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Package holiday revival bolsters British powerhouse TUI Travel

LONDON -- TUI Travel, the world's biggest tour operator, reported higher profits and bookings, saying cash-strapped Europeans were increasingly turning to fixed-price holidays to escape the economic gloom.

The British group, which owns the Thomson and First Choice brands, said on Tuesday recession-weary consumers were willing to loosen their purse strings for a get-away, but were looking for all-inclusive deals where they don't have to worry about how much they are spending.

Travel firms and airlines across Europe have seen bookings fall over the last two years, hit by the euro zone debt crisis, high fuel costs and turmoil in Greece, one of the continent's main holiday destinations.

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