Vaccinate, test, make travel possible – vaccination campaigns campaigns underway around the world and ever-improving testing facilities are important steps on the road to a restart for tourism. TUI is working towards enabling its guests to enjoy a well-deserved vacation in the usual way again soon. You can see how we are preparing behind the scenes for #Restart2021 in our ticker. We are building on the successful hygiene and safety concepts from last year to provide our guests with a safe and unforgettable vacation. Whether travel agency, flight, transfer, hotel, excursion or cruise - we have an eye on all aspects of the travel.

+++ 31 MARCH +++

Guest numbers triple during March for TUI in Dominican Republic

Our TUI colleagues in the Dominican Republic have been delivering holidays uninterrupted since July 2020, but between February and March 2021 the number of guests welcomed tripled to over 5000. “In March we saw much higher numbers of American guests and I believe this is because of the strong progress in the vaccination rollout. We are thrilled to be creating more smiles in the beautiful Dominican Republic.” said Viorel Radu, TUI Manager Dominican Republic & Cuba.

It is not just guests from the USA visiting the Caribbean nation, and our team in the Dominican Republic has welcomed over 4,500 TUI Poland guests since January this year, with three TUI flights carrying polish guests now arriving every week.

+++ 17 MARCH +++

TUI Guests Return to Cape Verde

Following months of little to no international tourism, holidaymakers are returning to Cape Verde, including 340 TUI guests travelling from Poland to the island of Sal. “We are delighted to be able to bring guests to Sal,” says Marcin Dymnicki, Managing Director TUI in Poland. Our guests were the first to stay at the newly built Hotel RIU Palace Santa Maria, a five-star property located directly on the beach.

Tourism is an important economic sector for Cape Verde and the resumption of tourism creates employment opportunities for the local population. Proven and comprehensive hygiene measures offer both guests and staff a safe holiday experience. A prerequisite for entry to Cape Verde is a negative Corona test.

+++ 12 MARCH +++

Mallorca is ready to welcome holidaymakers from Germany again as early as Easter. Due to low incidence values, the travel warning for the Germans' favourite island has been lifted.

  • Further Information can be found here (only available in german).

+++ 9 MARCH +++

Meeting of TUI Group CEO Sebastian Ebel and the President of the Balearic Islands

Full focus on a safe and responsible 2021 holiday season: TUI Group CFO Sebastian Ebel met with the President of the Balearic Islands Francina Armengol and Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela in Palma de Mallorca.

“I am convinced that Mallorca and the Balearic Islands will do everything to be good hosts at the beginning of the season and throughout the summer – safely and responsibly. Our special thanks goes to the hoteliers on the islands who, together with TUI, are doing everything they can to make holidays possible in the near future", Sebastian Ebel said during a press event at the Presidential Palace in Palma.

+++ 26 FEBRUARY +++

TUI CEO Fritz Joussen says on the occasion of the EU summit on the 2021 holiday season:

  • The full statement can be found here.

+++ 23 FEBRUARY +++

Infection figures are falling worldwide

While the level of infection is stagnating in some countries, the numbers are suddenly dropping significantly worldwide, according to WHO data. Despite mutations, the coronavirus is apparently losing power. Researchers recognise a pattern - and give hope with a startling prognosis.

  • Further Information can be found here.

UK announces plans for lockdown exit

Travel firms say there has been a surge in overseas holiday bookings following the Prime Minister's announcement of the road map out of lockdown. Despite question marks over the return of international travel TUI UK&I said bookings jumped 500 per cent overnight.

  • Further Information can be found here.

Lockdown exit in Germany: Merkel pleads for multi-stage opening strategy

According to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND), Chancellor Angela Merkel has again advocated a cautious strategy for possible openings in light of concerns about a third Corona wave. Opening steps must be wisely introduced coupled with increased testing, Merkel said on Monday, according to participants in and online consultations of Merkel’s party.

Vaccination news

According to an analysis by the British health authority Public Health England, the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer should prevent mere infection with the coronavirus. The risk of infection would be reduced by about 70 per cent after the first of the two doses, and by about 85 per cent after the second dose, compared to the risk of unvaccinated people.

There is also good news from Astrazeneca: According to a preliminary data analysis, the first of two vaccinations with Astrazeneca's drug can reduce the risk of hospitalisation due to COVID-19 by up to 94 percent. This is the result of an analysis by several Scottish universities and the health authority Public Health Scotland.

+++ 17 FEBRUARY +++

TUI Holiday-Atlas

Crete and the Canary Islands are the most popular vacation destinations for Europeans for summer vacation 2021. The entire TUI Holiday-Atlas can be found here.

Package tours abroad are not drivers of corona infections

In a recent study, the German Robert Koch Institute (RKI) took a close look at travel-associated infection incidence last summer. From the perspective of the German Travel Association (DRV), conclusions can be drawn from the study that will be helpful in relaunching tourism this year.

"The RKI study should be used by the industry and politicians for the gradual development of a restart concept for tourism. Once again, it makes clear how great the gain in knowledge through systematic and strategic testing is. In addition, the RKI has worked out from which countries most foreign infections originated last summer. Result: The classical organized vacation journey contributed only on small level to the infection occurrence in Germany ", commentates DRV president Norbert Fiebig the analysis of the RKI. First of all, it should be noted that Germany was and still is the number one place of infection. Compared to infections in the own country, infections registered from abroad are very low.

