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UK holidaymakers go online to book with Tui Travel this summer

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UK holidaymakers have gone online to book their summer breaks this year, with more than half of Tui Travel’s UK sales taking place over the internet.

In all, 51% of the travel company’s UK bookings were made online. Across the company 36% of sales for summer 2014 were booked online through Tui’s websites, which in the UK include and Online bookings were three percentage points up on the same time last year. In all, customers made 67% of summer 2014 holiday bookings directly with Tui, which said growth in direct distribution was “driven by the online channel”.

“Our customers are increasingly seeing the benefits of our digital transformation strategy, which is in turn driving conversion improvements from our new web platforms,” the company said in a third-quarter statement out today. “The shift to online also drives significant margin improvement as distribution costs decrease.”

The update for the quarter to June 30 came as Tui said that 88% of its summer holidays were sold so far this year. However, UK bookings were down by 1%. Across the business, underlying operating profit rose by 21% to £92m, on a like-for-like basis. UK operating profit was up by 17%.

Peter Long, chief executive of Tui Travel, said: “Demand for our unique holidays, which now account for over 70% of Summer sales, has continued to grow, as have bookings made online.

“Our One Mainstream structure, led by Johan Lundgren, continues to yield tangible benefits across a number of areas as we drive the organisation to deliver a performance similar to that achieved by our UK business. We remain pleased with progress in Summer trading, despite strong comparatives, and are achieving higher average selling prices across mainstream overall.”

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