4 March 2021

Digitisation in times of COVID – Discussion in Brussels

How can digitalisation help the travel industry to be prepared for the post-pandemic era? What role can the EU play in supporting small and medium-sized tourism companies in particular in their digital transformation? And how has TUI used the last 12 months to drive its own digital transformation? These were some of the questions discussed in an EURACTIV debate yesterday. Frank Rosenberger, Member of the Board/ IT and Future Markets, had a virtual exchange with Maltese MEP Josianne Cutajar, as well as representatives from Google and European think tanks.

All panelists see digital transformation as an important building block for the future of travel. At TUI, we have continued to invest in our digital capabilities during the crisis and have worked on our processes to become a digital platform company. Frank Rosenberger highlighted in his contributions that TUI has used the last 12 months intensively to bring together its own technologies (TRIPS), teams and processes (Market Transformation) and the needs of our external partners.

The discussion yesterday made it clear that it is often the small and medium-sized businesses (small hotels or local businesses offering excursions) that need more support in the use of digital tools and who sometimes also first need to be made aware of the importance of digitalisation for the future of their business. The further TUI goes with its digital transformation, the more important it becomes for partners to also be "fit" in terms of digitalisation – and thus benefit from it.

The discussion was organised by the team of TUI's Brussels EU Office. More than 150 listeners were there live – staff from MEPs, from the European Commission and from business associations. Events like those that were part of daily business in Brussels before the pandemic are currently not possible. This makes such virtual formats all the more important for having a dialogue with political stakeholder in Brussels.