It was a chilling way to start an annual general shareholder meeting. Klaus Mangold, chairman of TUI’s supervisory board, opened the firm’s AGM on Tuesday in Hanover by asking shareholders for a moment of silence for tourists killed last June in an Islamic terror attack at the Tunisian resort town of Sousse — a massacre that left dead 33 Britons and Germans who traveled there with TUI.
Mangold’s downbeat opening to the AGM was a harbinger of more gloomy news from TUI, the world’s largest tour operator. Chief executive Fritz Joussen then shocked investors with news that bookings to Turkey, another important destination for sun-seekers in northern Europe, have also plummeted in the wake of another terror attack last month in Istanbul. A Syrian man in his 20s walked into the middle of a group of German tourists in the city’s historic center and blew himself up, killing 10 people.
But it’s more than just falling business in Tunisia and Turkey that’s hurting TUI.
Bookings to Turkey calculated from the start of the current business year in October are down 40 percent on the previous year. TUI also had to shut its hotel operations in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt after a suspect terror attack of a Russian plane over the Sinai Peninsula.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on the plane which was returning to St. Petersburg from the Red Sea resort. All 224 people on board were killed. Sharm el Sheikh accounts for fully half of TUI’s business in Egypt, and in his address yesterday Mr. Joussen said TUI’s other business in Egypt had been mediocre.