Financial News

  • 11 December 2013, 7:17

TUI Travel: Customers Want Mobile Bookings

TUI Travel has announced plans to overhaul its online services, as would-be customers ditch PCs in favour of mobile bookings.

"We are developing new web platforms which are mobile-optimised so there is a separate platform for the mobile and tablet," chief executive Peter Long told Sky News.

"We are seeing a significant reduction in transactions with people using PCs, with a lot of research being done on mobiles and then booking on a tablet as the screen is larger.

"So to have those sites optimised is very important."

His comments come as the company, the world's biggest tour operator, said it has seen growth in more expensive holidays and a revival of business in troubled spots such as Egypt.

The company reported full-year pre-tax profit of 473m, excluding one-off costs, up 21% on the same period last year.

TUI Travel was formed in 2007 through a merger between First Choice Holidays and the Thomson tourism unit of German group TUI.

It said winter bookings were now at 60% capacity and reservations for summer 2014 were increasing.

Shares in TUI have risen by almost a third since the start of 2013, but they were down slightly after the results were released on Tuesday morning.

It added the firm's French division was hit by weaker bookings and reduced demand for North African holidays.

TUI said it has cut less profitable routes and overhauled long-haul flights.

One of Britain's first operators of Boeing's troubled Dreamliner 787s, it said customers have been wowed by the plane.

It said fuel economy of the next generation airliner were 20% lower than traditional, non-composite jets.

TUI also said it was confident it would achieve a five-year annual growth target of between 7% and 10%.

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