David Burling to leave Tui after 34 years

Former Tui UK & Ireland boss David Burling is to stand down from the travel group at the turn of the year.

Before assuming responsibility at group level in 2015, he spent four years as managing director of Tui UK & Ireland, the second largest operating company after Tui Germany.

Burling played a major part in the merger of Tui-owned Thomson tour operations with UK rival First Choice Holidays in 2007. He originally joined Thomson Holidays as a graduate trainee in 1990.

MoreTui UK & Ireland delivers €71 million annual profit

Burling said: “Tui is back on track after the pandemic – sooner than many expected. 

“After this successful year, it is the right time to hand over in order to continue the necessary transformation.”

He is being succeeded by former Tui Musement chief David Schelp, who said: “Our tour operators and airlines have enormous potential that David Burling has laid an excellent foundation for. 

“More growth, new products and customer groups and further internationalisation are on our agenda.”

Group chair Dieter Zetsche said: “The supervisory board and I personally would like to thank David Burling for his great commitment and enormous achievements for Tui. 

“He has shaped Tui’s tour operator business for several decades – first in the UK and then at international group level. 

“He is an internationally recognised leader with experience, integrity and an excellent track record. 

“The tour operator business was hit hard by the pandemic. David Burling has made a key contribution to ensuring that Tui has come out of the pandemic in good shape. 

“Thanks to his leadership the TUI tour operators are now back on a stable footing. 

“David Burling has built up a powerful team that will now tackle the next stage of the transformation. 

“David Schelp is the right manager for this challenge. He knows Tui and our industry and we know him. He has already worked closely with our CEO.”

Chief executive Sebastian Ebel added: “I would like to thank David Burling for the many years of excellent co-operation. 

“In our nine years together on the group executive board, I have got to know David as a very thoughtful, experienced and forward-looking colleague who has manoeuvered our tour operators and airlines through difficult years and crises – always with a clear course. 

“I would also like to thank him personally for his always reliable guidance and support. I wish him all the best for the future. 

“In David Schelp, we are bringing back a colleague to Tui who knows the tourism sector and Tui inside out and who will be able to focus his energy on the growth of our tour operators and airlines from day one. 

“During his time at Tui Musement, David Schelp has proven that he is capable of driving change and transformation. 

“Together with the team of the group executive committee, I look forward to working with him to further develop our tour operator and airline business. 

“The direction is clear: more products, more customers, more growth and more profitability. We have reached good milestones by 2023, but there is still further to go.”

MoreTui UK & Ireland delivers €71 million annual profit

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