Hanover / London, 11 January 2018

TUI: “Sunshine Saturdays“ are the most popular booking days in the year

  • TUI Survey: Saturdays in January are the busiest days of the year for bookings
  • Europe-wide phenomenon, the busiest day in Germany will be 13th January
  • Travel experts: Booking a holiday to beat the Winter blues

The British call it “Sunshine Saturday“: the first Saturday of the New Year is the day on which TUI in the UK books the most holidays for the whole year. Business in Germany is also very strongly concentrated on Saturdays in January. The German people's love of travel also seems to be unrestrained in 2018. On Saturday, 13th January, TUI expects the booking peak of the year in Germany. According to internal calculations, more than 30,000 Germans will book their holidays through TUI on this single day. On 13th January, TUI expects 1.2 million holiday-seekers to either look for information online or ask for advice from a TUI travel agency.

Europe-wide phenomenon
According to a recent survey by the world's largest tourism group, the month of January – and once again every Saturday – is now the highest-selling month in Europe of all. On 6th January alone, around 30,000 TUI customers in the UK signed up for this year's holiday. Almost one million visitors were registered in the travel agencies and on the websites of the British TUI brands, TUI and First Choice, on "sunny Saturday". That's an absolute record. TUI has more than 20 million customers worldwide.

Nevertheless, there are some small differences: in the Scandinavian countries it is not Saturday, but especially Sunday that sees particularly high turnover, as the people there usually book their holidays online. In Belgium, it's even Monday. While in most countries the beginning of the month is especially popular when booking holidays, the Dutch and Austrians take a little more time. There you will find most bookings on the last Saturday of the month.

Book a holiday to beat the Winter blues
Psychologically, this booking behaviour immediately following the holiday break is easy to explain. The Christmas cosiness is over, the work routine is just around the corner, while the sky usually tends to be a shade of grey. That is the time the winter blues are likely to strike. To combat it, the best thing to do is to turn your thoughts to warmer things – the sun and the beach – and book a summer holiday. Many families also take advantage of the holidays to make their travel plans for the whole year. Favoured by the British, in particular, are all-inclusive holidays. A trend that the Brexit decision and the associated devaluation of the British Pound has further intensified. Price-conscious Britons thus avoid uncertainties resulting from increasing additional costs in Euro or Dollar countries.

Smartphone and tablet play an increasingly important role in the planning of travel and its booking. In countries like Norway and Sweden this is already completely normal. Their holiday bookings are made mainly online (78%). In Germany, however, the travel agency with its advice and service continues to be the preferred booking channel. The proportion of online bookings, however, is steadily increasing. In the past fiscal year 2017, the figure was 18 percent.

Popular travel destinations 2018
Where should the holiday be taken this year? In 2018 TUI organizers will focus in particularly on Spain, Greece and Turkey. The Canary Islands, Crete, Rhodes and Antalya rank among the favourites. With the long-haul destinations, on the other hand, it may well be a bit more exotic. On the list of top long-haul destinations in 2018 are destinations such as Vietnam and Cuba, but also city destinations such as New York. 

About TUI Group

The TUI Group is one of the world's leading tourism groups and operates worldwide. The Group is headquartered in Germany. TUI shares are listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, in the regulated market of the Lower Saxony Stock Exchange in Hanover and in the FTSE 250, an index of the London Stock Exchange. TUI Group offers its 19 million customers integrated services from a single source and forms the entire tourism value chain under one roof. The Group owns over 400 hotels and resorts with premium brands such as RIU, TUI Blue and Robinson and 16 cruise ships, ranging from the MS Europa and MS Europa 2 in the luxury class and expedition ships in the HANSEATIC class to the Mein Schiff fleet of TUI Cruises and cruise ships operated by Marella Cruises in the UK. The Group also includes Europe's leading tour operator brands and online marketing platforms, for example for hotel-only or flight-only offers, five airlines with more than 130 modern medium- and long-haul aircraft and around 1,200 travel agencies. In addition to expanding its core business with hotels and cruises via successful joint ventures and activities in vacation destinations, TUI is increasingly focusing on the expansion of digital platforms. The Group is transforming itself into a global tourism platform company.

Global responsibility for sustainable economic, environmental and social action is at the heart of our corporate culture. With projects in 25 countries, the TUI Care Foundation initiated by TUI focuses on the positive effects of tourism, on education and training and on strengthening environmental and social standards. In this way, it supports the development of vacation destinations. The globally active TUI Care Foundation initiates projects that create new opportunities for the next generation.