Travel giant Tui aims to speed up its move into markets beyond Europe and develop its Tui Blue hotels into “the biggest leisure hotel brand in the world”.
The group unveiled plans to target consumers in China and Brazil two years ago, aiming to attract up to one million customers in markets in which it had no presence at the time. Chief executive Fritz Joussen confirmed Tui would ramp up its efforts in these markets last week, noting the group added Malaysia in July.
He said: “We launched a Malaysia Holiday experiences portfolio [branded MHholidays] with Malaysia Airlines.
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“We want one million customers in markets in which we were not active in 2017. We have 250,000 now, so we think to be more aggressive and grow faster. We are working on a good pipeline of partnerships with airlines also in China.”
The Tui Blue hotel brand will be expanded to complement this growth. Joussen explained: “We want to grow our hotels business [and] decided to use a new master brand – Tui Blue. It will be a direct-distribution brand for selling outside our core source markets. We need to be able to sell the Caribbean in the US and Brazil. In Asia, we need to be able to sell in China.”
Tui Blue will grow through acquisition of new properties, rebranding existing hotels and operating franchises. Joussen said: “Sensimar [hotels] will be converted, also Family Life [hotels], [and] third parties can be under that umbrella. We need a big brand.
“We will expand our footprint in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia. We have 10 [Tui Blue hotels now] and will have 100 by 2022.”
He claimed: “Tui Blue will become the biggest hotel leisure brand in the world.”
Tui Blue launched in 2016 with hotels in Turkey and Italy and opened its first property in a long-haul destination, Zanzibar, last August.