The Canary tourism sector waited expectantly for TUI to react to the bankruptcy ofThomas Cook. And yesterday he did. The German giant of turoperation announced an ambitious expansion plan in the main holiday destinations in which the Islands feature prominently. The Archipelago is one of the markets that will distribute the two million air seats that TUI will incorporate into its offer in the coming months to take advantage of the fall of its main competitor for so many years. Already other multinationals such as Jet2.com or Wizz Air had expressed their intention to fill part of the holes left by Thomas Cook, but the announcement of the German firm was awaiting with special interest because of the enormous weight it has in the sector. Not surprisingly, if there is a company with enough muscle to rescue seats and routes that have been lost with the bankruptcy of theirintimate enemy„And above all to do it quickly„, that is precisely TUI. Not surprisingly, it is the company that brings more tourists every year to the Archipelago, a whopping 2.7 million only last year.
As the German tour operator announced yesterday, which has up to eight airlines among its subsidiaries, there are seven destinations that will benefit from the two million seats that it will add to its offer after the British competitor's crac. Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Mexico, American Florida, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are the countries and regions in whichTUIit will redouble its bet to gain market or even strengthen its leadership, an unquestionable leadership in the case of the Archipelago. The plan of the multinational of German origin also includes the increase in the number of flights originating in the British airports of Manchester, Doncaster, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Remember that TUI is 3.56% owned by the familyRiu. In fact, the Riu-TUI alliance has its origin in the fifties of the last century, when the two giants of the tourism sector created a company to bring Germans to the Balearic Islands. Both are since then preferred partners, to the point that 49% of Riu Hotels & Resorts is owned by the German firm. In addition, the Matutes family also has a considerable package of actions of the tour operator, which, therefore, and despite its roots in central Europe, has one of its main decision centers in Spain. And all this without forgetting that Riu operates almost twenty hotels in the Autonomous Community, hence the influence of the Balearic family in the German strategy plays in favor of the region. Without going any further, the hotel chain will invest about 30 million euros in the reform of the Buenavista hotel, south of Tenerife, one of its latest acquisitions in the Islands. Thus, the expansion of TUI in the region is also that of Riu.
The German tour operator brought a total of exactly 2,697,738 tourists to the Canary Islands last year, according to data from Promotur, the public company in charge ofmarketingand the promotion of destinyCanary Islands. That is to say, it brought 20% of the little more than 13.5 million tourists „excluding those under 16 years of age„ who spent their vacations in the Archipelago throughout 2018. Each of these people spent on their trip a average of 1,255 euros, with TUI's activity representing 3,386 million euros of the 15,590 million that added the turnover of the entire Canary tourism sector in 2018.