Travel agent Tui to shut 166 stores across Ireland and the UK

Andrew Cummings
August 2, 2020

TUI travel said that they are unsure how many of their ten Irish outlets will be affected as they prepare to close 166 stores across Ireland and the UK. The travel company cited changing consumer habits during lockdowns as the shift to online bookings "accelerated".

In what will be seen as a major blow to the tourism industry, the travel giant said it had "accelerated" the closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It has closed overseas customer services centres in Mumbai and Johannesburg in a bid to protect United Kingdom jobs.

Some 630 of the 900 staff attached to the closing stores will move to home-working sales or customer service roles.

The company said it aims to relocate retail advisers to vacancies across the high street stores, so it "can preserve as much of the expertise and continue to offer a great service to its customers".

The closures will affect stores across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

According to travel industry experts, today's news that TUI is closing 166 travel agencies in United Kingdom and Ireland, is not surprising after the European travel giant already declared initiatives to digitize operations in its half year results earlier this year.

"It is therefore imperative that we make these hard cost decisions and do our best to look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty".

Lay-offs have not yet been confirmed, with Flintham saying that some employees will have the opportunity to work from home: "We hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value".

At present, TUI has 10 outlets in Ireland, eight of which are now listed as being temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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