September 29, 2011 / 12:50 PM / 6 years ago

TUI cuts German jobs as tourists move online

<p>The logo of Germany's TUI AG is pictured on the roof of the TUI AG headquarters in Hanover January 22, 2008.Christian Charisius</p>

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German tour operator TUI (TUIGn.DE) plans to cut up to 550 jobs in Germany as it moves to cuts costs and revamp its hotel portfolio as the traditional one-size-fits-all package holiday dwindles in popularity.

TUI Germany, part of Europe's largest tour operator TUI Travel TT.L, said it wanted to introduce more exclusive hotels to its range in response to rising demands for more individual holidays, as well as expand its online offering.

"The future is in hotels that meet the exact requirements of a specific holidaymaker," TUI Germany boss Volker Boettcher said in a statement.

The company, which has about 10,000 employees in Germany, earlier this year said it wanted to cut costs to become more competitive and warned last month of job cuts to come.

Of the jobs to be cut, 400 are at TUI Germany with a further 150 at sales and service units.

Unlike Britain and France, the other major source markets for operators like TUI Travel and Thomas Cook (TCG.L), the German market has remained strong this year.

Known for prioritising their annual summer holiday, Germans have also benefitted from low unemployment and wage growth.

Thomas Cook earlier on Thursday announced it was suspending dividends as it worked on cutting its debt after a string of profit warnings and the loss of its chief executive.

TUI Travel is controlled by German tourism and shipping group TUI AG.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mike Nesbit

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