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
- BOOKING.COM AND EXPEDIA MAKE BIG PROFITS: Tourism companies Booking.com and Expedia are seeing positive business trends, as evidenced by their latest quarterly and half-year figures. In the second quarter, Booking increased its brokered revenue to $39.7 billion, up 15 percent from a year ago, and posted a net profit of $1.3 billion. Expedia increased its revenue to $3.4 billion in the same quarter, with net income of $247 million. Both companies expect bookings to continue to rise in the coming months. Expedia has launched the One Key customer loyalty program, while Booking.com is focusing on artificial intelligence and has launched the „AI Trip Planner“ in its app in the US. Read more
- GERMANS LEAD IN PLANNED TRAVEL SPEND: Amadeus‘ subsidiary, Outpayce, conducted a study called „Consumer Travel Spend Priorities.“ The results indicate that travel demand will remain steady over the next twelve months, despite economic uncertainties. Most notably, German travelers have the highest spending priorities in Europe, with an expected average spend of 2839 euros. 52% of respondents from Germany prioritize international travel, a figure eleven percentage points higher than the global average. In terms of reasons for prioritizing travel, 37% of German respondents said they needed time off after the challenges of recent years. Other motivating factors include the need to visit friends and family (26%), lower cost of living abroad (25%) and additional savings from the pandemic (24%). Jean-Christophe Lacour of Outpayce points out that the study results underscore the continued strong demand for travel. Many consumers are willing to spend their pandemic savings on travel, even if it means cutting back in other areas. Read more
- HOW THE WISHES OF LUXURY HOLIDAYS ARE CHANGING: The luxury travel segment is experiencing a boom.Dirk Gowin of Select Luxury Travel GmbH in Berlin reports a growing demand for exclusive travel in the wake of the Corona pandemic. Wealthy clients are not only looking for luxury accommodations and first-class flights, but also want exclusive experiences, such as private visits to the Sistine Chapel, which can cost up to 10,000 euros. Despite this preference for luxury, Gowin stresses the importance of sustainability; requests that harm the environment are rejected. The clientele is getting younger, with an average age in the mid-50s. Popular destinations include Costa Rica, the North Pole and Egypt, while Southeast Asia and Dubai are losing appeal. Read more
- TUI INCREASES SALES BY A THIRD AND HALVES LOSSES: TUI records upswing in summer 2023 with strong focus on the Mediterranean. Despite heat wave and forest fires, booking rate is close to pre-pandemic levels. Germany, the main market, shows a 38 percent year-on-year increase in sales, with cruises standing out with 136 percent growth. In the third quarter, the Group posted an operating profit of 170 million euros and a net profit of 52 million euros. However, a loss of 505 million euros has accumulated since October, which is nevertheless an improvement on the previous year. Read more
- TRAVEL AGENCIES RECORD INCREASE IN SALES, DUE TO MIXED INDUSTRY TRENDS: The Tats Travel Agency Mirror reported a 4.1% increase in total billed sales for July 2023 compared to July 2022. Over the first seven months of 2023, sales increased 37.2% year-over-year. However, July 2023 tourism sales were down 4.5% year-over-year. Nevertheless, the cumulative figure shows an increase of 24.2%. Air sales increased 13.7% in July and 47.7% cumulatively. The cruise division also posted positive figures, with a 9.6% month-on-month increase and 55.5% cumulative increase. Compared to July 2019, total revenue in July 2023 is up 2.0%. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- LUFTHANSA FLIES RECORD PROFIT: In the second quarter, Lufthansa recorded revenue of 9.4 billion euros, a year-on-year increase of 17 percent. Operating profit rose to 1.1 billion euros, a new record for the company. The first half of 2023 showed an operating result of 812 million euros, compared with a minus of 185 million euros in the previous year. Passenger numbers were up 30 percent, with 55 million travelers from January to June. Capacity was 21 percent below pre-crisis levels and punctuality was 70 percent. Due to high demand, average yields increased by 13 percent. Nevertheless, airline costs rose by seven percent, mainly due to high cost inflation and other operating costs. Lufthansa shares fell on the stock market, with analysts criticizing the lower than expected cash inflow and increased costs. Read more
