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
- GROWING TRENDS AND CHALLENGES IN WELLNESS TOURISM: The global market for wellness tourism is experiencing substantial growth, with a value of $801.6 billion in 2023, projected to reach $1,592.6 billion by 2030, displaying a CAGR of 7.2%. Wellness tourism involves travel focused on personal well-being, driven by the desire for healthy living, disease prevention, stress reduction, and managing unhealthy lifestyles. However, the inclination to rely on others‘ opinions has led to discrepancies between recommended destinations and actual experiences for 70% of travelers. The rise of social media has also contributed to this trend, with 80% of respondents indicating that content shown online often deviates from reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the wellness tourism market, with a surge in telemedicine, at-home fitness, and digital therapy. In terms of segments, the lodging category holds the largest share, and North America leads the global market. Key players include Accor S.A, Four Seasons Hotels Ltd., Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., and Marriott International, Inc. Read more
- WINTER BUSINESS IS ON THE UPSWING: The decline in summer bookings in June is attributed to the fact that bookings for the 2022 summer season only started picking up in April to June due to the pandemic. However, overall, the entire 2023 summer season still shows a 15 percent increase in sales compared to the previous year. The travel industry is benefiting from higher vacation prices and the spending behavior of holidaymakers. Some travelers are willing to pay more for their trips but are looking to save money during their stays at the destinations. Half of the June 2023 sales were from last-minute bookings for the summer months. The upcoming winter season bookings have also started promisingly, with a 39 percent increase in sales compared to the previous year. Overall, vacation demand in the German market remains high despite increased travel prices. Read more
- THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY DEFIES THE RECESSION: Despite concerns about inflation, energy crises, geopolitical tensions, and the ongoing Ukraine war, the European and global travel industry has faced changing political and economic environments consistently over the past decades. Previous economic recessions, like the one from 2007 to early 2009, impacted tourism significantly, leading to restructuring and consolidation in major hotel chains and airlines. However, both sectors saw growth and increased consumer demand after the crisis. The Economist Intelligence Unit predicts a 30 percent increase in global tourist arrivals in 2023, but pre-pandemic levels may not be reached until 2024. Despite uncertainties, recent studies show hopeful signs with increased tourism sales and revenue in various sectors. Read more
- BUSINESS TRAVEL IS BACK – WITH A CHANGED OBJECTIVE: A study conducted by Accor’s „Masters of Travel“ committee reveals that demand for business travel, especially on-site and corporate industry events, is returning. Companies are balancing productivity and expediency, carefully weighing business needs against social and environmental considerations. Face-to-face meetings are valued for generating more revenue and supporting mental health and job satisfaction. Environmental protection is a priority for many, and hotels‘ sustainability performance will influence decision-making in 2024. The „bleisure“ trend, combining business and leisure travel, is on the rise. Loyalty programs and technology play essential roles in driving business travel, but the well-being of travelers remains paramount. The hospitality industry must adapt to the rapidly changing world of business travel. Read more
- MORE SALES, FEWER TRAVELERS: According to Travel Data + Analytics (TDA), booking sales for tour operator travel in the current summer season and the upcoming winter season in Germany have both surpassed pre-Corona crisis levels as of the end of June. The summer season saw a 15% increase in turnover compared to last year, mainly due to higher travel prices and vacationer spending. However, the number of travelers is still lagging, with 18% fewer German travelers compared to the pre-Corona summer of 2019. The upcoming winter season showed a significant year-on-year increase of 65% in sales and an 11% increase compared to pre-Corona levels, with long-haul travel and cruises being particularly strong. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- RECOVERY AND CHALLENGES IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2023: In the first half of 2023, Skyguide, the Swiss air navigation service provider, monitored 556,839 flights under instrument flight rules (IFR), showing a 6.7% increase compared to the previous year but an 11.8% decrease compared to 2019. Flight traffic experienced recovery but stagnated in May and June, reaching 90.5% of 2019 levels. Punctuality was at 98.2%, 1% higher than in 2019. The growth slowdown was partly due to weather and air traffic control strikes. Overflights increased by 3.1%, and takeoffs and landings rose by 12.8% compared to 2022 but declined by 10% compared to 2019. Major airports in Zurich and Geneva saw growth, while regional airports faced declines. Skyguide’s air traffic control centers also experienced slight increases in flight movements. Read more
