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
"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
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