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
- Catch-up in sales slows down: The sales gap to 2019 is currently closing more slowly than before. As the Tats Travel Agency Mirror shows, July sales were 18 percent below the pre-crisis month. In June, it was only eight percent. This could be due to short-term bookings. After a brilliant catch-up in travel agency sales compared to pre-Corona 2019, the pace is now slowing again. According to figures in the latest Tats Travel Agency Mirror from July, total invoiced sales are 18 percent below July 2019, compared to „only“ just under eight percent in June. Read more
- Rental car market slows slightly in July: A good two weeks ago, Sunny Cars founder Kai Sannwald had already identified the first signs of fatigue in tourist demand and demand for rental cars in the Reise vor9 podcast. This assumption is now confirmed on the basis of the figures for the entire month, although prices and demand remain at a high level overall. The effects of the falling consumer climate index are now also being felt by the rental car market, says co-managing director Thorsten Lehmann. An „unexpected turnaround“ is beginning for vacation cars. The market situation is changing, but there is no uniform picture. Rather, it is developing „in a similar way to the stock market, on a daily basis. At 75 percent, most of the bookings received in July 2022 were concentrated in the peak season from July to September 2022, Lehmann added. The smallest vehicle category, „economy,“ continued to be the favorite of travellers, he said: Around 65 percent of all bookings were in this category of small and micro cars. The average booking duration had increased by 0.4 days compared to the pre-Corona period. Read more
- Expedia records record bookings: As recently as May 2022, the rating agency Fitch had given Expedia a satisfactory credit rating. Now the online travel agency reports high sales and record bookings for the second quarter. Expedia Group reported its highest-ever bookings in the second quarter of 2022. Revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) were ranked as the highest in a second quarter. The online travel agency reported second-quarter revenue of $3.2 billion, up 51 percent from the second quarter of 2021 and 1.0 percent higher than the second quarter of 2019 before the pandemic hit. Adjusted Ebitda increased 223 percent to $648 million, Seeking Alpha reports. Read more
- Booking wants more from customers‘ travel budgets: Booking.com customers spend an average of 25 percent of all travel spend on this one portal alone. CEO Glenn Fogel wants to increase the share – through new products along the entire travel chain. According to Fogel, the share of around a quarter refers to the pre-Corona period, and as an average value of all registered customers, there are large swings up and down. In the long term, Fogel, who is the personal head of U.S. parent Booking Holdings and the main Booking.com brand, based in Amsterdam, wants to increase that figure significantly, he said in a conference call with analysts to present second-quarter figures. Fogel sees several starting points to generate more revenue from regular customers. The first point is to expand its lodging portfolio. Booking.com has recently expanded its so-called „alternative accommodations,“ such as vacation rentals in vacation regions and apartments in cities, and says it has 6.6 million listings worldwide. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany and Europe
- „Low-cost airlines will continue to exist“: So far, 40 low-cost airlines have been registered in Europe. An expert says that these will continue to secure their economic existence. Flights for ten euros, however, are now history. In connection with the low-cost airlines, Ina zur Oven-Krockhaus, a tourism expert at the International University of Applied Sciences, explained in an interview that flights for ten euros may be a thing of the past, but there is no need to fear an outright death blow for low-cost airlines. After all, Ryanair continues to offer flights for 37 euros, which can be considered a bargain price. According to her, low-cost airlines will be able to continue to exist, especially since, unlike the other airlines, they have come through the Corona crisis well. „I think there will still be attractive offers for travellers in the future – we are out of the age of total dumping travel,“ Oven-Krockhaus said. The fleet size of low-cost airlines in Europe was 1773 aircraft in July. The combined fleet size of the five largest low-cost airlines (Ryanair, Easyjet, Wizz Air, Vueling and Jet2.com) is 1221 aircraft, including 646 Airbus and 575 Boeing jets. Read more
- June was the strongest airport month: The recovery of air traffic connectivity in Europe continued in June. Passenger traffic was -17.4% compared to 2019, making June the strongest month since the pandemic, according to ACI Europe (Airports Council International). Passenger traffic on the European airport network increased by 247%, or 660 million additional passengers, throughout the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year. The increase was driven primarily by international traffic (381.2%) and was concentrated in the second quarter (245.9%) following the easing of Omicron-related travel restrictions in March, according to the association. Airports in EU and EEA member states, as well as Switzerland and the United Kingdom, saw the largest increase in passenger traffic in the first half of 2022, up 348.9% compared to 2021. Airports in Ireland (1125%), the United Kingdom (833%), Slovakia (842.2%), Hungary (784.8%) and Denmark (611.8%) saw the highest growth. Read more