- LOW-COST AIRLINES LOSE THEIR CHEAP APPEAL: According to the „Low Cost Monitor“ study by the German Aerospace Center DLR, low-cost airlines are no longer as cheap as they used to be. The study analyzed low-cost flights from Germany during winter 2022/2023 and spring 2023. There were 485 routes offered, 45 more than the previous year but still over 200 fewer than in 2019. Direct competition among low-cost airlines was low. Berlin offered the largest number of low-cost flights, followed by Düsseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, and Stuttgart. Easyjet was found to have the lowest-priced offers in the German market, with an average ticket price of around 103 euros, followed by Eurowings, Ryanair, and Wizz. Overall, prices in the low-cost segment have significantly risen this year. Short-term bookings experienced the sharpest price increases. Tickets for next-day trips could cost over 200 euros, while flights booked three months in advance ranged from 36 to 78 euros on average for most low-cost airlines. Spain and the United Kingdom were the leading countries for low-cost flights in Europe, with around 6000 takeoffs per week, followed by Italy, France, and Germany. The study revealed that 83 percent of the total 6600 routes across Europe were served by just one low-cost carrier. Read more
- IAG AND AIR FRANCE KLM BEAT FORECASTS WITH IMPRESSIVE Q2 PROFITS: Airline groups IAG and Air France KLM report strong business performance, with IAG’s second-quarter operating profit beating forecasts at 1.25 billion euros. The summer quarter outlook is positive, but winter season uncertainty remains. IAG maintains its full-year forecast of 1.8 to 2.3 billion euros in operating profit. Air France KLM also exceeds expectations with an operating profit of 733 million euros. Demand for flights has surged since the pandemic’s end, defying concerns about inflation and rising interest rates. Lufthansa’s quarterly results are awaited with analysts predicting around one billion euros in operating profit. Read more
- FRANKFURT AGAIN AMONG EUROPE’S TOP FIVE AIRPORTS: Frankfurt Airport regained its position among the top five busiest airports in Europe in June. However, despite the strong passenger growth, the airport still experienced a 20.1 percent decline in passenger numbers for the first half of the year compared to 2019, before the pandemic. London Heathrow remained the busiest airport overall, while Istanbul was the only mega-airport to surpass pre-pandemic passenger levels. Other airports, such as Lisbon, Athens, and Palma de Mallorca, showed increases in passenger numbers, but overall air traffic in Europe was still 7.7 percent below pre-pandemic levels in the first half of the year. The German market, including Frankfurt Airport, saw a 21.7 percent decrease in June compared to 2019. Read more
- KOREAN AIR REBUILDS JAPAN: Korean Air is resuming several routes to China and Japan after a break of about three and a half years. The routes include Changsha, Wuhan, Weihai, Fukuoka, and Nagoya. The airline has increased flight frequencies and resumed flights in its global network since early July. Additionally, it has expanded its offerings to Frankfurt and Milan in Europe. The passenger capacity on international routes reached 82% of the pre-pandemic levels in July. Korean Air is also increasing the number of weekly flights to Ulaanbaatar, Sapporo, and Bali. The airline aims to support the Korean government’s bid for the World Expo 2030 in Busan by resuming flights from Busan to several destinations. Read more
- NORDICA FLIES INTO MILLION-DOLLAR LOSS: The Nordica Aviation Group is facing economic problems, and in the first half of 2023, the wetlease partner of Marabu incurred significant losses. The Estonian airline, which is 100% owned by the Estonian state, experienced lower revenue than expected, and costs exceeded earnings, leading to financial difficulties. The company, which includes XFly and operates over 20 aircraft, reported a loss of 7.2 million euros with a revenue of 54.9 million euros in the first half of the year. To address the challenges, Nordica has initiated a restructuring process and appointed Remco Althuis as the Interim CEO to oversee the turnaround. The new CEO will lead a team from aviation consulting firm Knighthood Global to analyze the entire operation and cost structure over the next six months. Read more
- CANARY ISLANDS: A power failure paralyzed large parts of the island of La Gomera on Sunday. The operation of the airport, the hospital and the port was maintained thanks to generators, it is said. The reason is probably a fire in the thermal power plant El Palmar near the capital San Sebastián de la Gomera.
- CROATIA: The city of Split in Croatia, a popular destination for party tourists, has been facing issues with disruptive behavior. To tackle this, the city council introduced strict penalties for public misconduct, including fines for public urination, drinking alcohol outside of establishments, and other disruptive activities. Photos and videos of tourists‘ misbehavior are shared on a Facebook page by local residents. Similar measures have been taken in other Croatian cities to discourage unruly tourist behavior.
- ITALY: In Rome, vacationers will face significantly higher bed taxes for their stay, following a decision by the city council. The tax increase varies depending on the hotel category, with five-star hotels charging up to 10 euros per night, compared to the previous 7 euros. One- and two-star hotels will charge 5 euros (previously 3 euros), while three- and four-star hotels will charge between 6 and 9 euros. Airbnb and other vacation rentals will also see an increase from 3.50 euros to 6 euros per night. The hoteliers‘ association protests the decision, stating that it burdens tourism as the industry recovers from the pandemic. Opposition parties also criticize the measure, while municipalities across Italy adopt similar taxes to fill budget deficits, raising questions about how the funds are used.
