On the ropes – TUI must have a win in 2021 or elsewhere
TUI actions are really down the toilet now on news that fears over COVID-19 variants have dampened travelers’ enthusiasm for travel in 2021. No amount of pie in the sky PR work will raise the issue. touring giant in debt if the June bookings suddenly do not appear. Ebastian Ebel, CEO of TUI, is painting a picture that has no basis in reality.
This Yahoo! Finances speak of a tourism situation in the UK which is anything but positive as doctors and scientists now suggest it may be too early to take the next step of unlocking lockdowns and restrictions on trip. TUI is screaming from the rooftops how Greece will be Europe’s top travel destination this summer. Ebel is now placing the hopes of his company, and those of Greece, on an autumn swarm of travelers. But there is no indication when Greece will be “green” for British tourists.
Tui reported a loss of € 1.5 billion in the six months leading up to the end of March, and the current quarter is not looking for the travel giant. CNN Reports the situation indicating precisely that even if TUI (TUIFF) touts “a strong 2021 holiday season,” the 2.6 million bookings it reported on Wednesday for the summer months are 69% lower than 2019 figures.
Here in Crete, the TUI resorts on several beaches where we were in the last few days seemed empty. Greeks are the only ones to sunbathe on nearby Heraklion beaches, which are normally teeming with people from the UK, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. In the pedestrian zone of Heraklion, there are no shopping bags along 25th August Street and other shopping avenues.
With Greece opening its doors last weekend, we see why the country’s tourism chief is betting everything on the summer of 2021. Reuters reports that Greece intends to flee this summer to avoid a wave of insolvency. The report by Karolina Tagaris reveals that Greece’s central bank holds billions in Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) due to COVID-19.
The “hopes” are prayers that a tourist crowd will reach Greek hotspots before the end of summer 2021. But at this point, there isn’t much evidence that Tourism Minister Harry’s bet Theoharis will pay off. The New Democracy government has staked everything on immunizing tourist islands, and if travelers don’t show up, many people will question the rationale for vaccinating remote islands before at-risk populations in urban centers. As for TUI, if 2021 is another flop, the only thing that can save the turn giant will be another rescue from Chancellor Merkel or a Russian oligarch.