Tui’s summer 2021 programme is selling at average prices up 20% on 2019 with holidaymakers willing to pay more to "catch up" on holidays they’ve missed out on due to Covid.
The German travel giant has taken 2.8 million bookings for summer 2021 so far, which is around 56% of the bookings it had taken at the same time two years ago for summer 2019.
Summer 2021 capacity has been fixed at around 80% of 2019 levels, with quarantine and other travel requirements driving customers to book at ever-shorter notice "as expected".
"Demand for summer holidays is good," said the operator on Tuesday (9 February), despite reporting Q1 (three months to 31 December) revenue down 87.8% from €3.85 billion to €468 million.
"As was already the case last summer and autumn, customers are booking at shorter notice and thus later in the year."
Tui chief Fritz Joussen said several factors were contributing to a greater degree of confidence for summer 2021 than summer 2020, most notably the arrival of Covid vaccines and rapid testing, but also historically high levels of savings across the EU after consumers held fire on travel and other spending last year.
"As expected, customers will book their summer holidays much later this year than in normal years," said Joussen. "However, demand remains strong, people want to travel - this is shown by the already good number of bookings for the summer.
"A look at the historically high savings rate in the EU also underlines that the scope for consumer spending is high. The significant increase in spending on booked travel reflects this very clearly.
"Holidaymakers are catching up and are willing to pay more for their holidays. For tourism, but also for hospitality and cultural enterprises, this trend is a good signal.
"The market and customers are in the starting blocks, the demand is there. Everyone is waiting to earn their own income from the business again."