Tui axes last-minute summer holiday deals - but bargain breaks still available
If you have enjoyed the discounts on holidays that last minute deals can bring then there is some bad news ahead. Tui has axed its cut-price late deals.
In the past, those who weren't tied to school holidays or had the flexibility to travel as very short notice have been able to bag a bargain when it comes to travel. However this year, as customers demand for summer holidays surges, the tour operator has said it will not be offering cut-price late deals as bookings rise above pre-pandemic levels.
Chief executive Fritz Joussen said the company will maintain its current pricing, unlike in previous years when holiday costs have been slashed to dispose of any remaining places. He said: “There will be practically no last-minute deals for this summer".
In a move that will disappoint many, the TUI chief exec added: “Over the past six weeks, we’ve seen demand beyond 2019. We want to keep that momentum but aren’t going to suddenly shift to discounting”.
While summer discounts may off the table this year, the firm's website does show some current last minute deals. We discovered some amazing discounts for those able to travel virtually immediately and don't mind which airport they start from. For instance, currently being advertised on the Tui website is a 7 night break in Zante, Greece for £171 per person - a whooping £262 cheaper than the brochure price. You'd need to be ready to travel from London Gatwick on Friday, May 13, but this room only deal for a 3T holiday appears to be a cracking deal.
Flying from an airport closer to home - and with a bit more notice on dates - there's a self-catering holiday to Skiathos in Greece on Friday, May 20. Flying from Birmingham the seven night break would cost you £175 per per rather than £565 per person.
Flying from East Midlands, there are a selection of heavily discounted deals to be snapped up including 7 nights in Zante on Friday, May 13, for £179 per person instead of £435 per person. And a week later in Skiathos in Greece for £198 per person instead of £517 per person.
Taking about summer holiday costs, Tui said prices for this summer had risen by 20 per cent, but bosses stressed any increases were driven by customers choosing longer holidays and more expensive trips, including five-star hotels, as many people travel again for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
It came as the company more than halved its losses for the past six months as the rebound in customer numbers accelerated and bookings jumped. TUI said it expects a “strong” summer and the group has already achieved 85 per cent of the booking levels achieved in summer 2019, before it felt the impact of the pandemic.
The travel firm said its UK operation “continues to lead the way” for summer bookings, which currently show an 11 per cent increase against the levels seen in summer 2019. It has been buoyed by holidaymakers booking “more at short notice” and also spending more money on each trip.