Tui UK could increase Atol licence ‘in next few months’

Tui UK and Ireland might increase its Atol licence “in the next few months” after unveiling plans to add 1,500 hotels to its summer 2024 range of package holidays.

The operator announced on Tuesday (March 7) that 1,500 hotels across 22 destinations will be added for summer 2024 thanks to the rebound in holiday bookings from the UK.

Richard Sofer, Tui UK and Ireland commercial and business development director, told Travel Weekly: “From an Atol point of view, don’t assume that our Atol will stay static. The 1,500 hotels are for our package holiday programme.”

When asked when the Atol might change, he replied: “I would say in the next few months.”

The focus on Atol numbers increased last month when Jet2holidays leapfrogged Tui in the UK to top the rankings.

Jet2holidays had increased its licence for 2023 to carry 5.8 million passengers, while Tui has a licence for 5.3 million.

However, Andrew Flintham, managing director for Tui UK and Ireland, told Travel Weekly that customers “don’t really give two hoots about [Atol]”.

He echoed the comments by Tui Group chief executive Sebastian Ebel who said last month: “We want to be the market leader not only in numbers but also in quality.”

Flintham said: “We want to be the best holiday company for consumers; that is going to come in many different shapes and forms that will see us competing on every single front.

“There will probably come changes to that lovely number that I spent half of my life looking at and analysing.”

Sofer also pointed out that the Tui Atol figure does not include carryings for its Marella cruise line or seats with other partners.

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