Asia still strong in TUI’s world

28 January 2003

PHNOM PENH - TUI AG's boss of global contracting says despite tough times, Asia is still strongly fixed in the company's growth plans, with moves to grow business to the Far East from both Europe and East Asia.

"There have been a few events where we have seen business slow down, but we are not the only ones to be affected. Our strategy is still to build the Far East hub - and that will eventually include inbound and outbound," said divisional executive contracting David Harper.

Harper said TUI AG was not in danger of becoming too big.

"We are in a low-margin business so we have to get the synergies and efficiencies of sales. But if we can no longer grow in the travel business, we will grow in other areas."

The idea for the customer of the World of TUI branding and system, he said, was to have an integrated experience anywhere in the world.

"They will be able to travel anywhere with a well known and trusted brand. More and more it is vital that customers trust their operator."

Creating a "pan-Europe" business culture amongst many differing markets was no mean feat, he admitted.

"It is obviously a big challenge, with operators in 20 European countries. But it's been successful, there are senior directors and managers from all over the business, including myself, so that's worked well.

"Plus we tend to have the same values - it would have been more difficult to integrate with different values."

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