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
- AMEX GBT INCREASES QUARTERLY LOSS: Amex GBT is experiencing increased demand for corporate travel, resulting in revenue growth of 13% in the second quarter of 2023. Despite the highest quarterly earnings in the company’s history, net loss widened from $2 million in 2022 to $55 million in 2023, mainly due to higher interest expense. CEO Paul Abbott is nonetheless upbeat, highlighting positive cash flow post-pandemic. Sales and earnings forecasts have been raised for the second half of 2023. Read more
- CLIMATE CHANGE WILL HAVE A MASSIVE IMPACT ON TRAVEL FLOWS: Climate change-related extreme weather events could change travel behavior, especially in the Mediterranean region. This could lead to more spontaneous bookings and changed peak travel times. Although the tourism industry is well prepared in terms of crisis management, proactive measures against climatic disasters are lacking. Experts urge a faster climate-friendly policy shift and call for more transparent tourism costs that also take environmental damage into account. While there is optimism and skepticism about climate protection, the consensus is that giving up is not an option. Read more
- DECLINE IN ‚BUY-NOW-PAY-LATER‘ TRAVEL: Consumers‘ willingness to use buy-now-pay-later options for travel has declined: From 75% last year to 33% now, according to a survey by Outpayce. Still, the IT services provider sees continued demand as relevant. 40% plan to cover travel costs from savings, and a third want to shift spending from other areas. Installment payment plans meet with approval from one-third. The survey polled 4,500 travelers from five countries in Q2 2023. Read more
- FOREST FIRES ONLY AFFECT SUMMER BUSINESS: Forest fires, especially on Rhodes, and extreme heat in southern Europe have the media and some travelers concerned. But according to an online survey by TRAVEL INSIDE, these events are having only a minor impact on summer business. 68% do not believe such weather extremes will reduce travel demand. Surprisingly, 41% of respondents say their customers would still travel to the affected countries. Only 11% completely forgo a summer trip because of these reasons. The most common customer response (48% of respondents) is to choose a destination less affected by wildfires and heat. Read more
- CUSTOMERS DEMAND INFORMATION ON THE CLIMATE IMPACT OF THEIR TRAVEL: An online survey by Futouris and the Institute for Tourism and Spas Research Northern Europe shows that customers want to be informed about climate impacts during travel consultations. Although 80% of travel sellers are positive about sustainability, less than half feel well informed with regard to the climate impact of travel. Among customers, 56% value social compatibility and 42% value environmental friendliness. A third try to keep the climate footprint of their travel as small as possible. There is increasing demand for climate change information, and CO2 emissions data is expected in booking systems by 2024. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- MORE THAN 21 MILLION PASSENGERS CARRIED: In the second quarter of 2023, Turkish Airlines posted a net profit of USD 635 million and carried nearly 22 million passengers. This represents a 29% increase in international passenger capacity compared to 2019. Total revenue grew 13.5% year-on-year to USD 5.1bn. Although global international flight capacity was 12% lower than in 2019, Turkish Airlines exceeded it by 29%. As Europe’s leading network carrier, it maintained its status and expanded its fleet to 419 modern aircraft, a 10% increase. Domestic load factor was 81.5% and international 81.8%. Read more
- LOT CRACKS MONTHLY RECORD: In July 2023, LOT Polish Airlines carried more passengers than ever before in a month in its 94-year history, with more than 1.04 million passengers. The seat load factor reached 83.5%, which is four percentage points higher than before the pandemic. CEO Michal Fijol expects a total of ten million passengers in 2023 and is optimistic about the airline’s future. Popular destinations from Warsaw recently included London, Vilnius, Tel Aviv, and long-haul destinations such as New York, Toronto, and Chicago. Read more
- PASSENGERS TRAVELING LONGER: The average business trip has lengthened to 7.3 days, an increase of nearly two days, according to the German Airports Association (ADV). Tourists travel for an average of 12.0 days, compared to 11.2 days in 2017. The survey is based on interviews with about 100,000 passengers at German airports. Airport audiences have become younger and more female: 29% of passengers are under 30 years old (an increase of 8 percentage points since 2008) and 48% are female (an increase of 5 percentage points). In 2022, business travelers accounted for only 20% of passengers, while the share of those visiting Germany has dropped 11 percentage points since 2017 to 23%. Read more
- AIR TRAVELERS WANT TO PAY FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION: Air travelers are increasingly concerned about climate change and would pay more for more climate-friendly flights. A study by McKinsey shows that 58% of the 5500 respondents worldwide are „very concerned“ about climate change, an increase of 4 percentage points since 2019. In Germany, this figure is as high as 61%. For 32% of respondents, CO2 is the biggest sustainability factor in air travel, and 74% support stricter action on airline emissions, even as airfares rise. German air travelers feel particularly guilty about flying, with 45% feeling guilty in 2023, up from 23% in 2019. In contrast, only 15% of Japanese say they feel guilty about flying. Since the Covid 19 pandemic, 45% of study participants and 40% of Germans claim to have reduced their air travel, with 37% planning to do so further due to climate change. However, 60% would not give up flights if airlines reduced CO2 emissions. Read more
