TUI boss wants to extend Greece season until end of year

By Lisa James
Home » TUI boss wants to extend Greece season until end of year

TUI Group is planning to extend the beginning and end of the busy summer season in popular Mediterranean destinations such as Greece as temperatures rise during the peak months.

Speaking to journalists as TUI reported its first third-quarter profit since the start of the pandemic, CEO Sebastian Ebel said: “The season will be longer. We’ll start earlier and end later.”

He said TUI planned to continue holidays in Greece ‘until the middle of November’, although he said he had suggested to colleagues: “Maybe we should open it until the end of the year.”

In its latest financial statement, TUI Group revealed it estimates the impact of last month’s Rhodes wildfires to be €25 million.

“We could have done without the wildfires,” he said. “But in a way, we always have something in tourism [to deal with].

“It’s good to see how resilient the business model is. When I was on Rhodes, I hardly saw impacted areas – five hotels were impacted but they could all open very quickly.”

He said the autumn months are ‘strongly booked’ for Greece and said TUI also plans to focus on new destinations, such as the Nordic region and the coasts of Belgium, Holland and Poland as alternatives.

Looking at the UK market, Sebastian admitted: “Compared to Jet2, we do see that we have room to improve.”

He added he is ‘a big fan of retail’, although he said TUI plans to increase the number of bookings via its app from 10% to 50% of overall business.

And he said artificial intelligence and ChatGPT would significantly improve the customer experience when it comes to choosing and booking package holidays.

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