First scheduled European flight for Boeing 737 MAX after flight ban

After almost two years of being grounded, a Boeing 737 MAX has completed its first commercial flight in Europe. The TUI fly Belgium aircraft took off from Brussels on Wednesday morning with destination Malaga.

+++ 15 FEBRUARY +++

Travel in times of Corona

EU member Cyprus plans to lift all restrictions on tourists from Israel vaccinated against the Corona virus from April 1.
In addition, Madeira has changed its entry requirements: Those who have already been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus or have survived the infection according to a doctor's certificate will no longer be subject to the requirement to present a negative PCR test, effective immediately. This was communicated by the Madeira tourist office.

Vaccination progress

UK: The UK has administered 15 million vaccine doses, according to government figures. This means that all people in one of the first four priority groups have received at least their first dose of vaccine, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Israel: Biontech and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is "extremely effective," according to an Israeli study. The health organization Clalit says that Corona infections with symptoms dropped by 92 percent after two units of the vaccine were administered. It is true that clinical studies had already shown that the vaccine was highly effective. Now, however, it is seen that this is also the case "in the real world.

  • Further Information can be found here.

+++ 12 FEBRUARY +++

Infographic: TUI package travel remains safe form of travel

TUI has facilitated holidays for more than 2.5 million guests from June to December 2020. With in total 364 registered COVID-19 cases in 184 days, this means an average 7-day incidence of 0.54 was observed per 100,000 guests. This shows: The hygiene and prevention concept in our planes, hotels and cruise ships works and offers the greatest possible safety in times of pandemic.

+++ 9 FEBRUARY +++

TUI publishes status update and Q1 figures 2021

The Group has further developed its successful safety and hygiene concepts and is well prepared for the 2021 vacation season. Other reasons for optimism include the very rapid vaccination progress in TUI's key market of the UK, the approval of vaccines and rapid testing. All of this should help bring an end to the tourism standstill. TUI's start to the new fiscal year was marked by COVID-19 restrictions. However, strict cost discipline and transformation in markets and businesses is being successfully driven and is helping to keep the loss lower.

  • Further Information can be found here.

+++ 8 FEBRUARY +++

TUI in the Nordic: “Still amazing”

On Monday, TUI's new campaign launches in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The Norway launch is planned for March. The campaign will be the second in a row since the corona pandemic began. The concept "Still Amazing" reminds the customer that everything wonderful about travelling still remains.

Vaccine Update

Here are the latest news of the vaccines:

  • The AstraZeneca vaccine has arrived in the EU countries. France started using it this weekend, with a priority for healthcare workers, after its first batch arrived Friday evening. Germany, Ireland, Spain and Austria will also start offering the shot, while Portugal will receive deliveries early this week.
  • While the AstraZeneca vaccine shows to maintain its effect against the U.K. variant of the virus, South Africa will temporarily halt the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine and accelerate its supply of shots from other suppliers. The government has secured 9 million doses from Johnson & Johnson and 20 million doses from Pfizer Inc., which were expected to arrive from June and May respectively.
  • Vaccine developers said they are working on a new shot to combat the South African strain of coronavirus after early data suggested the AstraZeneca vaccine has limited efficacy against mild disease caused by the variant. There isn’t yet enough information from research to show whether the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is effective at preventing severe Covid-19 cases, hospitalization and deaths, the company said in a statement.

+++ 5 FEBRUARY +++

Vaccination campaign in Europe


Meanwhile, discussion has begun about privileges for vaccinated travelers. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has put forward an initiative to this effect to the EU Commission for the summer. In combination with the use of rapid tests, destinations could thus be opened to travelers without risking the introduction of infections. TUI is in close exchange with politicians on this.

Denmark plans digital passport with proof of vaccination

With the Corona Passport, travelers will be able to document that the holder has been vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the Danish Ministry of Finance, this development is initially intended to make business trips easier. As a first step from end of February, people will be able to view their vaccination status on the Danish online health platform. The full implementation of the Corona Passport including the app development will take three to four months.

German government expects travel boom in summer

The federal government expects a significantly growth in the tourism business from summer onwards. Easter will probably still be weak, but around Pentecost we should see greater freedom again, said the government's tourism commissioner, Thomas Bareiß, in an interview with Reuters. “However, I believe that there will be a boom in the summer.” The industry could then make up for losses from the winter and spring partly. He does not fear a wave of bankruptcies because of the extensive state Corona aid. With increasing vaccinations and more rapid tests, travelling will gradually become possible again.

German Ethics Council discusses freedoms for vaccinated persons

Since the start of the vaccination programme, there has been controversy about whether the government restrictions on freedom imposed for the purpose of protecting against infection should be lifted for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Regarding profound restrictions on social, economic and cultural life, the German Ethics Council states that these are in any case justified only as long as the care of seriously ill COVID-19 patients threatens to acutely overburden the health care system. To the extent that this risk can be successfully reduced, pandemic control measures that involve serious encroachments on fundamental rights must be rolled back for all.

+++ 4 FEBRUARY +++

TUI Cargo flights from Stuttgart airport with Boeing 787

Many airlines have expanded their existing operations to include cargo on passenger aircraft: TUI has also increased its focus on cargo business since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to the good cooperation between the various TUI aviation teams, the company has been able to demonstrate its ability to carry out cargo operations.

Under normal circumstances, about 40 to 50 per cent of the world's cargo is carried in the belly of passenger aircraft. In addition, increased cargo demand is expected in the coming months to meet global demand for COVID-19 rapid testing and vaccine distribution.