TUI records 40% drop in summer bookings to Turkey

BERLIN - TUI, the world's biggest tourism group, said Tuesday that it seen bookings to Turkey drop by 40 percent in the wake of the Istanbul attack, but hopes to meet its 2016 goals nevertheless.
"TUI has recorded a decline in demand for Turkey, with summer 2016 bookings to that destination currently down by around 40 percent," the group said in a statement.
Eleven German tourists were killed in a suicide bombing in Istanbul in January, an attack blamed on the Islamic State group.
However, TUI insisted that it been able to respond quickly and offer customers alternative destinations.
"Our own hotels in destinations outside Turkey such as Spain and in particular the Canaries are benefitting from this shift in demand," said chief executive Fritz Joussen.
"Based on current trading ... we remain convinced that we will be able to deliver the announced growth" of at least 10 percent in underlying profit for the full financial year, Joussen said.
TUI runs its business year from October to September and CEO Joussen said that the new year had gotten off to a good start in the first quarter.
"TUI group has delivered a good start to the new financial year with a strong first quarter performance," he said.
While the group's net loss widened to 164 million euros ($184 million) in the period from October to December from 136 million euros a year earlier, largely due to writedowns on its stake in container shipping group Hapag-Lloyd, the underlying loss narrowed to 97.3 million euros, it said.
At the same time, revenues were up 5.4 percent at 3.718 billion euros in the three-month period, TUI said.