- How expensive will it be to fly on green fuels?: Due to the energy crisis and increasing demand, airline ticket prices are currently skyrocketing. The issue of sustainability will also change air ticket prices in the not too distant future. But how much will prices rise at all if synthetic fuels and hydrogen are used instead of kerosene? The answer should be reassuring, because as the „SonntagsZeitung“ newspaper quotes from a study by the economic consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), sustainable fuels will have only a moderate impact on airfares. In 2035, the price of a flight from Frankfurt to Singapore would increase by only $10 to $17 in economy class, and $36 to $63 outside of economy class. A flight from Zurich to New York would cost only 36 francs more. „The increase in sustainable fuel-related costs remains manageable for airlines and their customers due to expected increases in the CO₂ price on fossil jet fuel and decreasing sustainable fuel costs,“ the study authors write. They are thus significantly more optimistic than the International Council on Clean Transportation: The non-governmental organisation expects ticket prices to rise by 20 to 30%. Read more
- Lufthansa and union agree on higher pay for ground staff: Lufthansa and the trade union ver.di have reached an agreement on a pay increase for the airline’s approximately 20,000 ground staff. Noticeable salary increases have been agreed, which are disproportionate for the lower pay groups. This was announced by Lufthansa on Thursday. This means that there will be no further strike by Lufthansa employees at check-in or in aircraft handling. A one-day walkout last week had triggered more than 1,000 flight cancellations at Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs. And that was in the middle of the peak season, which already demands a lot of patience from travellers due to disruptions in airport operations caused by staff shortages in Europe. The agreement provides for a wage increase of EUR 200 per month from July 1, 2022, after two years of waivers due to the Corona crisis. From January 1, 2023, wages will rise by 2.5% and from July 1, 2023, by another 2.5%. Read more
- Condor voluntarily increases salaries: Condor is also raising salaries for all employees – unscheduled, as the current collective agreements run until 2024. The vacation carrier is raising salaries by at least seven and up to nine percent over the next two years. The airline has reached an agreement to this effect with the unions Verdi, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) and the cabin crew representative, UFO. The airline says the unscheduled salary increase is intended in particular to „express the company’s appreciation for the commitment and dedication of Condorians during this challenging summer and the past few months.“ In addition, it takes into account the rising inflation in relation to the consumer price index in 2023. Read more
- Australia: Good news from the Great Barrier Reef. The northern and central section of the world’s largest coral reef has recorded the greatest coral density since the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) began keeping records 36 years ago. The recently released „Annual Summary Report of Coral Reef Condition 2021/22“ reports another year of increasing coral abundance in most parts of the reef. In the 87 representatively selected reef sections surveyed between August 2021 and May 2022 as part of the AIMS „Long-Term Monitoring Program,“ the average density of stony corals in the region north of Cooktown increased to 36% from 27% a year earlier. In the Central Great Barrier Reef, stony coral density also increased to 33 percent from 26% a year earlier. However, coral density in the southern Great Barrier Reef (between Proserpine and Gladstone) declined – mainly due to the proliferation of crown-of-thorns starfish, which are harmful to the reef.
- Italy: Looking at Europe, the shortage of personnel in the travel industry is hitting Italy particularly hard and is threatening the recovery of the economy, a survey by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows. According to the survey, one in six jobs in tourism in Italy remains unfilled, which means a total shortage of around 250,000 skilled workers. Hotels and travel agencies are particularly affected.
- Portugal: This year, the B2B luxury travel trade show Loop was held outside the German-speaking region for the first time. The response to the location in Portugal was encouraging. Now the dates for 2023 have been set – also outside the D/A/CH region. This year, organiser Lobster Experience moved one of its venues outside the D/A/CH market to Portugal for the first time. Participants were thus able to combine their visit to the show with hotel visits in the region. The response: 97 percent would like to stick to such a combination.
- Malaysia: Malaysia has lifted all Covid entry restrictions. This also applies to test certificates and quarantine requirements that were previously necessary in some cases. Thus, all holidaymakers are now allowed to enter the country, regardless of their vaccination or test certificates.
- Spain: Spanish tourism is celebrating a comeback despite high inflation and the Ukraine war: In June, more than twice as many foreign tourists visited the southern European country than a year earlier and spent almost three times as much during their stay. This is according to data recently published by the Statistical Office in Madrid. According to the data, 7.5 million visitors were counted in the month, leaving almost EUR 9 billion in the country. Spain’s largest and most important industry is thus approaching pre-Corona levels. Before the pandemic led to a slump in 2020, Spain received a total of 38.2 million tourists in 2019 – of which 8.8 million came in June alone.
- USA: The US government has declared a nationwide state of emergency in view of the monkeypox outbreak. Whether Europe will follow suit is still uncertain.
- Samoa: The borders of the island nation of Samoa in the southwestern Pacific Ocean (northeast of Fiji) are open again. Anyone wishing to visit Samoa must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of a negative Corona test.
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