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
- Eight-point plan for a new start in travel: Since nothing is coming from politics, the DRV has now drawn up its own plan for a new start in tourism. It is based on the assumption that the industry will have to live with the coronavirus for many years to come, despite the availability of vaccines. The previous practice of closing borders, restricting mobility to a small radius, making travel difficult or banning it, and placing states or regions under lockdown has already caused considerable economic damage, the association said. Around the world, tourism infrastructure has collapsed dramatically, particularly in emerging and developing countries, it said. “Political considerations must therefore focus on strategies that make it possible to responsibly roll back restrictions on freedom and gradually enable international mobility once again,” says President Norbert Fiebig. The DRV’s New Start Plan consists of eight points. Among other things, it relies on systematic testing, the differentiation of different risk levels in the travel countries, alternative rapid testing methods and a digital vaccination passport. More Information: https://trvlcounter.de/news/8972-acht-punkte-plan-fuer-den-reise-neustart/
- FTI is extending its Flex promotion: FTI’s “Happy Flex Days” are now running until March 3. Anyone who books a flight package tour under the FTI Touristik or BigXtra brands for the winter or summer season 2021, which is still running, up to and including October 31, will receive the Flex Plus rate for free. Depending on the amount of the travel price, customers save up to 300 euros. With the upgrade, they can cancel free of charge up to 15 days before the start of the trip. The travel price is then refunded in full. The free rebooking up to 14 days before the start of the vacation possible. (TRVL Counter)
- Alltours announces mandatory vaccination in own hotels. Guests of the Allsun hotel chain will in future have to prove that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19. When exactly the rule will be introduced depends on the progress of the vaccinations, says Alltours CEO Willi Verhuven. The plan is to start at the end of October. (Reise vor9)
- For the ITB director, proof of vaccination will soon be part of everyday travel life. Personal proof of vaccination when traveling could be just as necessary in the future as a passport, says ITB Director David Ruetz in an interview with the travel magazine Connoisseur Circle. Nevertheless, he does not expect travel behavior to change fundamentally after the pandemic. (Reise vor9)
- Tour operator market falls to pre-reunification level (FVW) The volume of organized travel in the 2019/20 tourist year fell back to the level of 1989. Sales shrank by two-thirds. For the current year, tour operators expect an average of 50 percent of 2019 sales – when business picks up again in the spring.
- 23 billion euros in sales lost. The sales volume of organized travel fell by 64.8 percent to 12.4 billion euros in the 2019/20 tourism year. Calculated for 2020 as a whole, the decline is likely to be as much as almost 80 percent.
- Organizers lose more than individual travel. The organized travel market had reached a record level of 35 billion euros in 2019 after almost 50 years of uninterrupted growth. In 2020, sales by the total of around 2,300 German tour operators fell more sharply than the volume of individually organized travel. Here, there was “only” a decline of 42.8 percent to 19.5 billion euros. In previous years, the two segments were still almost equal in size. The shift is primarily due to the fact that after the first lockdown in the spring, vacations by car and train within Germany and in neighboring countries in particular were possible and in demand. More than half of all vacation trips took place within Germany – something not seen since the 1970s.
- Long-distance travel and cruises suffer disproportionately. Two segments that were almost solely responsible for growth in the tour operator market in recent years suffered disproportionately. According to Sülberg, long-haul travel came to a market volume of around seven billion euros in 2019. Due to travel warnings and quarantine requirements, many countries disappeared from the tourist map altogether.
- River travel fares better than ocean travel. The German cruise market, which according to the fvw dossier was still worth a good 5.5 billion euros in 2019, is estimated by experts to have shrunk by around three quarters.
- TUI and DER Touristik also with high losses. For the Central Europe sector, which includes source markets Austria, Switzerland and Poland in addition to heavyweight TUI Germany, the group reported a 55 percent drop in revenue to 2.9 billion euros and an operating loss of 620 million euros in its 2019/20 financial statements. At TUI, however, the fiscal year already ends on September 30. So the strong October 2019 is included, but the very weak 2020 is not. Germany’s second-largest tour operator DER Touristik also did not fill out the fvw questionnaire this time. However, CEO Central Europe, Ingo Burmester, put the drop in sales at around 70 percent in an interview with fvw. The Rewe subsidiary suffered badly from the almost complete loss of long-haul routes. Following the insolvency of Thomas Cook, the FTI Group has moved up to third place in the tour operator rankings. The Munich-based tour operator, in which the Egyptian investor Samih Sawiris acquired a majority stake during the crisis, saw its sales slump by two-thirds.
Current relevant topics within the aviation industry
- Lufthansa checks Corona test certificates in advance: Starting Friday, Lufthansa customers can send their Corona test results and the entry declarations required by many countries in digital form to a specially established “Health Entry Support Center” 72 hours before departure. There, the documents are checked. Afterwards, customers receive a message by mail whether or not the certificates meet the entry requirements of the destination country. The original documents must still be carried on the trip. (TRVL Counter)
- Mandatory testing puts Swiss under pressure. Swiss has sent a call for help to the Federal Council, saying that since corona testing became mandatory for passengers flying to Switzerland, traffic volumes have collapsed even further. In a letter to several members of the Federal Council, the airline demands a relaxation of these rules. The CHF 1.5 billion in aid loans secured by the state could already be used up by the end of the summer, the airline says, according to a report in the “Tages-Anzeiger”. (Travel Inside)
- Lufthansa probably thins out Business Class. Because it’s unclear whether business travel in saturated markets will ever return to pre-crisis levels, CEO Carsten Spohr wants to shrink business class and create larger premium economy compartments. (TRVL Counter)
- Almost seven billion euros in losses – Air France/KLM needs further aid in the near future(TRVL Counter)