Please note: The following information has been compiled from the most important German speaking Trade Media.
Short Overview Situation in Germany
- The COVID infection numbers are currently going down after having reached an all-time high. the occupancy situation in hospitals is relaxed and death rates very low. About 75,9 % of the German population are now fully vaccinated.
- On April 3 all restrictions were lifted, only basic measures stayed in place. However, most Germans still, for example, wear their masks indoors even when it is not required.
- Germany’s geopolitical situation because of the war between Russia and Ukraine has led to much anxiety about the Germans‘ planning for 2022. It is not only the peace crisis that worries them, but also various aspects, ranging from the country’s energy supply to the highest inflation in the last 30 years, as well as the threat to the country’s economic activity after two years of pandemic.
Current developments & influences of the Ukraine war on the industry
While the Sales Climate Index indicated little impact from the war in Ukraine, a closer look reveals a split picture. Several travel agencies report that they are feeling the effects of the war. In most cases, the war has not led to cancellations, but apparently some customers prefer not to book a vacation for the time being. However, there are also travel agencies that have not noticed any Ukraine effect. In some cases, there was a decrease immediately after the invasion, but now bookings are going up again.
Current major topics within the tourism industry in Germany
- GRUBER-travel: Vacation barometer 2022: Around 1,200 customers were surveyed, 95 percent said they wanted to spend their vacation within Europe a further 30 percent are determined to plan their vacation overseas. 37 percent of respondents are even prepared to take up to two vacations this year. The average length of stay is said to have increased compared to previous years. Since the home vacation is also this year again very large topic, Austria stands in the Ranking of the most popular vacation goals on place 2, followed by Italy, Greece and Spain. City and beach vacations are once again very much in vogue. Almost 65 percent of Austrians prefer a beach vacation. City breaks remain very popular and thus in second place. Also, the well-deserved Wellness vacation do not leave themselves well 25 per cent – place 3 of the vacation barometer evaluation. To be able to start their vacation well informed, 63 percent would seek expert advice from a travel agency, although browsing through travel catalogs at home is still very popular. And around 50 percent of survey participants attach particular importance to being able to make use of flexible rebooking and cancellation options. Read more
- How world tourism recovers: Tourism is an important economic factor worldwide, providing growth and employment. In 2021, the number of tourist trips amounted to 415 million, an increase of 4% compared with 2020. In 2020, cross-border tourism trips worldwide decreased by 73% from 1.47 billion to 402 million. The economic contribution of tourism in 2021, as measured by direct GDP, is estimated at USD 1.9 trillion. This is higher than the USD 1.6 trillion in 2020, but significantly lower than the USD 3.5 trillion before the pandemic. Export revenues from international tourism in 2021 are estimated at about USD 700 trillion, a slight improvement over 2020. However, they remain at less than half of 2019 revenues. Tourism is on the upswing again worldwide. Europe and the Americas posted the strongest recovery results in 2021 compared to 2020, up 19% and 17%, respectively. However, both are also still 63% below pre-pandemic levels. According to the latest panel of experts from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 61% of tourism experts see a better outlook for 2022, and while 58% of experts surveyed expect a recovery mainly in the third quarter of 2022, 42% of tourism experts point to a possible recovery only in 2023. 64% of experts expect international arrivals to return to 2019 levels only in 2024. Read more
- DER Tourism reached 41 percent pf 2019 revenue: The German Rewe Group has just presented its (yet unaudited) business figures for 2021. Basically, the Cologne-based retail and tourism company is doing well: sales growth amounted to around 2 billion euros, i.e., around 2.5 percent, which now brings consolidated sales to 76.5 billion euros. This is even though the tourism division – in which DER Touristik and thus also DER Touristik Suisse (Kuoni, Helvetic Tours & various specialists) are bundled – continued to struggle. If we look at the tourism business segment separately, we see that, following the slump in 2020, sales rose again by 57.5 percent from 1.3 billion euros to 2.0 billion euros in the past fiscal year. They thus reached 41 percent of the sales in fiscal 2019, i.e., before the Corona pandemic. How this breaks down into the individual parts in the Tourism business segment is not specified. What is clear is that Rewe Group continues to invest in tourism. This is evidenced by DER Touristik Group’s investments in Aldiana and DSR Hotels. Rewe’s investments rose from around 1.9 billion euros in 2020 to 2.3 billion euros in the past fiscal year. For the current year, the Rewe Group is again planning investments of 2.3 billion euros. Read more