- ZURICH AIRPORT CONTINUES TO RECOVER: In July 2023, 2,915,279 passengers used Zurich Airport, 16% more than last year and 93% of the July 2019 figures. Of these, 2,121,942 were local passengers and 27% (787,370) were transfer passengers. July 30 was the busiest day since the Corona pandemic began, with 107,969 passengers. Flight movements increased 10% year-over-year to 23,748, reaching 92% of 2019 levels. There was an average of 142 passengers per flight, an increase of 1% from the previous year. Seat occupancy decreased by 1 percentage point to 84%. Cargo saw a decline, with 30,121 tons processed in July, 16% less than last year and 20% less than July 2019. Read more
- EUROWINGS RECOGNIZES PROFIT FOR THE FIRST TIME: In 2023, Eurowings is expected to perform positively in all key figures. This development is driven by rising demand in leisure travel. Despite inflation, business travel has also developed positively. Ticket prices have increased by 20% compared to the previous year, which is justified by increased costs and investments in environmentally friendly aircraft. Future cost increases, such as higher airport charges, are expected to be passed on to customers. Eurowings plans to expand its services and is returning to Hanover and Nuremberg airports. Eurowings‘ fleet will stabilize at around 100 aircraft, with an additional 20 aircraft being added in the summer. Progress is being made in terms of stable flight operations, although there are occasional bottlenecks with some airport service providers. Read more
- CHINA: Beijing Capital International Airport reported that its total passenger traffic for 2023 surpassed 30 million. So far this year, the airport has managed 220,000 flights. Since the summer travel peak, both flight and passenger volumes have reached their highest levels, with an average of 169,000 passengers daily in August. Due to the summer demand, especially from families and student groups, high passenger flows are expected to continue throughout the month. The airport’s global rankings have risen rapidly in the last decade, becoming the busiest in Asia in 2009 and the world’s second busiest from 2010 to 2019, trailing only Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Meanwhile, The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) noted positive recovery trends in tourism, with a 31% increase in visitor arrivals in July, reaching 3.6 million. The total for the first seven months of 2023 was approximately 16.5 million. The city’s recovery rate is among the fastest in Southeast Asia, with visitors from the Philippines and Thailand nearing pre-pandemic numbers. Visitor numbers from mainland China recovered to around 70%, and half of these visitors are staying overnight, a slight increase from before the pandemic.
- CROATIA: A new law in Croatia banning the opening of stores on Sundays and public holidays has led to chaos. On August 5, long lines of vacationers formed in front of bus stations and gas stations, as they are among the few exceptions allowed to stay open. Croatia, a popular vacation destination for Germans, faces chaos again on August 15 as the Catholic holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary approaches. Although stores can choose 16 Sundays a year on which they are open, this option does not exist on public holidays. To get around this law, about two dozen municipalities in coastal and island areas have declared some holidays as fair or exhibition days. The Ministry of Economy in Zagreb is considering reconsidering the law. Despite the difficulties with the new law, Croatia has become more attractive to tourists since Jan. 1, when it introduced the euro and joined the Schengen zone.
- DUBAI: Dubai recorded more than 8.5 million international overnight visitors in the first half of 2023, surpassing the 8.3 million visitors recorded in 2019. This represents a 20 percent growth in visitors. According to the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), these figures confirm Dubai’s rapid recovery in the tourism sector and exceed global forecasts for the tourism industry. From Germany, 328,900 guests arrived during the period, an increase of 53.3 percent year-on-year. Hotels in Dubai exceed pre-pandemic numbers in all categories. Despite an increase in hotel and room numbers, average occupancy was higher than 2019 at 78 percent.
- ECUADOR: Following the assassination of Villavicencio during an election rally in Quito, Ecuador declared a state of emergency to ensure security ahead of elections scheduled for August 20. One suspect was arrested after being seriously wounded in a gun battle and later died in hospital. Ecuador is experiencing rising violence, with a murder rate last year that was higher than in Mexico and Brazil. Drug traffickers are blamed for this increase in violence. Despite this situation, study tour specialist Studiosus reports that travel to Ecuador is currently possible without restrictions, avoiding large crowds. The German Foreign Office has not yet updated its travel and security advice.
- FRANCE: A fierce fire rages in the department of Pyrénées-Orientales, near the Spanish border. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has called for vigilance. More than 500 firefighters, 13 airplanes and 3 helicopters are deployed. Despite the absence of large forest areas, the fire has already led to the evacuation of four campsites, several homes and a supermarket, affecting nearly 3000 people. Strong winds and drought are increasing the risk of spread. The level of concern in the region is enormous, with the mayor of Saint-André describing the situation as catastrophic. Facilities have been opened to accommodate evacuees.