- KOREAN AIR REPORTS LOWER PROFIT: Between April and June, Korean Air’s revenue from its passenger business, particularly to Europe, rose by an impressive 154 percent. Despite this growth, the airline reported lower profits compared with a year earlier. This was due to rising labor costs and declining cargo sales. Operating profit fell 36.4 percent from 512 million euros to 325 million euros. Total revenue in the second quarter was 2.5 billion euros, up 6.1 percent from 2022, while net profit fell 17.5 percent to 258 million euros. In the first half of 2023, Korean Air’s revenue was 4.7 billion euros with net profit of 506 million euros. The airline expects ticket demand to continue to rise in the third quarter, although the number of passengers carried in the first half of the year was still 35 percent below 2019 levels. Read more
- CAR RENTAL PRICES AS FAVORABLE AS NOT IN A LONG TIME: Car rental prices in 2023 are on average EUR 100 lower than the previous year’s prices, which represents a significant saving for travelers as other travel costs have risen. This is according to an analysis by car rental provider Sunny Cars. Especially in the peak season, car rental prices are at their lowest for two years, with an average cost of EUR 471. The trend for last-minute booking has increased, resulting in Sunny Cars recording the highest number of bookings for the month in July 2023, with the majority being short-term bookings. Booking numbers are up more than 10% compared to July 2019. Travelers are advised to inform the car rental provider immediately in case of flight postponements or delays. The top destinations for car rental bookings with Sunny Cars in July 2023 were Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and the USA. Read more
- MORE PASSENGERS THAN BEFORE PANDEMIA: In the first half of 2023, TAP Air Portugal carried 7.58 million passengers, an increase of 30.2% year-on-year. The strong growth was mainly driven by intercontinental flights, especially to Brazil, North America and Africa, with an increase of 31.1% year-on-year. This also shows a recovery from the Corona pandemic, as numbers increased by 14.7% compared to the first half of 2019. On intra-European routes, TAP carried 5.41 million passengers, but it is still 10% less than before the pandemic. The average aircraft load factor was 80.2%, which is higher than in 2022 and 2019. In terms of available seat kilometers (ASK), TAP recorded an increase of 21.4% year-on-year and demand, measured in RPK, increased by 30.4%. TAP Air Portugal flies from Zurich and Geneva to Lisbon and Porto, with Lisbon serving as the hub for intercontinental flights. Read more
- GERMAN AIR TRANSPORTATION SHOWS UPGRADING TREND: The German Air Transport Association (BDL) reports a better summer of travel than last year, with 60% of flights on time in June. Lufthansa reported that 70% of its flights were on time in June. Although 2023 air travel is up 28% from the Corona-affected 2022, it is still below 2019 levels, and BDL expects air travel to recover to up to 88% of pre-crisis levels by the end of 2023. While international flights have increased, domestic air traffic in Germany remains below pre-crisis levels, partly due to the withdrawal of low-cost carriers and stronger airline-rail linkages. BDL expresses concern about the growing popularity of non-European hubs and warns of the potential impact of the EU’s Fitfor55 program on European airlines. Read more
- ABU DHABI: High visitor numbers, increase in hotel capacity, more overnight guests, these are key findings in the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi’s (DCT) 2022 Annual Report. A total of 18 million travelers came to the emirate, three million visited cultural sites and 603,000 were on site for events.
- AFRICA: The main airports in Africa, including Cape Town International Airport, recorded a remarkable increase in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2023, exceeding pre-crisis levels. During the said period, Cape Town Airport registered 446,703 tourist arrivals, representing a recovery of 103% compared to the first half of 2019. Of these, 90% were from overseas and 10% from other African countries. Ethiopia, a major hub for air connectivity within Africa, has achieved regional connectivity of 113% of pre-crisis levels, according to the IATA Connectivity Index. IATA forecasts that passenger traffic in Africa will double by 2040, with East, Central and West Africa contributing significantly to overall traffic growth. According to recent UNWTO data, tourist arrivals across Africa have reached about 88% of pre-crisis levels.
