UPDATE COVID-19, 34. Edition – 11.02.2021 – 17.02.2021

UPDATE COVID-19, 34. Edition – 11.02.2021 – 17.02.2021

UPDATE COVID-19, 34. Edition – 11.02.2021 – 17.02.2021 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
  • The Lockdown is now extended until March 7. Should the 7-day-incidence (cases / 100.000 inhabitants during 7 days) sink below 35 (currently 64,2) possibilities for an earlier open perspective will be discussed within the federal states
  • 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

  • DRV demands restart strategy from Altmaier: The German travel association DRV has used a virtual economic summit with Economics Minister Peter Altmaier to emphasize its demand for a restart strategy for tourism. At the same time, the association has criticized “improper and frivolous statements” by politicians about Easter and summer vacations. “Such statements are irresponsible and lead the travel industry step by step to the abyss”, said Norbert Fiebig, president of DRV. Due to the extension of the Lockdown the economic situation of the approximately 11,000 travel agencies and over 2,300 tour operators has been hardened again. The financial aids provided by the government cannot compensate the economic losses sufficiently. “Especially not if we go from one lockdown to the next. Already now, an extension of the aid beyond June must be set in motion.” (TRVL Counter)
  • FTI wants test concept for Easter vacationers: FTI is convinced that an organized vacation with an appropriate test concept can already be possible at Easter. “Waiting until everyone has received a vaccination offer is not a solution from our point of view, because we have to learn to live with the virus in some form and even now to enable safe travel in compliance with protective measures,” says Group Managing Director Ralph Schiller. In his view, last summer tourism industry proved how safe travel works with a comprehensive testing infrastructure (TRVL Counter)
  • Debate about Easter vacation heats up tempers. “Unfortunately, there can be no Easter vacation in Germany this year,” says Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer. “We would destroy everything we have achieved since mid-December.” With that, the discussion about opening hotels and restaurants is in full swing. Dehoga feels this is a “resounding slap in the face” and urges for an opening plan (Reise vor9)
  • Currently more travel restrictions than in the first lockdown. Out of 702 international routes surveyed, passengers are currently restricted or unable to travel on at least 610. This is around 20 percentage points higher than in the early phase of the Corona crisis in April 2020. It is also 15 percentage points higher than at the start of the current lockdown in November, and in Europe significantly higher than in the rest of the world. (Wirtschaftswoche)

Current relevant topics within the aviation industry

  • EU Airports with drop of 70.4% of passengers. Only 728 million passengers took a flight last year. That’s 1.72 billion fewer than in 2019, putting the industry at the same level as in 1995. 70.4 percent drop in passengers from 2.4 billion in 2019 to 728 million in 2020 was suffered by European airports due to the Corona pandemic. This was reported by ACI (Airports Council International Europe) in its latest report. European airports its most affected compared to non-EU airports due to the smaller size of their domestic markets and stricter travel restrictions. (Travelnews ch)
  • Vaccinated personnel become a marketing tool. Etihad Airways claims to have fully vaccinated its flying staff. Singapore Airlines has also launched its first flights with fully vaccinated staff. (Reise vor9)
  • Condor takes legal action against EU subsidies for Lufthansa. The vacation carrier accuses its competitor of abusing its market power to distort competition by terminating a long-standing contract for feeder flights. This is not sufficiently prevented by the existing conditions for the nine billion euros in state aid, argues Condor. They must be tightened accordingly. (Wirtschaftswoche)
  • Airlines receive more complaints than ever before. The conciliation body for public passenger transport (SÖP) counted 34,652 complaints in the airline sector; 60 percent more than in the previous year. Most of them concerned the reimbursement of costs for cancelled flights. Between 400 and 600 cases were still received each week, according to the SÖP. In some cases, the money has not yet been returned to the customer after a year. (RND)

Current relevant studies within the tourism industry

  • RKI study: Pacakge tours are not a driver of infection (Touristik Aktuell)
    • infection researchers have found out that ethnic travel has played a much greater role in bringing infections to Germany than organized leisure travel
    • This is due to strict hygiene concepts, especially in hotels, and limited close contact to strangers while traveling.
  • FUR assumes travel market to stabilize until 2030 (https://www.reisevor9.de/inside/fur-geht-von-stabilem-reisemarkt-bis-2030-aus):
    • market researchers at the Vacation and Travel Research Association expect the long-term trends that were evident until 2019 to continue after the Corona pandemic is over
    • However, this presupposes that travel volume between 2022 and 2025 will again be similar to previous years
    • Under these conditions, the authors assume 69.5 million vacation trips in 2030. That would be around 1.3 million fewer trips than in 2019 – overall, the “cake” for longer vacation trips will not get any bigger in the decade that has just begun in view of demographic developments.
    • For short breaks, on the other hand, it expects an increase of eight million to around 100 million trips. This would represent a continuation of the trend of recent years.
    • The FUR also expects largely stable conditions for destinations, types of vacation and types of accommodation.
    • The biggest shift is likely to be in the booking channels. By 2030, the travel analysis expects the share of online bookings to rise from the current 44 percent to two-thirds.
    • Incidentally, the authors of the long-term study do not believe that the topic of sustainability will experience a dramatic increase in importance for travel behavior in the coming years
  • Travelers against vaccination as a prerequisite for travel, survey by Urlaubsguru (https://www.reisevor9.de/inside/reiselustige-gegen-impfung-als-voraussetzung-fuer-reisen)
    • Addressing respondents via social media suggests that they are likely to be predominantly younger people interested in travel who took part in the survey.
    • more than two-thirds of respondents oppose tying vacations abroad to corona vaccination
      • The main argument is the freedom of decision
      • When asked if they would wait until their own vaccination before traveling, 67 percent of participants answered “no.” Only 23 percent can imagine waiting until after they have been fully vaccinated to travel again. About ten percent are undecided.
    • Nevertheless, about 43 percent would get vaccinated to be able to visit countries with possible vaccination requirements for entry.
    • Other European citizens see things differently
      • According to the portal, participants in an identical survey in Spain and the Netherlands have significantly fewer problems with travel being tied to vaccinations.
        • 80 percent of respondents in Spain and 66 percent in the Netherlands would rather be vaccinated in order to be able to travel to countries with strict vaccination requirements
        • 47 percent of respondents in the Netherlands and 53 percent in Spain would wait to be vaccinated before traveling again.