- ITALY: The volcano Etna in Sicily has again ejected lava and ash. Due to increased volcanic activity, a lava fountain formed, which was visible even from far away, according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). Because of the ash fall, flights at Catania airport were halted until 6:00 a.m. Tuesday. Videos showed glowing lava flowing from the volcano, especially at the southeast crater. According to INGV, the lava outflow stopped Monday morning. There were no reports of damage or injuries, but residents reported ash falling. The Sicilian Civil Defense warned of the volcano’s activity as early as Sunday evening.
- JAPAN: Typhoon „Lan“ hit Japan and caused major traffic disruptions during the summer vacations. Heavy rainfall led to swollen rivers, power outages in tens of thousands of households and the suspension of bullet train service on certain routes. Tens of thousands of people, particularly in Kyoto, were told to seek safety. The typhoon, the seventh this season, made landfall on the Kii Peninsula.
- MALAYSIA: The project for a new international airport on the island of Pulau Tioman in Malaysia has failed. Environment Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad did not approve the construction because the proposed site would be in a protected marine area and would result in the destruction of coral reefs, a major attraction on the island. Although the goal of the airport was to attract more tourists, according to the minister, it would have affected the natural beauty of the island and led to unsustainable tourism. The project does not meet environmental impact requirements.
- MALTA: The underwater park off Xlendi on Gozo offers divers the opportunity to discover archaeological treasures. There has been scientific research here since the 1950s. Now Visit Malta has opened the area to divers. The project was created in collaboration between Heritage Malta and other partners. It is the first deep-sea archaeological park in the world that is open to the public. The park covers 67,000 square meters at depths of 105 to 115 meters. An online museum and a virtual diving project offer insights into the park. In addition, there is an exhibition in the Xlendi Tower.
- PORTUGAL: The Portugal Ticket, which costs 49 euros a month, allows unlimited use of local rail services in Portugal. It is available to both locals and tourists. Unlike its German counterpart, however, certain services are excluded, such as some faster regional trains and local public transport in cities such as Porto, Lisbon and Coimbra. The ticket is also not valid in the Alentejo Litoral and Coimbra Region areas, and certain train routes are excluded. To purchase the ticket, it is necessary to buy a loyalty card of the Portuguese Railways, which costs 6 euros and is available upon presentation of an official document and a passport photo. The application form can be downloaded online.
- THAILAND: The city of Pattaya is receiving increasing complaints about nighttime beachgoers playing loud music, consuming alcohol and partying. According to deputy mayor Wutthisak Roemkitchakan, some visitors stay despite the arrival of the city’s garbage collection service in the morning. Pattaya authorities are therefore considering introducing opening and closing hours for the beaches. Currently, there are no such regulations. Despite attempts to intensify beach patrols, there is a lack of sufficient security personnel.
- UZBEKISTAN: Uzbekistan has experienced a remarkable increase in the tourism sector in recent years. In 2022, over 5.2 million foreign tourists visited the country, a significant increase over the previous year. Tourism revenues have also increased sharply, totaling $1.61 billion in 2022. To further boost tourism, the Tashkent government has introduced measures to ease the process for tourists, such as simplifying tourist visas and eliminating unnecessary checks at airports. „Green corridors“ at train stations and an electronic registration system for guests have also been established.
WHAT ELSE IS BREWING?
Greetings Adventurers! Ready to embark on a journey of discovery, mystery, and a splash of pink? Dive in!
While the splendor of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles Palace might leave you awe-struck, an even more grandiose replica awaits you on the Bavarian island of Herrenchiemsee! It’s not just Versailles that’s been duplicated, replicas of landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, and even the Taj Mahal are scattered around the globe. If you’re a history and art lover, but also a fan of shortcuts, hop over to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London or the Imaginary Museum in Wasserburg am Inn to marvel at mini-masterpieces from all over!
Ocean temperatures are soaring! Since mid-March, temperatures have been hitting record highs, especially near Florida, reaching a scorching 38°C. This intense heat has our corals struggling and even led to massive coral deaths in regions spanning from Panama to the Bahamas. NOAA’s Derek Manzello warns of an extensive bleaching event, with Caribbean reefs being especially hit hard. But hope floats! Some resilient reefs in less polluted areas might just weather this climatic storm.
Two adventurous U.S. tourists had a „heightened“ Parisian experience by secretly spending a night atop the Eiffel Tower! While their escapade ended safely, the iconic landmark faced an hour’s delay in opening. A little tip for all the thrill-seekers out there: it’s always safer (and less troublesome) to admire the view from below.
Move over film blockbusters; Barbie is in town! Four weeks in and still the talk of the town, the „Barbie“ movie is making waves in German cinemas. Fans can even live the Barbie dream with Airbnb’s special „Barbie Malibu Dream House“ in California. Pink beaches, castles, and a movie? This summer surely is looking ‚Barbie-licious‘. Just remember, if you’re searching for a pink golf hotel, you might come up short.
Until next week, keep exploring and stay curious!
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