Many Tui branches to escape 2018 business rate rise

The majority of Tui’s travel agency branches will escape a hike in business rates next year.

Business rates are due to rise in April by September’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) rate of 3.9%, with about 1.8 million businesses paying more.

However, Tui UK and Ireland managing director Nick Longman told the BBC that the rate rise will mostly affect London and the south-east.

Most of Tui’s 600 shops are not in this area.

“We are actually seeing a rate decrease overall on our shop portfolio from next year,” Longman said.

“We think the rebasing that was performed is fair, and I think we’re happy with that.”

His comments came as the Thomson name disappeared from UK high streets in a major rebrand to Tui today.

Longman said: “Thomson’s been around for over 50 years, and I’m sure all of us have great memories of going on holiday with Thomson, but I think we’re doing it for a couple of reasons.”

Tui is the biggest travel business in the world, and part of a global brand “with the strength that that gives us.”

But the main reason is that holidays “have evolved over the years” to include city breaks and more activities – while Thomson is synonymous with package beach trips, according to Longman.

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