Tui Group has revealed its May 2021 programme is already 50% sold, with summer bookings up 3% year-on-year.
Despite a reporting a large slump in profits – underlying Ebit (earnings before interest and tax) of €-3.0 billion for the full-year compared with €893.5 and revenues of €7.9 billion compared with €18.9 billion in 2019 – the group said it was "optimistic".
Demand for travel is rising, the group said, with average prices for summer 2021 +14%.
Chief executive Fritz Joussen said: "Very rapid cost and liquidity measures, an accelerated realignment and our flexible business model have enabled us to steer the group through the crisis.
"Tui is ready for a speedy and successful resumption of travel activities as soon as the lockdowns are lifted and destinations reopen.
"The prospect of vaccinations from the beginning of the year will significantly increase demand for summer holidays in 2021. We are prepared for a new start after the crisis."
Tui said 2021 would be a "transition year" for tourism, with 2022 expected to see a return to pre-coronavirus levels.
In particular, the holiday sector will recover faster than the sector as a whole, it predicted.
The group said it had made annual savings of €400 million euros (raised from the previous €300 million).
Joussen continued: "The rapid measures to cut costs and secure liquidity are important for the group.
"Tui was in perfect health before the crisis and we want to return to our former strength as quickly as possible.
"The market is intact, our business model is future-proof and customer demand is there.
"We are very well positioned to resume operations on a larger scale as soon as the lockdowns are lifted and destinations are reopened.
"Our business model with our own tour operators, the travel agencies, aircraft, hotels and ships under the Tui umbrella makes a resumption possible very quickly.
"We are prepared for this new start. We are consistently continuing the change we have initiated in order to be better and more efficient after the crisis."
Despite the positive tones, Tui said a forecast for resumption of extensive travel activities in 2021 was "not reliably possible".
"Due to the continuing high incidence of infection and the resulting lockdowns in the markets and only a few available travel corridors, it is not possible at this stage to make a reliable forecast of the extent and period of travel activity in 2021," the group said.
"At present, trips from the most important core markets can be made in particular to the Canary Islands as a popular winter destination. Cruises around the Canary Islands without shore leave (Blue Voyages) also take place."
Total bookings across all markets for winter 2020/21 are currently 82% lower than in the previous year, "roughly in line with the reduced capacities".
Average prices are 4% higher. Bookings for summer 2021 are 3% higher than for the regular summer 2019.
Positive outlook for the tourism sector and TUI after the pandemic.
The statement added: "As a safe and reliable form of travel, package tours in particular will play an important role in the resumption of travel.
"The cruise segment is also expected to see a complete resumption of business as soon as vaccines become widely available.
"The restart of cruises in summer 2020 has demonstrated the great interest of customers."