Tui shares leap on news that Spain will welcome tourists from July

May 26, 2020

Shares in travel company Tui have rocketed by more than 50% on news that Spain will welcome tourists from July.

The Anglo-German firm gained 52.4% by the close of trading on Tuesday, one of a number of travel stocks boosted by news that Spain will reopen its tourism industry without quarantine requirements.

Other big gainers included British Airways owner IAG which rose by 22.5% and easyJet up by 19.3%. Ryanair climbed almost 12% after confirming plans to resume 40% of its normal schedule from 1 July.

The news will come as a relief to many holidaymakers, as Spain is a popular destination for Britons. It is also a good sign for Spain's economy - tourism accounts for 12% of the country's GDP.

Spain was among a number of European travel destinations that would usually have been preparing for a busy summer when the coronavirus pandemic struck, killing more than 26,000 people in the country.

Greece, meanwhile, has said it will have cheaper tickets for sea travel from the mainland to Greek islands from the beginning of June and has published a list of countries - some of them from outside the EU - whose nationals will be allowed to enter without restrictions.

In Germany, all eyes are on 15 June, when the country is expected to lift an advisory against all international travel, in a move that would be welcomed by the many countries that benefit from German tourists.

German news agency DPA reported that a similar travel warning for the UK, the rest of the EU, and the four non-EU members of the Schengen zone - Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein - would be lifted on the same day, depending on continuing improvement in the coronavirus situation.

Hotels and cruise stocks also benefited from the renewed optimism on Tuesday: InterContinental was up 9.3%, Park Plaza owners PPHE were up 7.3% and Hilton Hotels in the US was up almost 5%.

Also in the US, cruise company Carnival was up 13% and Royal Caribbean Cruises rose by 12.3%.

Travel and leisure stocks across Europe were up by almost 7% and the progress helped the FTSE 100 gain 1.24% by the close of trading. The more UK-focused FTSE 250 was up just over 3.2%.

But not everyone is positive.

Christopher Peel, the chief investment officer of Tavistock Wealth, said: "Investors are trying to be optimistic here and think that everything is going to be ok.

"You can't fight it ...I'm not trying to fight it. But it is totally disconnected from economic reality."

And the gain for Tui shares still leaves it around 52% down from where it started the year. IAG is down around 63% from where it was at the same time.

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