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Greek Travel Demand Drives TUI Germany Bookings

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Summer travel bookings and revenues at TUI's German business are up from last year due especially to a jump in demand for travel to Greece.

"Due to the good economic environment, consumers are looking to spend, benefiting especially the travel sector," TUI Deutschland chief executive Christian Clemens said.

Data showed last week that German consumer morale rose to its highest level in seven years heading into March as shoppers in Europe's biggest economy became more upbeat about their future income.

TUI said bookings for vacations in Greece were up 28 percent from a year earlier as the tour operator added flights and hotels to its offering.

Demand for trips to Turkey, Spain and the Spanish island Majorca has also grown compared with last year, it said a day before the start of the ITB travel fair, the world's biggest trade fair for the travel industry, in Berlin.

And while it voiced concern that the Egyptian tourism sector's fragile recovery could be hampered by renewed safety concerns, it said recent years had shown that the destination, popular with German tourists, tended to bounce back.

"If the situation stabilizes and remains calm, there is a good chance that Egyptian tourism will return to its old strength quickly," Clemens said.

German tour operators including TUI started bringing hundreds of people back from Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh Red Sea resort last week after Germany's foreign office advised against travel to the entire Sinai peninsula.

TUI's optimism on the 2014 summer season echoed comments by German tourism trade group DRV, which estimated that revenues from summer bookings were up by a high single-digit percentage compared with a year ago.

It said it expects the sector to post full-year revenue growth of 2 to 4 percent. "Maybe it'll even be a plus of 5 percent," DRV president Juergen Buechy said in a statement.

TUI Deutschland is a subsidiary of London-listed TUI Travel, which is majority-owned by Germany's TUI.

(Reuters)

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