Tui Group has extended a joint venture with the Chinese CTS Group by 15 years to 2033 as Europe’s largest travel company strengthens its presence in China.

The operator’s initial target by 2022 is to win an additional €1 billion in turnover and an additional one million customers, focusing on China – all based on digitalisation.

The group established Tui China in 2003 and has offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

Tui group CEO Frtiz Joussen said: “We are seeing new travel trends, in particular among young Chinese travellers.

“For a long time, the focus was on city breaks, culture and shopping. Young Chinese consumers are now discovering ‘western-style’ sun and beach holidays, sports, wellness and relaxation.”.

Tui is well prepared for this “second wave” of Chinese outbound tourism thanks to its “trust-based” joint venture with CTS, he added.

“We already take European tourists to China, while Chinese tourists are travelling to Europe with us. In future, China will be a travel hub within Asia,” Joussen said.

“We are aiming to offer Chinese customers holidays in Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam the way we are offering travel within Europe for German, French or Swedish customers.”

Joussen presented a strategic programme ‘Tui 2022’ at the start of the year, outlining how the group aims to tap new growth markets and further expand its business in south-east Asia over the next five years.