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South-east Asia is providing TUI Group’s TUI Blue brand with a hotbed of opportunities to grow the global hotel brand, according to its managing director.

As part of TUI Blue’s grand vision to launch more than 300 hotels worldwide, it has set its sights firmly on the region.

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TUI Blue hosted a private event on the sidelines of ITB Berlin to engage with investors and current owners

“It’s an important region for us,” said Artur Gerber, CEO and managing director, TUI Blue. “We did a lot of research and it showed very clearly there is space for us in South-east Asia.”

As part of its expansion plans, TUI Blue has set up business development offices in Dubai to focus on Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, with another in Hong Kong for South-east Asia. TUI Blue The Passage is slated to open in Thailand this summer, with another to rise on the Cambodian island of Koh Rong in the coming years.

Gerber said the entry of TUI Blue is supported by the strength of the mother company’s brand, with TUI Group known worldwide.

“A lot of partners already know TUI. For example, in Bali, a lot of hotels receive TUI tour operator guests, which means the industry already knows the brand. We believe we can bring many customers from Europe to the region,” said Gerber.

“We already have sales systems in place across the world, so we have the opportunity to fill the hotels.”

In addition, TUI Blue is expanding into regions where TUI Group is not so well known. Gerber said this also presents opportunities for both TUI and the destinations.

“We can help these regions get more attention from European customers because TUI, as the world’s leading leisure tourism company, can carry out more marketing for these destinations. This is a clear benefit that we see,” he noted.

TUI Blue’s expansion is made possible through international partnerships, investments and franchises. Prior to the pandemic, the group shook up its business model after heavily investing in ships and hotels between 2013 and 2019.

“We’re now looking for partnerships and investors and it’s encouraging that we have signed many agreements in the last few months. There are still many possibilities to find partners around the world and in South-east Asia,” Gerber said.

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