- DENMARK: Due to a „changed security situation“ after Koran burnings, Denmark follows Sweden’s example and announces stricter controls at all border crossings. This also affects the German-Danish border and the ports of Rodbyhavn and Gedser, where ferries from Fehmarn and Rostock arrive.
- GREECE: Currently, 23,000 tourists a day visit Greece’s most popular archaeological site, with peak hours from 8 a.m. to noon. The government is now announcing a system to better manage visitor flows. Starting September 4, different caps will apply depending on the time of day, with no more than 20,000 Acropolis visitors allowed throughout the day in the future.
- HAWAII: The Hawaiian Islands are currently experiencing a serious natural disaster in the form of devastating brush and forest fires, particularly on Maui. At least six people have died, and there are numerous injuries and massive damage to buildings. The County of Maui is urging tourists to leave the island, as many areas are unsafe. The coastal town of Lahaina was heavily damaged, with eyewitnesses describing people jumping into the sea to escape the flames. The fire continues to be fueled by Hurricane Dora, which is passing by the islands. The U.S. government, including President Joe Biden, has pledged support and assistance. Flights to Maui have been mostly canceled, but evacuation flights remain available.
- ITALY: Venice, a renowned Italian city, is at risk of being added to UNESCO’s heritage danger list. UNESCO has called on the Italian government to prioritize the preservation of Venice’s unique cultural and historical heritage, addressing issues negatively affecting its tourism. Despite being a UNESCO World Heritage Site of great significance, Venice faces challenges related to mass tourism, development, and climate change. The 45th World Heritage Committee session in September 2023 will consider Venice’s inclusion on the danger list, noting concerns about the city’s architectural integrity and its cultural and environmental values.
- IRAQ: In the center of Baghdad, there are plans to build a tourist village on a 47,000 square meter site. The initiative comes from Qatar’s Estithmar Holding. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Al-Sudani, has reviewed the design of the project and stated that it should receive government support. The planned project includes the construction of a hotel, public halls, restaurants and villas inspired by the history of Mesopotamia. In June 2023, Estithmar Holding signed three memorandums of understanding with the Iraqi National Investment Commission worth seven billion U.S. dollars to develop new cities and five-star hotels and operate several hospitals in Iraq.
- PORTUGAL: Extreme heat, drought and strong winds is the mixture that has led to forest fires in Portugal since the weekend. At least 1,400 people have been evacuated, including more than 100 tourists from hotels in Odemira and surrounding areas in the Alentejo. According to radio station RTP, the flames have spread toward the Algarve. Roads and highways were also closed. In the center of the country, the situation has calmed down, authorities report.
- ST. LUCIA: Tourists wishing to travel to St. Lucia can now fill out the required entry form online up to three days before arrival instead of doing it on the plane. For ferry travel, however, the paper version of the form is still required. German, Austrian and Swiss citizens do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days in St. Lucia, only a passport valid during the stay.
- SCANDINAVIA: A stormy low continues to have a firm grip on the weather situation in Scandinavia and caused the evacuation of 600 people due to landslides in southern Norway, for example. In addition, the European roads E6 and E16, popular with vacationers, are closed in several places. In Gothenburg, Sweden, parts of the port facilities were under water. According to meteorologists, there is no improvement in sight, and extreme flooding is to be expected in Sweden.
- SLOVENIA: After storms with landslides and flooding, a dam broke in Slovenia on Saturday evening, and hundreds of people were evacuated. Two-thirds of the country was affected „by the worst flooding in 30 years,“ authorities report. Numerous towns are cut off from the surrounding area because of the floods and masses of debris; bridges collapsed, roads and railroad tracks are under water. Highways and alternative roads are partly closed, there are traffic jams on transit routes. Numerous border crossings to Austria were closed.
- SPAIN: A forest fire on the Spanish Mediterranean coast in Catalonia has spread rapidly towards the French border. A village in the border region and a campsite with hundreds of guests were evacuated. A curfew is in place for another campsite. Ferry traffic has been partially suspended, and rail traffic is affected. The coastal road between Portbou on the Costa Brava and the border with France was also closed. In addition, the fourth heat wave of this year’s summer brings Spain temperatures of up to 44 degrees in the region around the capital Madrid and in Jaén in Andalusia. The heat not only increases the risk of forest fires again, but also exacerbates the country’s serious water problem.
- SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka has stabilized after unrest in 2022 and presents itself as an attractive tourist destination. Since the end of the civil war in 2009, tourism there has been growing steadily. The country impresses with a mix of culture, nature and beach vacations, with wildlife watching and Ayurveda offerings standing out in particular. Despite a slump due to bombings in 2019, Sri Lanka is enjoying growing popularity, especially among German tourists. In addition, the good price-performance ratio and hospitality attracts. Direct flights from Frankfurt to Colombo are available and tourists need an ETA visa to be applied for online.
- THAILAND: Bangkok’s roads are overloaded, which is why the city government is planning to shift more transport to waterways. Water routes are to be expanded from 130 to 200 kilometers, at a cost of around 230 million francs. In addition to upgrading the existing waterways of the Chao Phraya River, new canal routes are also planned. The project is to be completed by 2032, and approval plans could be submitted to the cabinet this year.
WHAT ELSE IS BREWING?
Dive into this edition where we journey through quirky travel escapades, delectable dilemmas, pedestrian paradises, ancient marvels, and the evolving world of workations. Buckle up for a delightful ride through tales that span continents and tickle fancies!
For all our jet-setters with a four-legged companion, the age-old question always arises: „Who will care for my fur-baby while I’m away?“ But why leave them behind when you can embark on an epic voyage together? 1AVista Reisen offers special river cruises where not only are dogs allowed, they’re VIPs! With onboard dog trainers and designated doggy zones, your pet will feel right at home. For those preferring a camping vibe, Lynx Camp in the Black Forest lets every canine run wild in their own enclosed areas. Heck, they even have dog showers! 🚿 Feeling posh? Set sail on the Queen Mary 2, and let your pet live in luxury in their exclusive quarters. So next time you’re planning a holiday, bring your dog along for the ride.
Frozen treat dilemmas? Rimini’s ice-cream parlor in Gaggenau presents a delectable solution. With modern parlors offering an avalanche of flavors, the simple choice of ice cream can become quite frosty. Enter the flavor „Ähm“—a creamy concoction of white chocolate with crunchy pistachio. So, when you start your order with an „uhmmm“, you get a scoop of this ambrosial delight. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, „Ähm“ now sits proudly as their second most loved flavor!
European cities have always been a favorite amongst travelers, but which ones are best explored on foot? Preply’s survey has the answer. Top on the list is Sevilla, where the city’s charming streets allow you to wander between its five major attractions in a mere 20 minutes! Venice, with its romantic bridges and Porto’s picturesque streets, are close contenders. But if you’re up for a challenge and a workout, Lissabon’s sprawl offers a marathon of sights, sure to give your Fitbit a real task!
The world is brimming with awe-inspiring sites. The Easter Island’s enigmatic Moais have puzzled minds for centuries, while Machu Picchu in the Andes flaunts a combination of ancient majesty and floral beauty. The Borobudur Temple in Java, a UNESCO-restored marvel, tells tales of Buddhist grandeur, while Tibet’s Potala Palace showcases architectural genius from the 7th century. Closer to Europe, Stonehenge in England and Abu Simbel in Egypt still spark debates and inspire wanderlust. Such places remind us of the intricate tapestry of history and culture that our world offers.
The work-from-anywhere culture is evolving, and „workations“ are the newest trend. But where should one go to find the perfect blend of work and leisure? London, despite its somewhat lagging internet and pricey coffee, offers myriad co-working spaces amidst historic attractions. Sevilla, on the other hand, boasts blazing-fast internet coupled with affordable caffeine fixes. Meanwhile, Copenhagen, despite its cozy ambiance, may pinch your pocket on those coffee breaks. Regardless, the European workation map is diverse, offering something for every digital nomad!
Whether it’s pampering pets on picturesque cruises, getting tongue-tied over ice cream, traversing Europe’s enchanting cities, marveling at ancient wonders, or redefining the boundaries of work and travel, our world offers a tapestry of experiences just waiting to be unraveled. Embrace the adventure and let life’s stories unfold!
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