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Please note: the following information has been compiled from the most important German-speaking Trade Media.
Current major topics within the tourism industry in the DACH region
- Positive trend reversal in business travel: Business travel is coming back. After sharp declines in the Corona year 2021, the number of business trips picked up noticeably in the first three quarters of 2022. The pre-crisis level of 2019 has been reached earlier than expected. According to the latest business travel report of the Austrian Business Travel Association (ABTA), the number of business trips increased by 91% in the second quarter of 2022, and by another 49% in the third quarter, in each case compared with the corresponding quarters of the previous year. Compared to the first three quarters of 2019, there is virtually a tie. These preliminary figures on business travel volumes were obtained from Statistics Austria. Based on data from leading travel management companies, average air ticket prices in Austria increased by 18.5% in the first half of 2022. ABTA President Roman Neumeister expects the growth trend to continue in 2023 despite a weakening economy: “There is still a catch-up effect. After the Corona years, a big demand for physical meetings has built up.” Read more
- Why sport is important to Germans on vacation: Two-thirds of Germans (66%) consider it important to look after their own health and fitness while on vacation. This is the result of a study by the Marriott Bonvoy bonus program. Of the 2,011 participants, however, only a quarter (26%) also attach importance to sport at home. Thirty-nine percent believe that exercising on vacation has a positive effect on their mental well-being and that they return home stronger as a result. A third (30%) emphasize that sporting activities enable them to spend time alone so that they can concentrate on themselves on vacation. In turn, 18 percent deliberately do sports on vacation so that their fitness program doesn’t fall by the wayside. Germans prefer to go swimming while traveling (53%) and appreciate training in the hotel gym (41%). Jogging on the beach attracts 40 percent, and almost a quarter (23%) are interested in yoga. Read more
- Travel is a consumer need: This thoroughly optimistic outlook is the conclusion of an ad hoc survey conducted by Österreich Werbung in early December 2022 in the key markets of Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. “For people, travel is a key need, even in a challenging economic environment. From our recent survey, we know that vacation travel is one of people’s top consumer priorities. In all three countries surveyed, they were among the top five expenses. The top mentions were always food and health. Vacation travel is ahead of spending on cars or clothing everywhere,” says Lisa Weddig, Managing Director of Österreich Werbung. Read more
- Study proves advantages of online travel agencies: The Internet Travel Distribution Association presents a joint study by Oxford Economics and Booking.com that scientifically proves the positive impact of online travel agencies (OTAs) on the tourism industry. In the presented study “The Economic Impact of Online Travel Agencies in Europe 2019 – 2021”, it is about the impact of online travel agencies on the tourism industry and the overall economy of Europe. In particular, it found that OTAs generate additional travel demand for accommodation in Europe, which boosts GDP and job creation. In addition, the study proves other benefits of OTAs such as transparency and choice – when booking unfamiliar destinations or smaller accommodations. Thus, more choice also means that tourism is shifting from urban centers of economic and tourism activity to rural destinations. The conclusion of the study is thus: If OTAs did not exist, there would be fewer overnight stays in Europe, and tourism’s contribution to GDP and employment would also be lower. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- 94% more passengers than in 2021: Euro Airport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg sums up the 2022 financial year. In 2022, the airport recorded around 7 million passengers, a decrease of 23% compared to 2019 and an increase of 94% compared to 2021. In the first trimester of 2022, passenger numbers were still at a low level, after which passenger numbers increased. During peak periods in the summer, frequencies were even higher than in 2019, with lower passenger numbers overall. Parking occupancy was also excessively high; at certain times, it even exceeded the peak values of 2019. The number of total aircraft movements was 84,136 (+31.7%/2021 or -15.3%/2019), of which nearly 64,300 (+56%/2021 or -21.1%/2019) were commercial flights. In 2022, around 90 destinations were offered by 25 airlines. Read more
- Will 2023 be the comeback year for cruises?: For the shipping companies, the signs are pointing to growth again: a large number of cruise providers are reporting a booking boom for their cruises in the first weeks of 2023. TUI Cruises, for example, reports, “Never before since the founding of TUI Cruises has the demand for Mein Schiff cruises been so high as in these first weeks.” And Aida Cruises also reported “the most successful booking weeks at the start of the year in its company history.” Knecht Reisen reports a promising buying mood among customers, where a certain pent-up demand is still having a positive impact. It seems that 2023 should be a very positive year for cruising. Read more
- American Airlines expects high profits in 2023: Earnings per share adjusted for special items should reach 2.50 to 3.50 U.S. dollars in the current year, the company announced in Fort Worth, Texas. That would be at least five times as much as last year, when high fuel costs, among other things, had weighed on earnings in the first quarter. Analysts had previously expected an average of two dollars per share in adjusted earnings for 2023. In air travel, American Airlines now wants to get back close to pre-crisis levels: The number of flights is to be only five percent smaller in 2023 than in 2019. Recently, the company, like other airlines, had benefited from a sharp rise in ticket prices. In the fourth quarter, American Airlines earned $803 million (equivalent to 737 million euros) on the bottom line. It was only thanks to the strong Christmas quarter that the company also managed to post a bottom-line profit for the year as a whole. This amounted to 127 million dollars, after a loss of two billion dollars had to be absorbed in the second Corona year 2021. Read more
