Travel giant Tui to close 166 High Street stores amid impact of Covid-19

30 July 2020, 11:51

The travel giant will close stores in the UK and Ireland
The travel giant will close stores in the UK and Ireland. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Tui is to close 166 high street stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the tour operator has announced.

The news comes just days after the. holiday provider cancelled all flights to Ibiza and Majorca for a week due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Tui also aims to relocate staff to vacancies in the remaining 350 retail stores.

The firm announced in May that it planned to cut around 8,000 jobs globally as it seeks to reduce overhead costs by 30%.

Tui UK and Ireland managing director Andrew Flintham said of the store closures: "We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it's in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do.

"It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service.

"Customer behaviours have already changed in recent years, with 70% of all Tui UK bookings taking place online.

"We believe Covid-19 has only accelerated this change in purchasing habits, with people looking to buy online or wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home.

"We have world-class travel advisers at Tui, so we hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value."