TUI predicts a boom in summer bookings and says Canaries will benefit
The largest tour operator in the world, Tui, say they are "very optimistic" about the reactivation of holidays in Europe this summer, especially in German and UK markets, and say that “the Canary Islands have a massive advantage” thanks to its "excellent health data, and safety measures implemented.”
This is the diagnosis that the CEO of TUI, Sebastian Ebel, has transmitted to the Minister of Tourism of the Canary Government, Yaiza Castilla, during a meeting that they both held on last night, according to regional Government in a press statement.
Ebel also pointed out that, in the case of Germany, the long period of confinement has generated savings in many families, for which he estimates that, whenthe restrictions on mobility are lifted, "people will be willing to invest it in holidays" and, all this, is further endorsed by vaccination and by measures that offer confidence, such as the use of "health passports", which Ebel says are “essential to support the business in the coming months."
TUI is optimistic about the prospects for the Canary Islands in the recovery of the sector, because they believe that the islands are “the only destination in the area of Europe and North Africa with capacity, that are open all year round to tourism, and with security measures and control of contagions.”
However, Sebastian Ebel has called attention to the insufficient capacity of planes that he is seeing right now with the Canary Islands, for which he has pleaded to the Spanish administrations to help companies to provide capacity during the first months of reactivation. He commented that “other destinations like Egypt and Turkey are offering assistance, aircraft taxes in Spain are very high”.
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In this regard, the Minister of Tourism informed him about the imminent call for incentives for air connectivity that her department will carry out for the rest of 2021 in two phases: the first for flights operated between April and May and, the second, for flights carried out in the second half of the year, with an incentive of four euros per seat paid to airlines for every passenger coming to the Canary Islands.
In 2019, before the pandemic, TUI transported 2.5 million tourists from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries to the Canary Islands. The volume of passengers in TUI group airlines in 2020 was 72% less than in the previous year, in line with the fall in international air traffic worldwide.