Tui sees slowdown in winter bookings over Omicron fears

Holiday bookings for the next few months are slowing down after the emergence of the latest Covid-19 variant, says holiday group Tui.

The company currently has 4.1 million bookings for its winter 2021/22 and summer 2022 seasons, with 1.4 million bookings made since 3 October. However, media coverage of rising incidence rates and the emergence of the Omicron variant has weakened the recent positive momentum, particularly for the winter season.

Over the past week, a quarter of Tui holidays booked for December were postponed to a later date, the company told the BBC.

Capacity over the winter is expected to be around 60-80% of pre-pandemic levels but next summer is looking strong, with customers booking higher-value getaways.

Average selling prices for the coming year are 15% ahead of pre-pandemic levels and for the summer they are 23% higher.

Tui said: “For winter and the coming year, it is clear that holidaymakers are choosing higher-value offers, more package tours and are also prepared to plan a larger budget for their holidays.”

In its financial year to 30 September 2021 the holiday firm reported a loss before tax of €2.46bn (£2.11bn), down from the loss of €3.2bn (£2.74bn) in the prior year.