TUI to expand UK retail presence

By Lisa James
Home » TUI to expand UK retail presence

TUI Group says it is looking to expand its UK retail presence after reporting a trend towards younger people booking through high-street agents.

CEO Sebastian Ebel said younger people are ‘going back to retail’, adding: “I’ve seen this in my own family.”

Speaking during a conference call to update media on TUI Group’s latest results, Sebastian said the company is investing more in encouraging online bookers to move towards the TUI app, but said: “It’s not that we want to convert the retail customer to the app.”

For the UK market, he said: “We are strategically going back into retail. We would like to broaden our retail outlook in the UK – not by a hundred or 200 but by small numbers.”

Last year, TUI started working more closely with independent agents and boosted its trade team six months ago, doubling it to 17 people.

In December, TUI hailed its partnership with independent agents for helping to achieve a profit boost, and earlier this year, agents heaped praise on TUI for improving its prices, commission and customer service, saying they were switch-selling to TUI after years of supporting rivals.

Referring to the new relationship with independents, Sebastian said: “We have gained a lot of trust which leads to good numbers.

“Third party is very important. We see huge potential.”

In an overview of TUI’s results to investors, Sebastian said: “The digital services go hand in hand with our successful bricks-and-mortar sales organisation, which continues to play an important role. Travel agencies stand for high-quality advice, service quality and higher contribution margins.”

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