Billions in aid for Tui: industrial policy at the expense of the little ones

The state wants to save the German tourism giant Tui from bankruptcy with more and more tax billions. It's risky – and unfair.

There are good reasons why the state is saving the Tui Group with additional billions in taxes. But he measures with double standards. To pump more and more tax money into the travel company and leave others out in the rain is unfair.

Tui 5.33

That doesn't change the fact that the Hanover-based group is the largest tourism company in the country, even the largest holiday provider in the world. Thousands of jobs in administration, travel agencies, hotels, on cruise ships and in logistics are now secured. If the company were denied a rescue, bankruptcy would be inevitable. Once the corona pandemic is over, foreign competitors would benefit from the Tui failure. The government doesn't want that – industrial policy.

As a result of the salami lockdown, not only the Tui group, but also smaller travel companies, hoteliers, restaurateurs and bus companies are in dire straits. They are not helped so abundantly. Sure, there were plenty of political commitments. But even with the November aid, which was supposed to be paid out in a largely unbureaucratic way, it stalled. At the moment, only a quarter of the requested aid has arrived.

Big challenges

It is not certain whether the Tui Group will rise to old heights after the Corona crisis. The tourism sector is growing, but it was already undergoing profound change before the Corona crisis. Online providers are threatening the travel agency on the corner, the growing desire for individual trips is affecting package tour operators and huge hotel complexes. Even before the pandemic, cruise shipowners were in trouble due to the trend towards increased climate and environmental protection. From today's perspective, it is unimaginable that the Tui Group's cruise fleet will mutate into a profit maker again.

Rather, there is a risk that the group will feel safe because of the generous amount of aid and not resolutely respond to the structural change accelerated by the crisis – at the expense of taxpayers. When the corona dangers are under control, the state is well advised to quickly initiate the exit at Tui. Anything else would be an unjustifiable distortion of competition. And not to convey to the many other travel and holiday providers in Germany.