Mediterranean holidaymakers are taking longer trips – which will lead to a shortage of rooms in peak summer, the boss of Europe’s biggest travel firm has warned.
“Although that doesn’t sound much, it is very big – we are consuming 12-13 per cent more accommodation,” he said.
“This will have an influence later in the season.”
The scarcity of supply, he said, will sharply reduce availability in the peak summer months of July and August.
Even in Turkey, where the number of Russian and Ukrainian visitors is expected to be sharply down because of Vladimir Putin’s war, other source markets have already taken up the spare capacity.
“If you don’t book now, you will have difficulty finding a decent holiday,” warned the Tui boss. “Last-minute discounts will not be seen.”
Mr Joussen said the cost of living crisis had not so far hit bookings, with the UK leading a surge in sales across Europe.
Average selling prices for summer holidays are 20 per cent higher than in 2019. Two-thirds of the increase is due to customers taking longer trips.
The Tui chief executive added that summer 2023 bookings from the UK are “very strong”. Although absolute numbers are small, he said “we see very strong momentum”.
Sales for the summer season are currently at 85 per cent of the level of summer 2019.
While cruising has been harder hit than other parts of the business, Mr Joussen said that it was recovering strongly.