UPDATE COVID-19, 32. Edition – 21.01.2021 – 27.01.2021

UPDATE COVID-19, 32. Edition – 21.01.2021 – 27.01.2021

UPDATE COVID-19, 32. Edition – 21.01.2021 – 27.01.2021 540 341 fame creative lab

Please note: the following information is a short compilation from the most important German-speaking Trade Media.

Short Overview – German-speaking Markets

  • Since December 15 Germany is in Lockdown. Outbound travel is still possible and allowed.
  • The Lockdown is now extended until February 14
  • Vaccinations in Germany started on December 27, first in elderly homes and hospitals.
  • The second vaccine is now allowed in the EU

Short Overview situation in Germany

After the COVID-19 numbers are increasing in the last weeks some new measures and rules have been implemented.

  • travel to risk areas and countries should be avoided
  • cinemas, theatres, opera houses are closed
  • events are not permitted
  • club and group sports are prohibited, gyms are closed (individual sport is allowed)
  • restaurants and bars are closed
  • retails stores are closed except stores for the daily usage
  • there is a ban on accommodation within Germany
  • Schools are closed – virtual schooling

Current relevant topics within the tourism industry

  • Federal government improves bridging assistance III State Aid. Costs and revenue losses due to cancellations and reversals will be taken into account to a greater extent, and the maximum monthly limit for bridging assistance will increase to 1.5 million euros. The assistance period also applies retroactively to November and December 2020, and the insolvency filing requirement remains suspended until the end of April. (Reise vor9)
  • QTA manager Thomas Bösl sees relaxed cancellation rules as only temporary solution. The free cancellation of bookings introduced by various tour operators is indeed “a very good way to boost the leisure travel business,” believes Thomas Bösl. However, they should “not become a permanent feature.” (Reise vor9)
  • EU keeps borders open for now but advises against travel. EU heads of government made no decisions at their video conference. Internal borders are to remain open, and all non-essential travel is “strongly discouraged.” People from hotspots may be asked to test before departure and quarantine after arrival. For the time being, there will be no vaccination certificate to facilitate travel within the EU. (Deutsche Welle)
  • Costa postpones new start until mid-March. Costa Crociere plans to resume cruise operations on March 13. All voyages originally scheduled between Feb. 1 and March 12 on the Costa Deliziosa, Costa Firenze and Costa Luminosa ships will be cancelled. Under the current restrictive regulations in Italy, guests would not be able to enjoy adequate vacation experiences during shore excursions or explore the ports and their surroundings sufficiently, the cruise line said. Initially, the Costa Smeralda is scheduled to set sail again in mid-March. The seven-day cruises will include calls in Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari. The new cruises of the other three ships are to be announced shortly. (TRVL Counter)
  • TUI workforce said to have already shrunk by a third TUI Headquarters. The number of TUI Group employees worldwide has fallen from 60,300 in November 2019 to around 38,200 before the end of 2020, the “Deutsche Presse-Agentur” reports. In addition to the usual seasonal effects, the impact of the Corona pandemic contributed to this. (Reise vor9)
  • DER Touristik also introduces flex rates. Starting March 1, flexible rebooking and cancellation packages can be booked at DER Touristik. Three different packages can be added for flight package tours under the Dertour, ITS, Jahn Reisen and Meiers Weltreisen brands. They offer customers the option of rebooking or canceling their flight package free of charge up to 14 days before arrival. The flex packages are graded according to revenue. (TRVL Counter)
  • DRV criticizes “stigmatization of travel” The DRV is upset that the German government wants to further restrict travel to combat the Corona pandemic. For example, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer apparently wants to literally suspend all air travel to Germany. Chancellor Merkel is also said to have spoken out against travel. “Travel is de facto hardly taking place anymore. The German government should also take note of this. It should therefore not focus on further restricting our already severely limited freedom to travel,” a DRV statement said. In the public debate, the government should urgently remember that freedom of travel is a fundamental right and not a privilege to be granted politically. In addition, the association demands from Berlin to present reasonable testing concepts for the time after the second Corona wave “and to take vaccination up a notch.” The DRV sees “dramatic deficits” in the German vaccination strategy in international comparison. Progress is far too slow, risk groups are insufficiently protected, and now there are also vaccine supply bottlenecks. (TRVL Counter)

Current relevant topics within the aviation industry

  • Etihad and Emirates test Iata health passport Airline passengers with mask. The pilot project aims to collect the necessary information on passengers, vaccination certificates, tests and entry requirements in a smartphone app. The “Iata Travel Passport” is intended to facilitate air travel and help avoid quarantine. (Reise vor9)
  • Sri Lankan: Flights from Frankfurt again. As part of the reopening of the island nation of Sri Lanka to foreign visitors, Sri Lankan Airlines is resuming direct flights from Frankfurt. Effective immediately, there will be two flights per week (Mondays and Thursdays) to Bandaranaike International Airport near Colombo. Four years ago, the carrier had discontinued the Frankfurt route. (Touristik Aktuell)
  • Vienna Airport. Vienna Airport is hoping for an upturn from the middle of the year after the massive slump in 2020. “While from today’s perspective the first three to six months will still develop weakly, a significant increase in passengers is expected from summer and in the second half of the year,” the listed company announced on Thursday. After 7.8 million passengers in 2020, the board expects 12.5 million passengers and a small profit this year. (Traveller Online)
  • Airlines now only allow medical masks. German airports and airlines are adjusting the rules on mandatory masks. On airlines such as Lufthansa and Condor, passengers will be required to wear either a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask or a mask with the KN95/N95 standard during boarding, the flight and when leaving the aircraft as of February 1. The airports and airlines are thus reacting to the extension of the mask obligation decided by the federal government. (TRVL Counter)