Current major topics within the aviation industry in Germany and Europe
- Condor boss: „Lufthansa is trying to wipe us out“: Despite the Ukraine war and the Corona pandemic, Condor is doing well under its new majority shareholder Attestor, according to CEO Ralf Teckentrup. The airline – like all the others – had to contend with the development of jet fuel prices and the dollar exchange rate. Teckentrup does not want to reveal the extent to which Condor has hedged both, „because we have a competitor in Germany who wants to wipe us out,“ he says – and clearly means competitor Lufthansa. Teckentrup is at loggerheads with the crane group: „Lufthansa is clearly trying to destroy Condor,“ he says more clearly than ever before in an interview with fvw|TravelTalk. It is doing this through predatory competition and is using its new airline Eurowings Discover, which Teckentrup consistently calls „Eurowings Discounter. „This Eurowings Discounter is now flying directly against us on more than ten long-haul routes that Lufthansa did not serve in the past,“ Teckentrup complains. „They look at what we offer and then fly there on the same days and with one or two flights more per week,“ the Condor CEO states. Despite the competitive situation, however, the airline manager has no fears for Condor’s future. „We know how to defend ourselves,“ he assures. Among other things, new aircraft are expected to help. Condor expects to take delivery of 16 new Airbus 330 Neo long-haul jets in the fall. The airline plans to unveil the interiors in early May. Read more
- Air traffic remains well below pre-Corona levels: According to the surveys of the German Airports Association (ADV), February 2022 also remained disappointing after January. „Traffic in February was only slightly above that of the previous month in all traffic segments,“ write the ADV traffic statisticians. Exactly 6,370,174 passengers were handled in this country in February – in comparison, there were 6,235,251 passengers in January. Compared to February 2019, when there were 15.7 million passengers, this was still 59.5 percent fewer. These were the busiest German airports by „total local traffic“ in February 2022:
- Frankfurt 2,112,961 passengers (+ 210.5 percent)
- Munich 1,176,724 passengers (+ 760.7 percent)
- Berlin 952,106 passengers (+ 522.9 percent)
- Düsseldorf 530,051 passengers (+ 370.2 percent)
- Hamburg 430,059 passengers (+ 443.8 percent)
- Ryanair boss expects price surge for tickets: O’Leary expects flying could be more expensive again this summer than it was before the Corona pandemic broke out, given skyrocketing energy costs. „I think prices will be the same or higher than before Covid,“ he said Thursday at a conference of European airlines in Brussels. According to Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, who was also at the conference, not only high prices for fuel but also inflation are currently having an impact on airlines. However, he said, nothing has become as much cheaper in recent decades as airline tickets in Europe. „Flying will continue to be very affordable compared to other products,“ Spohr reassured at the same time. Read more
- Major advertising campaign for Dertour: DER Touristik wants to increase the brand Dertour and is launching an advertising campaign under the new claim „Macht Urlaub“ (“Take a Vacation”). From the beginning of April clips which will first be shown digitally, will target families and couples in different age groups. In the further course measures will be expanded to include numerous social media activities, travel agency decorations, travel agency TV, and traditional ad placements will be launched. The retail trade of the Rewe Group will also be involved.
- Switzerland Tourism invites to a live workshop: Numerous Swiss destinations and railway partners are looking forward to providing information about news and interesting facts from Switzerland as a travel destination at the live workshop in Vienna. The „Switzerland Travel Experience“ will take place on Wednesday, May 4th at the Hotel SO/ Vienna. The participants can not only go home with interesting information about the charming neighbors and the multitude of experiences that guests can experience in Switzerland – especially with the numerous railways – but maybe also with a great prize.
- Visit Finland tours Germany: Together with partners from the destination, the Finnish Tourist Board invites travel professionals to evening events in several cities. A total of seven stops are on the program in April and May. The events are aimed at tour operators and travel agencies.
- Bulgaria: For quarantine-free entry, entrants from other countries need only certify that they have been vaccinated against, recovered from, or tested negative for Covid-19.
- Cuba: As of April 6, the requirement for proof of a negative PCR test and Covid vaccination certificate for entry will be eliminated.
- New Zealand: The country opens the borders for fully vaccinated tourists from May 1. Self-isolation after entry will be eliminated. However, several negative tests are still required. Before departure, tourists must show a negative Corona test, as well as on the day of arrival in New Zealand and on day five or six after arrival.
Just read on and enjoy! And if you have any doubt or would like to talk to us about how to approach these markets better, just get in touch with us. We’ll be delighted to help you.