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
- Many vacationers are still missing for summer 2023: Summer 2023 bookings have improved but are still missing many vacationers. While February saw a 22% increase in travel bookings from pre-COVID 2019 levels, the summer season is still 9% below 2019. The tourism industry is not fully recovered, with booking figures around 30% below 2019 levels, leading to increased vacation prices and spending. Short-term Easter bookings will be critical to see if the industry can catch up to pre-COVID levels. Nonetheless, the industry hopes many Germans can still afford a vacation for summer 2023. Read more
- This is how tourist travelers will travel in 2023: A recent survey shows that 88% of respondents plan to take multiple trips this year, while 11% plan to take only one trip. More than half (51%) plan to vacation in other European countries, and 38% plan to travel to other continents. Beach vacations are the most popular (38%), followed by round trips or study tours (23%), hiking, cycling, or trekking vacations (14%), and cruises (14%). Tourists are seeking variety, with activities such as cross-country skiing in Sweden, camper round trips, and glamping. Beach vacations are more popular than mountain vacations, but many travelers combine both. Meanwhile, 61% of respondents plan to spend the same amount on travel as previous years, while 31% plan to spend more, and only 8% plan to spend less. Read more
- These sustainability issues are important to Swiss travelers: Kuoni and the opinion research institute Marketagent Schweiz conducted a survey to identify the sustainability issues that Swiss travelers find most important when they travel. The survey revealed that the most important issue for 92% of respondents was taking care of animals and plants at the vacation destination. Other important issues included producing less waste, preferring direct flights, eating and shopping locally, using public transport at the vacation destination, traveling less but for longer, preferring short-distance destinations, and choosing the most sustainable journey possible. Additionally, 44% of respondents paid attention to offsetting CO2 emissions by supporting climate protection projects. Kuoni and Kuoni Specialists have animal welfare policies, measures to avoid food waste, and initiatives to protect marine and water resources. They are also committed to continuously improving their sustainability performance. Read more
- Travel trends 2023 of the Germans: Germans are eager to plan trips and explore faraway countries in 2023, with 94% of those surveyed having planned at least one vacation this year. COVID-19 no longer seems to be a serious concern, but the impact of the global cost-of-living crisis is the biggest challenge for travel in 2023. Most people are using other money-saving measures to finance their vacations, such as setting aside a fixed amount each month or looking for special deals outside of peak season. The most popular vacation destinations are seaside vacations abroad, with 56% preferring a beach vacation. All-inclusive stays and city breaks abroad are also becoming increasingly popular. Travel companions include family, with 38% of travelers preferring their company, while workation is not yet a popular trend in Germany. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- This airline is now fully committed to kids: Emirates has introduced new entertainment products for its youngest passengers, including sustainable baby and toddler sets that consist of collectible toys and bags. The kits also include hygiene products, soft toys, and cuddly blankets. Passengers receive travel mementos on board, and special amenities for babies include cribs, changing tables, organic baby food, and formula. Emirates offers priority boarding for families, free strollers at Dubai Airport, and special check-in areas for families during peak travel times. For unaccompanied minors ages 5 to 11, there is a special lounge with free Wi-Fi and entertainment, and Emirates team members will accompany the child throughout the airport. Read more
- AI counts Swiss passengers: Swiss International Air Lines is testing passenger counting using artificial intelligence (AI) on selected flights from April to June. The aim is to increase safety and reduce the workload of the cabin crew. A camera will be installed in the cabin during boarding to record passengers boarding and track their total number. The recordings will be used to train the AI for the boarding process. The recordings will be processed in accordance with European and Swiss data protection requirements, and subsequently deleted. No personal identification will be carried out, and passengers will be informed about the test procedure before boarding. Read more
- Domestic flights in Europe decline: The number of domestic flights in German airspace fell sharply last year with a 38% decrease in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. Eurocontrol attributed this decline to domestic flight bans in France and Austria, and greater environmental awareness among travelers. However, Hungary experienced a 56% increase in domestic flights during the same period. Eurocontrol predicts that air traffic will return to pre-crisis levels by 2025, with the potential for annual growth of up to 4% from 2025 onwards. Read more
- Airport Schiphol stops private jets and night flights: Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands has announced plans to ban all private jets and gradually phase out noisy aircraft such as the Boeing 747, in a bid to reduce noise pollution and environmental damage. The airport is also seeking to have no flights take off between midnight and 6am, and limit the number of night flights to around 10,000 per year. The decision was welcomed by environmental groups, but was met with criticism by airlines and tour operators. The Dutch government has mandated that the airport reduce the number of flights from 500,000 to 440,000 by next year due to environmental concerns. Read more
- Brazil: Rio de Janeiro is set to add a new tourist attraction to its list of popular sites in the second half of 2023. The attraction will be a zipline that covers part of the distance between Sugar Loaf Mountain and Urca Mountain, allowing brave visitors to descend from the top viewing platform at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour. The 755-meter-long rope structure is being built by Parque Bondinho, the operator of the Sugar Loaf cable car, and is set to open sometime in the second half of 2023. The project is being promoted as an ecologically sustainable and unique experience by the responsible company, Índio da Costa A.U.D.T.
- Israel: The Israel Ministry of Tourism expects up to 60,000 visitors to tour the Holy Land during the April holidays, with Passover celebrations from April 5 to 13 and Easter from April 7 to 10. There has been a significant upward trend in inbound tourism since the beginning of the year, with 916,000 visitors traveling to Israel by the end of March. The Tourism Minister hopes that this trend, along with an increase in domestic tourism, will strengthen the tourism industry and the economy, with plans to allocate an adequate budget for infrastructure development and marketing activities.
