TUI signs 13 further hotel agreements in Asia and Africa

TUI Hotels & Resorts has signed 13 additional TUI BLUE hotel projects in Asia and Africa, expanding further outside its core focus of European destinations.

The hotel brand of TUI Group signed 13 new management and franchise agreements with international partners, taking the total number of planned hotel openings in those regions to 22 hotels in 13 countries.

Countries with hotels in the pipeline for 2024 include China, Vietnam, The Gambia and Cambodia, with openings during the year in these countries totalling seven. Looking further forward, TUI has more openings planned in the Maldives, Senegal, Spain, China, Bali/Indonesia, Turkey, Curacao, Austria, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Why it matters

TUI traditionally focuses on European destinations, so this move indicates a strategic shift as it sets out to take advantage of the significant opportunities for growth in emerging economies. TUI's decision to focus on Asia and Africa is indicative of the growing importance of these regions in the global tourism industry as emerging economies often present lucrative opportunities because of rising middle classes.

More and more hotel investors are expressing a bullish outlook on the travel and tourism sectors in Asia and Africa, despite the potential risks and challenges associated with investment in these regions, such as political and economic instability. Speaking during Hilton’s Q2 earnings call recently, Chris Nassetta, president & CEO of Hilton stated: “The middle class is growing all over the world and we think that’s where the most money will be made over the next 10, 20 or 30 years.”

When considering this belief, no doubt shared by others, it’s no surprise TUI is setting itself up to benefit by targeting these regions.

What they said

Erik Friemuth, managing director TUI Hotels & Resorts said: “Our hotel business is performing strongly and we are driving projects across different brands of the group at a high pace. With the growth of TUI BLUE, we are also expanding our targeted customer base in Asia and Africa. For example, our hotels in China will primarily welcome local holidaymakers.”