New Tui chief sets out plans for ‘significant and profitable growth’

Tui is targeting significant growth across its major markets with a triple-pronged strategy under new chief executive Sebastian Ebel.

The group aims to take market share from rivals, broaden its product offering with more flight-only, accommodation-only and activities, and attract new customers.

Ebel outlined the strategy in London this week, telling Travel Weekly: “I would like to see significant growth, and I mean profitable growth, through three main measures.

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“One is to fight for market share because we had quite often been optimising what we had and gave room to others. So [we will] really fight for market share, being agile, being a little more ambitious, using risk-free, third-party capacity.”

Second, Ebel aims to broaden the product portfolio, saying: “We were not really in the dynamic space.
“Germany is the first market where it was launched a couple of weeks ago [and] we see a strong improvement. We get market share in the dynamic space.

“On accommodation-only, we’ve started to bring products into our systems – starting with Scandinavia and Germany. There is room to grow significantly there.

“Then in the flight market, we sell flights. In the ancillary market, for example, in car rental, we are strong and profitable in Germany, but we don’t have that product in any other market yet.”

He added: “The activity market with [Tui’s tour and activities platform] Musement is probably the biggest source of growth. We are the white-label provider to and just announced a partnership with easyJet holidays. There are more to come.”

Ebel said: “The third pillar is new clients. More than 50% of Musement customers have not been Tui customers before. If I look at car rental, 50% of customers are not traditional Tui customers.” So he promised “more agility in physical retail and online, in the social media space, to get more new customers”.

He argued: “These should be the three pillars on which we grow significantly. The traditional wholesale package is important, but it’s most likely not the source of growth.

“Germany is the showcase market where we have all these products available, not yet in the volumes we’ll have hopefully in three or six months, but we’re moving with high speed and we’ll roll it out to other countries in the next 12 months.

“We will still be the Tui you know, with great exclusive content and, in addition, dynamically built packages and accommodation-only.”

Ebel insisted: “We have room to increase our market share in the UK in the more traditional space.
“Some market players source direct and are very agile. It’s time to take our strengths to the market and gain market share.”

He added: “It’s not only about online. In the UK, online is dominant. [But] for us, it’s not a question of online or retail. There is not an online-only strategy.

“We want to be the supplier of choice for retailers. We see that the margin, the commercials, are good. And in the end the customer decides. We don’t want to tell the customer how they should buy the product.”

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