Snow disruption in the UK and political unrest in Tunisia hit bookings at tour operator TUI Travel in the last month, a trading update has revealed.
The owner of Thomson Holidays said booking volumes for near-term departures since its previous trading statement in early December were down 1% as Arctic conditions shut off British airports and stopped would-be holidaymakers visiting its shops.
The company cancelled all flights to Tunisia on January 15 following a continuing series of violent demonstrations and riots in the north African country, which led to the ousting of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
However, cumulative winter bookings to January 16 are up 3%, and the company is on target to meet its expectations for the winter season.
In addition, summer bookings have surged 11% since the last trading update, driven by the company’s “differentiated product range” – holiday packages exclusively available through TUI Travel brands.