- Innsbruck Airport draws positive balance 2022: After two particularly challenging pandemic years, Innsbruck Airport can draw a positive balance for the past year: with a total of 721,412 passengers in scheduled and charter traffic, a clear upward trend is noticeable – according to the airport in a statement. As a result, Innsbruck once again moves up to the position of the second-largest airport in Austria’s federal states and is expected to be able to close the year 2022 with a positive operating result. The pleasing development is said to be due on the one hand to strong incoming winter tourism in the 1st quarter and on the other hand to good outgoing summer traffic, especially in the 3rd quarter. However, the extreme passenger growth of around 475% compared to the very weak exceptional year of 2021 should not hide the fact that one is still around 37% behind the best year ever in 2019 with around 1.14 million passengers, the statement added. Read more
- Frankfurt Airport can’t grow any more: There’s something coming for the airlines in Frankfurt – first and foremost the Lufthansa Group. Instead of a gradual increase in takeoffs and landings in February and March, limited operations are to continue for the time being. It is even possible that individual rotations will have to be canceled. Frankfurt Airport will still not be able to reach the capacity limit of up to 106 takeoffs and landings within one hour set by the licensing authorities. As reported by “Aerotelegraph”, Fraport has written to the airlines and informed them that it will not even be possible to approach this value in the next two months. Rather, a “jump in load” must be avoided at all costs. Currently, Germany’s largest airport only manages a maximum of 92 aircraft movements per hour. With the existing staff, this remains the upper limit for operational reasons. And for the time being, this is to continue to apply to everyone until the end of the winter flight schedule. The bottom line is that some airlines may have to cancel flights that have already been booked in February and March. Read more
- Cuba: Just under 1.6 million tourists traveled to Cuba in 2022; significantly less than the 2.5 million targeted by the government at the beginning of the year. The country is focusing on less all-inclusive tourism and more sophisticated five-star hotels. But at the same time, supply bottlenecks and the brain drain are causing problems for Cuba.
- Curaçao: As reported by the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB), a total of 489,558 international overnight visitors visited the Dutch island nation in the Caribbean in 2022. Of these, 13,304 travelers came from Germany, which is about 4,000 more than the year before. With the successful inbound numbers of 2022, Curaçao surpassed both the record year of 2015 and the pre-pandemic year by 25,873 guests. In 2019, the small Antillean island recorded a total of 463,685 overnight visitors, ranking sixth in the Caribbean behind the larger islands of Cuba, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Aruba and Barbados. Curaçao has also set ambitious goals for 2023. According to the CTB, it is counting on optimal cooperation with all stakeholders “to have received a minimum of half a million tourists by the end of the year.”
- Estonia: Despite all the crises, the total number of overnight stays in Estonia through November 2022 was only about 15 percent below 2019 levels, according to data from the Office of Transport. For international visitors, the drop was 36 percent, although visitors from Russia and much of Asia were absent.
- Hungary: In spring 2023, loop spring will celebrate its premiere with the two formats loop leisure and loop MICE in Budapest. The successful B2B trade fair concept “loop” has been fulfilling an important vision for eight years: to give German-speaking travel sellers and event organizers the best platform to establish business contacts with the luxury hotel industry and luxury tourism products worldwide.
- Myanmar: Two years ago, generals in Myanmar seized power. Since then, the country has been in chaos and vacation tourism has come to a complete standstill. But the Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association invites you to the Myanmar Tourism Mart, which will be held virtually from February 15 to 17, 2023. Tourism marketing sees the fair as “an excellent platform to meet current and potential business partners.” It aims to raise the country’s profile as a destination and expand business opportunities.
- St. Lucia: Regular entry regulations will resume for travel to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia on February 1. The previously still mandatory completion of a Covid 19-related entry form will then no longer be required.
- Spain: From February 8, passengers in Spain will again be allowed to travel without a mask on buses, trains and cabs. Only in health facilities, including pharmacies, the obligation to wear a mouth-nose protection remains.
- Thailand: Thailand continues to expand the tourist infrastructure of Krabi province. One megaproject that has already been approved is the new Koh Lanta Bridge, which will connect the mainland with the resort island of Koh Lanta Noi in the Andaman Sea. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.
- Turkey: Turkey is the first country to sign a cooperation agreement with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) at government level. The country aims to become a top destination in terms of sustainability. According to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, a total of 51.4 million tourists visited Turkey last year. By comparison, the ministry registered 51.8 million tourists in the pre-Corona year of 2019. This means that in 2022, the level of the pre-Corona year was only just missed, putting Turkey in third place worldwide in this category. Turkish Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy stated that Turkey aims to welcome about 90 million foreign tourists in 2028. Targeted tourism revenues are 92 billion euros. Ersoy emphasized that this goal is to be achieved not only through increased promotional activities, but above all through a focus on sustainability.
- USA: A new terminal, which took 22 years to build, has opened at New York Central Station. The new Grand Central Madison connecting station is located under the world-famous train station. The Long Island Rail Road trains can carry 160,000 passengers a day; they connect Queens and Long Island with Manhattan.
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