TUI: Heatwaves likely to affect where and when we holiday
The boss of TUI has said heatwaves and climate change could prompt people to take their holidays in spring or autumn and choose cooler destinations. Sebastian Ebel, chief executive of the tour firm, said holidaymakers might choose to travel to Greece in November, benefiting the travel industry. Destinations such as the Belgian or Polish coast might become more popular, he added. TUI said July's wildfires in Rhodes had cost the firm 25m (21.5m). TUI said 8,000 of its customers had been evacuated from the Greek island. However, the German company said 80% of its guests on the island were unaffected. Mr Ebel claimed the climate was "not as it was described" and said he went to Rhodes on "the first day" of the blazes starting and he was "surprised" because the fire was not visible. In total more than 20,000 people were evacuated when wildfires broke out in Rhodes and other parts of Greece, and thousands of UK holidaymakers were flown home. The experience was described as like "being thrown into a disaster film" by som e. People were moved to sleep in schools and sports centres as they waited for flights home, after wildfires made some holiday resorts uninhabitable. TUI said the events had only affected demand in the short term, with bookings for last week 5% higher than the equivalent period last year, in line with a general recovery of holiday bookings following the pandemic. But the wildfires cost the firm 25m through covering cancellations, compensation as well as repatriation flights and welfare costs. TUI said the experience showed booking a package tour with an operator offered "great advantages and comprehensive service in extraordinary situations". Mr Ebel said the company was set to broaden the amount of destinations it offered to mitigate against similar risks in the future. Countries with more moderate temperatures, such as the Nordic countries, could become more popular travel destinations, but Mr Ebel said the Mediterranean region remained one of the top places for holidaymakers. He added that TUI could introduce new insurance for tourists going to areas that were affected by climate change-related disruptions. On Wednesday, the company reported a return a third-quarter profit for the first time since the pandemic, with bookings for summer 2023 up 6% year-on-year and recovering to 95% of 2019 levels. TUI said its price increases reflected the popularity of summer holidays and its customers' continued willingness to prioritise spending on travel and experiences. It said popular destinations this summer were Turkey, the Caribbean, the Balearics, Greece, the Canaries and Cape Verde. Free week in Rhodes for evacuated tourists - Greek PM Thousands flee 'disaster film' Rhodes wildfires Morocco rescuers dig with bare hands as foreign aid sent US denies Cold War with China in historic Vietnam visit How Russia and West agreed on Ukraine G20 language How Russia and West agreed on Ukraine G20 language US denies Cold War with China in historic Vietnam visit 'Everyone in this village is either dead or missing' A Serbian scientist's long quest to name Srebrenica's dead How chronic pain feels for me. Video How chronic pain feels for me Guyana scrambles to make the most of oil wealth The spongy creatures cleaning Zanzibar's oceans. Video The spongy creatures cleaning Zanzibar's oceans Inside a 'hijacked' South African building. Video Inside a 'hijacked' South African building The rise and fall of a parenting influencer Florida's first hurricane-proof town The greatest spy novel ever written? Why is everyone crazy about Aperol? 2023 BBC.