German tourism TUI is to cut around 2,000 UK jobs as part of a restructuring in the face of tough competition from low-cost airlines and online travel retailers, The Sunday Times reported.

The newspaper quoted Peter Rothwell, head of northern Europe for TUI, as saying Europe's largest tourism group planned to reduce its headcount to around 11,500 from 13,500 in Britain.

"We will have 2,000 fewer people, and we are hoping to do it without making redundancies," Rothwell was quoted as saying.

"We are doing this because of increasingly tough competition from the likes of Ryanair (RYA.I: Quote, Profile, Research) (RYA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Easyjet (EZJ.L: Quote, Profile, Research) , and the fact that so much more holiday business in the UK is going online. We are now getting one-quarter of our bookings online."

A TUI spokesman said he could not confirm the comments.

The Sunday Times said around 900 back-office jobs would go as a result of TUI's move out of its London headquarters to a new site in Luton, north of London.

A further 500 will be lost by TUI not re-hiring seasonal staff in resorts, with a further tranche going in the review of its Lunn Poly highstreet travel agents.

TUI closed 50 shops last year and plans to close or franchise another 100 this year, Rothwell was quoted as saying. He said TUI did not plan on reducing the number of Lunn Poly shops below 500 in the foreseeable future. TUI currently has 800 Lunn Poly shops in the UK.

TUI has a high natural turnover of staff which will help it reduce redundancies in the restructuring, the newspaper said.