- JAMAICA: Jamaica has introduced online entry formalities for German, Austrian, and Swiss citizens. Travelers can now complete all data required for entry at www.enterjamaica.com before their trip, making the process more convenient and allowing them to enjoy a relaxed flight without filling out forms onboard. This move aims to enhance the overall travel experience to Jamaica for these nationals.
- KENYA: The German Foreign Office informs in the travel advice about a disruption of the visa portal „E Citizen Kenya“. According to the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is not possible to apply for visas online until further notice. According to the notice, visas will be issued upon entry at all border crossings as well as airports and ports. Kenyan media report that the cause of the disruption was a hacker attack on authorities.
- SEYCHELLES: The Seychelles will implement a Tourism Environmental Sustainability Levy from August 1, aimed at financing environmental protection measures, particularly to combat beach and coastal erosion. The levy is tiered based on the size of accommodation, ranging from 25 to 100 Seychelles rupees (approximately 1.58 to 6.31 euros) per night per person. Children under twelve are exempt from the tax.
- THAILAND: Maya Bay in Krabi, known for its stunning beach and clear water, is closed until the end of September 2023 to protect it from tourist crowds. The closure is also due to safety concerns caused by strong waves during the rainy season. The beach gained international fame after it was featured in the movie „The Beach“ in 2000, leading to a significant increase in visitors. The large influx of tourists had detrimental effects on the ecosystem, with pollution, displacement of animals, and the disappearance of coral reefs. In response, the beach was completely sealed off in 2018. It was reopened in early 2022 with new regulations, including limited visiting hours (7 am to 6 pm) and a maximum of 4000 visitors per day. Boats are no longer allowed to directly enter the bay. These measures aim to protect the natural beauty of Maya Bay and preserve its delicate environment. Meanwhile he number of tourist arrivals from Russia to Thailand has increased by over 1000% this year, as other popular travel destinations in Europe and elsewhere are difficult for Russian citizens to access due to the Russian invasion in Ukraine. According to „Bloomberg,“ the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports recorded nearly 792,000 arrivals of Russian nationals between January and June. More than half of these arrivals went directly to the island of Phuket, which has long attracted wealthier Russian citizens.
What else is brewing?
Hey there, fabulous travelers! Get ready to sparkle and shine because we’ve got a vibrant roundup of all things LGBTQ+ for you! From top LGBTQ+ city destinations to thrilling shark facts (don’t worry, the ocean is big enough for all of us), and dreamy beaches, this newsletter is bursting with excitement!
First up, let’s break out the glitter and confetti as we unveil the hottest LGBTQ+ city destinations in Europe! The ranking takes into account everything that makes a city fabulous – from pumping nightlife spots and epic Pride events to stunning museums and monuments. Drumroll, please! Berlin steals the show, followed by the dazzling duo London and Cologne. Oh, and Manchester, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris, Vienna, and Brighton are strutting their stuff too! Our German friends are slaying the game, with Munich, Dresden, and Düsseldorf twirling in the top 40!
Hold onto your sun hats because we’ve got a fin-tastic shark story to share! Shark sightings near shorelines have been making waves, but guess what? The chances of a shark bite are rarer than finding a unicorn at the beach! Statistics show it’s a 1 in 3.7 million chance – way lower than getting struck by lightning or hit by an asteroid. So, darlings, let’s keep our cool and keep on beachin‘!
Now, let’s soak up the sun and dive into dreamy beaches that’ll have you living your best island life! Our travel gurus have spilled the sandy secrets to their favorite spots. Andrea Beffa loves Hapuna Beach, where the sand’s as white as your teeth after a dazzling smile. Nicole Pfammatter’s heart flutters for the Greek gem Symi, where beach-hopping by boat is the name of the game. And Oliver Buchhofer? Oh, he’s beach-hopping from the Maldives to the Far East, with a detour to the heavenly beaches of Los Angeles!
Time to bring the spotlight to North Sentinel Island, a picture-perfect paradise with a twist. It’s home to the Sentinelese tribe, who throw some serious shade at outsiders. No spears and poison arrows for a beach welcome! India’s got their back, establishing a no-entry zone to protect both the Sentinelese and visitors from harm. But let’s remember, we’re all about respect and understanding, not „human safaris.“ Let’s shine a light on the beauty of cultural diversity instead!
Last but not least, let’s talk moolah! Ticketlens spilled the tea on tourist attractions getting pricier than a designer purse. Globally, prices have shot up 18 percent, with Turkey, Ireland, and the UK leading the charge. But remember, experiences are priceless! So go ahead and splurge on a private Versailles Palace tour or soar high on the London Eye. After all, we deserve nothing but the best, honey!
So, that’s a wrap on this sassy and fun-filled newsletter! Whether you’re strutting through LGBTQ+ havens, splashing in the waves, or exploring distant shores, always remember – love wins, and we’re all fabulous in our own way!
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Let’s make waves!