TUI update will show if holiday demand still rising

Thomson owner Tui will update the market on its first quarter trading figures this week as the City looks for any indication that a strong trend in British bookings last year continued into 2017.

The travel giant reported in September that British holidaymakers had shrugged off worries over the Brexit vote and plunging pound with strong demand for trips abroad.

Observers will look for signs that the upward trajectory continued, or if an expected dip in consumer confidence has started to affect bookings.

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Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said: “This is an important time of year for the world’s largest tourism group as many people are planning and booking their summer holidays.

“In December the company said trading for the winter and summer 2017 seasons was in line with expectations.”

Tui said in September that the UK was its best-performing region over the summer season, with revenues up 5 per cent, while bookings from Britain also surged by 22 per cent for the winter as sun-seekers headed to long-haul destinations such as Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Tui said long-haul bookings alone from the UK rose 26 per cent as it switches its focus to far-flung destinations, having added planes flying to Cuba and Sri Lanka.

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It said trips to the Canaries, Cyprus and Cape Verde were also in demand as holidaymakers continue to stay away from politically unstable Turkey and Egypt.

Rival Thomas Cook revealed earlier this week that it had hiked the price of its summer package holidays and shifted deals towards Greece after facing competition and soaring hotel costs in popular Spanish island resorts.

Mr Spooner added: “The market will also be interested in any further news on the joint venture with Etihad Airways to create a new airline, as well as any comments on the new investigation into hotel accommodation by the EU Commission.”

Earlier this month the European Commission launched an investigation into a string of tour operators including TUI and Thomas Cook over claims they blocked some customers from getting the cheapest prices.

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