Britain’s biggest holiday company, TUI, revealed that it would be closing 166 of its 516 high street stores across the UK and Ireland. The crushing blow to the travel and tourism industry will impact up to 900 jobs.
However, it is likely many of the jobs could be saved by redeployment.
In fact, 70 percent of these potentially impacted roles will be created into a new homeworking sales and service team.
The TUI news comes after the airline and holiday company announced last month that it would be closing 70 stores in France.
The move saw nearly 600 people lose their jobs.
TUI: The holiday company has announced it will be closing 166 high street branches
TUI: TUI has confirmed that it will instead be adding flights in August for Greece and Turkey
Managing director Andrew Flintham said in a statement that these “difficult” decisions have to be made.
He said: “We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it’s in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do.
“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service.
“Customer behaviours have already changed in recent years, with 70 percent of all TUI UK bookings taking place online.
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“We believe Covid-19 has only accelerated this change in purchasing habits, with people looking to buy online or wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home.
“We have world-class travel advisers at TUI, so we hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value.”
It comes as TUI this week announced it would be extending the cancellation of its holidays to the Canary and Balearics Islands until August 4.
TUI has also cancelled all its holidays to mainland Spain until August 10.
TUI has also cancelled all its holidays to mainland Spain until August 10
Customers due to travel to all Spanish destinations between July 26 and August 9 will be able to cancel or amend their holiday.
They will also be able to receive a full refund or the option to rebook their holiday.
Travellers with holidays to the Balearic and Canary Islands from August 4 and mainland Spain from August 10 will receive an update on July 31.
The move is in response to the UK Government changing its advice for mainland Spain, the Balearics and the Canaries.
International travel post-lockdown
TUI has confirmed that it will instead be adding flights in August 1, 2 and 3 to Greece and Turkey.
Last week, the Government revealed that it would be axing Spain from its “air bridge” list.
The move has sparked outrage amongst keen travellers who had booked summer holidays in Spain, the Balearics and the Canary Islands.
It’s expected that hundreds of Britons will now have to change the dates of their holidays or apply for refunds.
Now, anyone returning from Spain to the UK will have to face 14 days in isolation.