- Italy: Italy is praised by the UNWTO as one of the best tourist destinations in the world, with particular recognition for its efforts to strengthen rural development through tourism. The UNWTO delegation met with Italian officials in Rome to discuss ways to make tourism stronger, more sustainable, innovative, and inclusive. Italy’s commitment to strengthening tourism as a pillar of rural development was praised, and the country is working with the UNWTO to promote wine and gastronomic tourism.
- Nepal: The Nepal Tourism Board has announced that from April 1, 2023, tourists will only be allowed to trek in the Himalayas with a local mountain guide or porter from a registered trekking company. This rule aims to improve the safety of trekkers, as well as create more job opportunities for locals. The rule does not apply to mountaineers who travel with complex equipment. The presence of a local escort can help ensure that hikers are rescued more quickly in case of emergency, as many trekking routes in the Himalayas are remote and difficult. The new rule also hopes to create more job opportunities for mountain guides and porters who have suffered from the global tourism slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Singapore: Singapore Airlines, the Singapore Tourism Board, and the Changi Airport Group are offering free tours for transit passengers who have a short stopover in Singapore. The tours include the City Sights Tour, Heritage Tour, Jewel Tour, and the brand-new Changi Precinct Tour, and last for about two and a half hours. The tours include stops at popular attractions such as Gardens by the Bay and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, as well as a free guided tour of the Changi Experience Studio. Transit passengers accounted for about 30 percent of Changi Airport’s traffic before the Covid-19 pandemic, and the free tours were introduced in 1987 to encourage transit passengers to visit Singapore as a vacation destination.
- South Sudan: The young country in East Africa, is aiming to become a tourism destination with its vast savannahs, rainforests, and mountain landscapes offering great potential for sustainable ecotourism. Although there is no established tourism infrastructure, some specialized tour operators are venturing into the region with expedition tours. Tourism has the potential to contribute to stable state-building and sustainable development in the country. However, South Sudan faces many challenges due to years of conflict and lack of access to clean water, which affects the local population’s health and economy. Nevertheless, sustainable tourism can help develop local infrastructure and improve living conditions in the long term.
- Thailand: Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has highlighted the regional problem caused by toxic air and its impact on both health and tourism, during a meeting with Cambodian Asean Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn. He has asked Hourn to coordinate efforts to solve the problem and hold an urgent meeting with member countries, to which Hourn has pledged support. The issue has already caused health problems for numerous people, particularly in northern Thailand, where there has been dense haze for weeks, and also affected the capital Bangkok. The problem typically occurs between January and March due to farmers burning their fields to clear them of brush and weeds.
- USA: A series of tornadoes caused severe destruction in several US states, leaving at least 26 people dead and many injured. Entire towns were destroyed, and a storm center is forecasted for the region on Tuesday. Arkansas Governor has declared a state of emergency and requested federal assistance. Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, was among the affected areas, where over 2,600 homes and businesses were damaged. The town of Wynne in northeastern Arkansas was also devastated, with four people losing their lives.
What else is brewing ?
- Are you ready to take a fun and hip journey into the future? Here’s a sneak peek of what a cruise ship in 2100 could look like, according to Meyer Werft’s design. The ship’s shape is inspired by rock penguins, and it features a closed glass façade and „urban gardening“ areas. Plus, there are drone landing pads on the outside, and the cabin structure is detached from the outer hull to allow for „efficient modular manufacturing methods.“ But don’t expect to indulge in big meals on this ship – the focus is on nutrient-rich pills, according to Tim Krug, head of Meyer Group’s Concept Development Group.
- While the future of cruise ships looks eco-friendly, private jet flights in Europe are causing concern. Greenpeace has called for an EU-wide ban on private jets due to their damaging impact on the climate. Last year, the number of private jet flights rose by 64 percent to 572,806, and Germany ranked third in the number of flights, releasing 208,645 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
- But let’s switch gears and talk about a young entrepreneur who made headlines by founding his own airline at just 15 years old. Adem K. founded Bavarian Airlines in Munich, and even managed to secure a double-digit million sum from investors before it was revealed that he was only 15 years old. The public prosecutor’s office is now investigating him.
- If you’re interested in the future of tourism, mark your calendars for Talk Tourism #3 on June 14 & 15, 2023, in Munich. The event will focus on developing positive future images for the tourism industry, with a special emphasis on the digital world and how artificial intelligence can be useful for tourism businesses. Speaking of AI, wellness travel specialist Fit Reisen recently conducted a self-experiment to test whether Chat GPT, a California-based AI tool, can classify travel countries objectively. While the data is not up-to-date, it still provides an interesting perspective on how AI can help the tourism industry.
- If you’re looking for a more relaxing way to travel, Tenerife offers a wide range of spa and wellness facilities, including wine therapy massages! The wines used are said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects. The five-star Hotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden has even been named the best spa hotel in Europe several times. And if you’re into fine dining, Schauinsland has several hotels on offer with Michelin-starred restaurants.
- So, whether you’re dreaming of cruising in a rock penguin or sipping wine during a massage in Tenerife, the future of travel and tourism looks exciting and full of possibilities!
Just read on and enjoy and tell your colleagues about our newsletter!
And if you have any doubt or would like to talk about how to approach these markets better, just get in touch with us. We’ll be delighted to help you.