the Pacific North West looking for the perfect summer vacation plans to help you out.

Little did we know there’s so much to do for your summer in Washington, so we put together a list of things you and the family can do. Even tho we’re closer to the end of summer than the beginning, these spots should be perfect for some last-minute vacation ideas.

5.) Wild Waves Theme Park

Wild Waves and Enchanted Village is a theme park and water park rolled into one. Whether you’re looking for some thrill rides on the I.5 Dive, or you wanna dip into the wave pool and ride out the sick swell on a boogie board. There’s plenty of fun here for the whole family, even uncle Jack.

4.) Great Wolf Lodge

Want all the fun of a water park but all the shade from the sun, then this is the place for you and your family. Great Wolf Lodge is a giant indoor water park filled with delicious restaurants, top-tier bars, and great safe fun for the kiddos. You can call or go online to make reservations today, that’s right they also have their own hotel!

3.) A Weekend in Seattle

Time to strike while the iron is hot, take a trip over to Seattle, take in the sun, and the food, and hit some of the beautiful beaches while you’re there. We’d also suggest taking up a Mariners game while you’re there. No, it’s not a joke, the Mariners are on a hot streak and playing their best since the early 2,000s.

2.) Check Out Leavenworth 

Leavenworth is known for being a small german town in Washington, with

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TRAVELLING

Are cruises cheaper right now? What to know about booking

Between high travel demand and inflation, taking a trip this summer may be a pricey prospect. But if you are still looking to plan a trip, cruises are a more affordable option – for now.

Stephanie Goldberg-Glazer, owner of the travel agency Live Well, Travel Often, said that while that difference is not necessarily new, this year it is “a little bit more pronounced because summer-travel-11657665840″ data-t-l=”:b|e|inline click|$u” class=”gnt_ar_b_a”hotel prices have gone absolutely insane across the world.”

Cruise line capacity and occupancy rates have been ramping up after the pandemic shut the industry down. But while ships are sailing, Goldberg-Glazer said, “I think that the general public has not come back to cruising quite as quickly.” When compared with next summer, she said, “The cruise prices for this summer are better because I don’t think anyone thinks there’s going to be a problem filling ships next summer.”

Summer vacation plans may change:Travelers say inflation is impacting ‘absolutely everything’

Is the cruise industry coming back? After more than 2 years under a COVID cloud, the answer is yes.

Here is what passengers need to know about those last-minute deals, including when to book and what to do if you already have.

Are cruises cheaper now?

Between July and September, there are 48 sailings available for less than $60 per day including port fees and taxes, according to Cruise Sheet, which aggregates cheap prices.

Travel app Hopper said in its Summer 2022 Travel Guide that hotels would cost travelers an average of $154 per night, meanwhile, and domestic airfare was averaging $383, up 34% compared with the same time in 2019.

Crystal Cruises will sail again:Two of its ships will resume service in 2023 under new owners

But Goldberg-Glazer said there are a lot of components that

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