Tui boss ‘optimistic’ over perky summer holiday season

Cathy Adams
·2-min read
Arriving soon: a Tui Boeing 737 Max (Tui)
Arriving soon: a Tui Boeing 737 Max (Tui)

As the UK gets ready to restart its tourism industry from 17 May, the boss of Tui has said he is “optimistic” that the vaccine roll-out can save summer holidays.

Last week, leisure travel internationally was given the go-ahead under a traffic-light scheme. Countries will be assigned either green, amber or red, with “green” countries facing the lightest restrictions.

The green list will be revealed in early May, although likely candidates in Europe include Gibraltar, Iceland and Malta.

The chief executive of Europe’s largest tour company, Tui, told the BBC that bookings in March hit 2.8 million as tourists rushed to book breaks.

The travel firm expects to operate up to 75 per cent of its normal schedule for the summer season, he said.

Friedrich Joussen told the broadcaster: “We are still confident that we will have a decent summer.

“All medical advice we are getting as a company says that existing vaccines are working with existing variants.

“Now they might be less efficient sometimes, but still it's much better than not being vaccinated.”

Many countries across Europe have indicated they will be happy to welcome British tourists who have either been vaccinated or can present a negative PCR test.

Mr Joussen added that a negative test result would be just as effective as a vaccine in preventing the spread of Covid, although the cost of tests needs to come down first.

Research from Which? found that testing requirements could add almost £1,500 onto a family holiday this summer.

It found that the cost of multiple tests, both pre-departure and when returning to the UK, could add an extra £1,480 onto a family holiday to Greece.

For example, a trip to Greece will likely require five tests in total: a PCR test before you arrive, a free test on day seven if you stay for a week or more, a rapid antigen test to return to UK and a package of two PCR tests once back in the UK.

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