TUI CEO sees steady growth

The chief executive of European travel firm TUI says that he expects stable growth in its vacation business looking forwards, despite risks such as bird flu, terrorism and natural disasters. Bookings are looking positive for 2006, with a double-digit percentage growth to top German destinations such as Majorca, CEO Michael Frenzel told a recent conference in Berlin.

Frenzel says that he agrees with industry growth estimates from the World Tourism Organisation of about five percent and from the German National Tourism Board’s rise of four percent for this year. TUI is expected to announce its bookings during ITB.

“We see that too. And we believe these growth rates will also continue in the coming years,” Frenzel explained. TUI’s boss went on to dampen down fears that the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany starting in June would cut bookings in the crucial summer vacation period. “The opposite is true. June is the most strongly booked month for TUI,” he said.

Last year TUI announced that it plans to double yearly earnings at its tourism division to around $831 million by 2008, but some analysts have called the target ambitious.