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Tui's UK summer holiday sales return to pre-pandemic levels despite price hikes

Prices have increased at the world's largest holiday company and are now "notably higher" than just three months ago.

The average selling price at Tui has increased 5%, which the company has described as "notably higher" than the 2% price increase reported in the first three months of its 2023 financial year.

In its half-year results, the German-British company said the average selling price is actually up 8% on a like-for-like basis compared to the previous season.

The latest price rise "highlights customers' continued willingness to prioritise spend on travel and experiences", the company said.

When compared to the pre-pandemic summer of 2019 the average price of a holiday increased 26%.

Despite the rise, booking volume for summer holidays "remains strong", ahead of 2019 levels. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of UK holidays are sold, the results said, more than any other market.

Spain, Greece and Turkey are the most popular destinations for summer travellers.

Overall summer bookings are up 13% on last year and have nearly caught up with pre-pandemic levels at 96% of summer 2019. But in the UK sales have outpaced 2019 and are up 10% on the year before the pandemic hit.

The business still has some way to go to recover full pandemic sales. In the second quarter there were an extra 600,000 customers on the year before - bringing the number to 2.4 million customers - which was just 88% of 2019 customer levels.

Tui's chief executive said long-haul travel is still weak after the pandemic.

Revenues at the travel company that owns hotels, planes and cruise ships, said winter travel had met its expectations and reported an increase in revenue of 52% to €3.2bn (£2.7bn) in the three months to the start of April.

The quarter is traditionally a loss-making one but the quarterly loss fell €88m to €242m (£210m).