Current relevant studies within the tourism industry

    • ITB Berlin NOW & Statista – TURBULENT REVIEW – HOPEFUL OUTLOOK (https://www.traveller-online.at/news/detail/itb-berlin-now-statista-turbulenter-rueckblick-hoffnungsvoller-ausblick.html)
      • ITB Berlin NOW and Statista jointly look back on a turbulent 2020 travel year. But despite massive slumps last year, a market recovery seems to be in sight by 2023. For the coming summer, existing travel restrictions are having a negative impact on vacation plans for the first time. Domestic tourism, on the other hand, seems to be less affected by the pandemic. However, technological innovations, personalized travel offers, and the current travel shortage could provide an industry upswing
    • Germans do not believe in Easter vacations abroad, study by Yougov (https://www.reisevor9.de/inside/deutsche-glauben-nicht-an-osterurlaub-im-ausland)
      • 79 % still expect restrictions on freedom of travel at Easter
      • 12 % believe that vacations abroad will then be possible without obstacles
      • An evaluation of the technology service provider Tats on behalf of the trade journal “FVW” matches the expectations of the German citizens
        • bookings for the current tourist year are 82 % below the previous year
        • The best-booked months are still May and June, which have “only” recorded declines of 29 and 41 %
    • What two futurologists think about traveling to Corona (https://www.reisevor9.de/inside/was-zwei-zukunftsforscher-ueber-reisen-nach-corona-denken)
      • Vacations after the pandemic will look different than before, believe futurologists Horst Opaschowski and Matthias Horx. While Horx assumes that people’s travel behavior will become more mindful, Opaschowski warns of a split in society when “travel for every class and every pocket will no longer be such a matter of course”
    • Corps Touristique study: Travel yes, but differently – Austria (https://www.tip-online.at/news/46045/corps-touristique-studie-reisen-ja-aber-anders/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tip-daily_26.01.2021)
      • Timing and motivation
        • main booking periods are shifting to late summer due to planning uncertainty in Q1 – July and August represent the strongest travel periods
        • most important motivation remain rest & relaxation, stress relief and escape from everyday life
        • 60% of respondents are planning a beach vacation
        • 40% city breaks
        • 3 % wants to travel by car (+8% compared to 2018)
        • 56 % wants to travel by plane
      • Higher travel budget
        • With a median of EUR 3,000, this average calculated expenditure is in any case significantly higher compared to 2018 at EUR 2,000.
        • An average of EUR 2,763 is spent per household on the main vacation.
        • The study authors assume that despite short-time work or unemployment in many parts of the population, the money for the trips not taken in 2020 remained in the Austrians’ piggy banks.
      • Individuality instead of mass
        • individual travel is gaining strongly in importance (48.1%)
        • package tours are showing a slight decline at 15.3% in 2021 (-9% compared to 2018).
      • No growth in travel agencies
        • 4-star hotels continue to be the most popular type of accommodation (40%)
        • vacation homes, apartments and private accommodation are gaining enormously in importance (increase from 25.3 to 37%).
        • 60% of respondents said they would book via booking portals, while interest in travel agency bookings is not experiencing any growth and remains constant at 32%
      • Short-term and flexible
      • Corona affects the timing of bookings
        • The trend towards short-notice bookings, i.e. max. one month before the start of the vacation, is now 52.3% for 1 to 3-day trips and 17.5% for longer vacations of four nights or more.
        • 50% of respondents only want to book if they are guaranteed to get their money back in the event of cancellation (40%)
    • FUR expects old travel patterns to be resumed soon https://www.reisevor9.de/inside/fur-erwartet-baldige-rueckkehr-zu-alten-reisemustern
      • Despite uncertain general conditions, the travel mood among Germans is “surprisingly positive,” according to the Forschungsgemeinschaft Urlaub und Reisen (Research Association for Holidays and Travel). The desire to go on vacation had only decreased slightly compared to January 2020 – the German citizens rated the factors time and money just as favorably as in the previous year.
      • As per FUR, travel was and still is an indispensable part of the quality of life for most Germans.80 percent of those surveyed already thought about traveling this year. Whether and how people will travel in the near future will largely depend on the opportunities that arise against the backdrop of the measures against the Corona pandemic.
      • The study prognoses that the overall picture will again be very different from the standard of the last decade. New (old) freedoms are likely to lead “quite soon to a return to previous travel patterns, but not until the second half of 2021 at the earliest, and not in all segments either.” Overall, tourism demand is also expected to dampen in 2021 compared with 2019, mainly because of restrictions related to the containment of the coronavirus, and in some cases also for economic reasons or because the desire to travel has disappeared.
      • Air and long-distance travel, for example, are less likely to be considered in 2021 than before the pandemic. Instead, nearby destinations are more popular this year, which are preferably accessible by car and as individually as possible, without great proximity to other people.
      • For the multi-optional German traveler this special situation is no problem, they are happy with the available offers. However, uncertainty and an everchanging situation makes the Germans wait with their bookings and increases the need for information.