TUI is focusing on increasing numbers of South-East Asian guests, who are travelling more frequently and differently than in the past, and wants to grow in this region.
Hanover / Kuala Lumpur -- Kuala Lumpur is to become the location for TUI International Holidays Malaysia. The licence for the start as a tour operator in Malaysia was issued to TUI by the Government of Malaysia. As a result, TUI is continuing to expand in the growing Asian markets.
Already today, South-East Asia is an attractive destination for Europeans. TUI is focusing on increasing numbers of South-East Asian guests, who are travelling more frequently and differently than in the past, and wants to grow in this region. Destinations include both Europe and the countries of South-East Asia, where TUI today already operates its own hotels and clubs in Sri Lanka, on the Maldives and in Thailand.
"We are developing holiday offers which are also attractive to Asian travellers in both neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka and Thailand, as well as the long-haul routes from Asia. The start of the new division in Kuala Lumpur is an important step towards addressing even more Asian customers in the future", said Frank Rosenberger, TUI's chief development officer for new markets. Rosenberger is responsible for the "TUI 2022" strategy, with which TUI aims to reach one million additional customers in new markets by 2022. Unlike the classic TUI markets in Europe, this business should be operated via the Group's digital platforms and together with strong partners.
The travel experiences are thereby increasingly being developed and managed locally in Asia. The marketing of TUI Hotels & Resorts for the region will be controlled from Bangkok. For the growing segment of tours and activities, TUI Destination Experiences has already started a partnership with Ctrip which, with 200 million users per week, is China's leading online portal. TUI China, already founded in 2003, will support the growth strategy with strong locations in Shanghai and Beijing.
The expansion of the TUI hotel portfolio in Asia is meanwhile progressing. "As a developer, investor and operator of hotels, we have a very strong position in Europe, in Mexico and in the Caribbean. We have started to expand in Southeast Asia and want to grow to a total of 20 or 25 hotels in the next few years. We also want to market our hotels in the region. The short and medium-haul destinations in the region are becoming increasingly attractive to guests from Southeast Asia, for example, our Robinson Clubs in Asia or the RIU Hotel in Sri Lanka. Here, TUI's strong hotel brands have enormous potential", said Sebastian Ebel, Member of the Executive Board of TUI AG and CEO Hotels & Resorts, Cruises, Destination Experiences.
Asia is also moving into focus in the cruise segment, the third growth segment of TUI in addition to hotels and activities. TUI's three cruise lines are now regularly calling at Asian ports. TUI Cruises and Marella Cruises have each stationed a ship in Singapore and Langkawi during the winter season.