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Tui cancels beach holidays until at least mid-May

The travel giant has cancelled all trips up to and including May 14, while its Marella Cruises sailings have been axed until at least June.

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Tui has suspended its beach holidays for the next five weeks (Peter Byrne/PA)

Tui has suspended its beach holidays for the next five weeks (Peter Byrne/PA)

Tui has suspended its beach holidays for the next five weeks (Peter Byrne/PA)

Tui, the UK’s biggest travel firm, has suspended its beach holidays for the next five weeks.

The company has cancelled all trips up to and including May 14, while its Marella Cruises sailings have been axed until at least June.

A spokeswoman said: “We are constantly monitoring the situation and will start taking people on holiday again as soon as we are able to do so.

“At this point in time, nobody can accurately predict when that will be, so for the time being we will keep a close eye on our programme and continue to amend and adapt timings in line with the latest global travel advice.”

She added that customers with a cancelled booking “will be able to amend their holiday to any other Tui package holiday on sale” via its website.

The firm did not say that consumers would be entitled to a refund.

Under EU law, travel companies must offer to refund customers within 14 days if their package holiday is cancelled.

But the industry has warned that many firms will be unable to survive if they are forced to pay out immediately.

Trade association Abta has called for the UK Government to follow measures taken in other European countries to allow holiday companies to issue credit notes instead of cash refunds due to the deluge of claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “Tui is acting disgracefully by telling customers ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’ and then failing to provide any information about their rights to a refund for cancelled holidays, sometimes costing thousands of pounds.

“Many of these people may desperately need their money back because they are under financial pressure due to coronavirus.

“The travel industry is under great strain, and while we encourage holidaymakers to rebook or accept vouchers if it suits their circumstances, it should not be on consumers to prop up the UK’s biggest holiday company while they are left to suffer without their money.

“To help end this uncertainty, the Government should confirm how it intends to support the travel industry through this outbreak while ensuring that consumers can still claim their money back and have it returned to them within a reasonable time frame.”

PA