TUI expects travel to boom in 2010


FRANKFURT – German tourism group TUI expects 2010 to set a record with 4.8 million long-distance trips from Germany, the head of TUI Germany told a magazine.

“I predict that long-distance and round-trip tours will be our most important growth drivers up to 2020,” Volker Boettcher told Focus magazine in an interview released on Saturday.

The tourism group will focus on its offerings for couples and older persons or “best agers,” Boettcher said ahead of the world’s biggest travel fair, ITB, which kicks off in Berlin this week.

TUI owns Europe’s biggest tour operator TUI Travel.

Separately, Germany’s third-largest tour operator, Rewe, said it also expects stronger demand this year.

“We started off weak, but the motor has been running really well since December,” Norbert Fiebig, board member responsible for tourism business at Rewe, told Wirtschaftswoche magazine.

The number of bookings for summer business was ahead of the prior-year period, while sales were nearly at the same level, he added.

Fiebig said he expected a downward spiral of prices had come to an end.

“If we want to maintain quality, then – apart from individual special offers – no further price cuts are possible,” he said.