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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
- Europeans want to save „during“ their travel stay: The European Travel Commission (ETC) has released a survey report monitoring sentiment for domestic and intra-European travel, providing insights into travel plans of Europeans in spring and summer 2023. Seventy-seven percent of the total 6000 European travelers surveyed plan to take a trip in the first half of this year. This would represent a 16 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Those willing to travel also show a growing desire to travel outside their own country, with 63 percent of respondents preferring international travel within Europe. This represents a double-digit increase of 13 percent within one year. Remarkably, the planned vacation budget remains unchanged, showing that respondents are determined to stick with their holiday plans despite financial uncertainties. Thirty-seven percent of Europeans, six percent more than a year ago, will continue to spend between 1,000 and 2,000 euros per person per trip on their next vacation. A further 19 percent will even spend more and exceed the 2000 euro mark. Another change in behavior relates to spending habits while traveling. Most respondents plan to reduce their purchases at the destination (18 percent), book cheaper accommodations (16 percent) and choose less expensive restaurants (15 percent) to save on their vacation budget. Buying all-inclusive packages and visiting fewer paid attractions are considered by twelve and ten percent of respondents, respectively. Read more
- Agency sales have more than doubled: In January, the invoiced sales of the agencies participating in the Tats-Reisebüro-Spiegel rose by an impressive 152.5 percent compared to the same month last year. A year ago, the Corona pandemic still had Germany firmly in its grip and slowed travel demand to an extremely manageable level. At present, general inflation and sharp rises in energy prices are surprisingly not hampering travel demand. Air travel sales have risen particularly strongly: Here, invoiced sales in distribution are 196.4 percent higher than in January 2022, and the number of tickets sold shows an increase of 141 percent – the difference to sales is a clear indication of the price increase for flights. The trend is similar for cruises, where revenue growth was 171.1 percent with a 126 percent increase in bookings. Tourism as a whole falls off a bit compared to the increases in flights and cruises, but including the cruise segment, still achieved a 93.2 percent increase last month compared to January 2022, according to Tats data analysis. Other sales increased 118.1 percent. Read more
- TUI sets binding emissions reduction targets: TUI Group CEO Sebastian Ebel wants to follow up the clear commitment to the binding 2030 emissions reduction targets and the Net Zero target with action. The aim is not only to reduce the ecological footprint of the world’s largest tour operator, but also to maximize social and economic participation in the vacation countries. Detailed programs have now been drawn up in the three core areas of People, Planet and Progress. These are to be implemented in the coming years. According to TUI, the measures cover 15 priority areas, from investments in state-of-the-art aircraft to ambitious energy savings in all areas, from promoting local sourcing for hotels to more sustainable fuels for cruise liners to expanding the certification of hotels and excursions according to internationally recognized sustainability criteria. The Group is helping to achieve the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is implementing the Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) criteria in its corporate management. Read more
- Hotels defy the crisis with high prices: Hotel prices in Europe rose nearly 20% in 2022 compared to 2019. Occupancy, on the other hand, was more than 10 percentage points lower than in the last year before Covid, the latest figures from hotel market analyst STR show. According to the report, European hotels had an overall occupancy rate of 64.6% last year, down from 75.1% in 2019. Although fewer rooms were occupied during the year, the average daily rate (ADR) in Europe rose 18.5% to USD 148.97 on a constant currency basis during the same period. These higher hotel rates enabled European hotels to generate revpar (revenue per available room) of USD 96.25 in 2022, up 6.1% from the 2019 average. Globally, Asia was the only region to record lower ADR last year than in 2019. Rates were also still 9.9% lower than the year before the pandemic. The region was particularly impacted by ongoing border closures and China’s strict covid rules. All other regions saw double-digit increases in average hotel rates during the period. Africa (+38.3%), South America (+30.3%), and the Middle East (22.2%) had the highest increases. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- These are the traffic figures for Zurich Airport in January 2023: The number of local passengers in January 2023 was 1,191,394, with transfer passengers accounting for 31 percent, or 531,074 passengers. The number of aircraft movements increased by 34 percent year-on-year to 17,010 take-offs or landings. The monthly comparison shows that aircraft movements were 78 percent of the 2019 level. The average number of passengers per flight was 122, 36.4 percent higher than the previous year. Seat occupancy increased by 19 percentage points to 74 percent in the reporting month compared to the same month last year. A total of 28,368 tons of cargo were handled at Zurich Airport in January. This represents a decrease of 12 percent compared to the same month last year. Compared to January 2019, 19 percent less cargo was handled. Read more
- Bottlenecks in air traffic are programmed: So far, German consumers have shown no signs of reluctance to travel. This is also being felt by airports and airlines, which are ramping up their offerings accordingly. For example, the number of seats on offer in Germany in the coming summer season will rise to 85 percent of the pre-Corona level in 2019, an increase of ten percentage points compared with 2022. In the rest of Europe, the recovery is even faster, with 98 percent of pre-crisis capacity already being reached.In Germany, capacity on European and intercontinental routes in particular is growing. Here, 88 percent of the capacities from 2019 will already be reached again in the summer. Domestic traffic, on the other hand, is lagging behind and will only reach an average level of 67 percent of the pre-Corona summer. However, the strong growth in demand and supply is once again presenting airlines and airports with enormous challenges. Jost Lammers, President of the German Air Transport Association (BDL) and Head of Munich Airport in his main job, is therefore again expecting capacity bottlenecks and delays. However, the BDL president does not expect a flight chaos like in 2022. „If everyone pulls together, it will be feasible,“ says Lammers. But for that to happen, many cogs would have to mesh well together. This is not always likely to succeed. To prevent greater chaos, the BDL is appealing to passengers to make greater use of online check-in or to use self-check-in machines for baggage at the airport. In addition, communication with passengers prior to departure should be improved in order to avoid overly long lines at airports. Read more
- German air traffic grows by 80 percent: According to the German Air Transport Association (BDL), German airlines carried a total of 112.2 million passengers last year. This represents a growth of 114 percent compared to 2021. The number of travelers at German airports also more than doubled in 2022, with an increase of 110 percent to a total of 164.7 million air travelers. As a result, the number of passengers handled at German airports reached 66 percent of the level in the pre-Corona year 2019, BDL said. Of the nearly 165 million air travelers, 116.6 million were on European routes, 29.3 million on intercontinental flights and 18.8 million within Germany. Read more
- Sunny Cars sees its vacation car business back on track: With around 600,000 bookings, Sunny Cars generated brokered sales of 328 million euros in the past fiscal year, reports company founder Kai Sannwald. Sales were thus higher than before the Corona pandemic, although the Munich-based broker had recorded around 230,000 more bookings at the time. The most important reason for this, he says, was higher rental car prices, which, in view of the scarce availability of vehicles, together with a slightly longer rental period, led to 40 percent higher sales per booking. Last year, the vehicle shortage affected European vacation destinations in particular, Sannwald explains. Due to supply chain problems, ordered vehicles arrived too late. This situation is expected to improve in 2023, he said, adding that some fleet providers are continuing to keep vacation cars from the previous year in their fleets. The market is therefore expected to offer enough vehicles overall to meet demand. As a company, Sunny Cars has come through the Corona crisis well, Sannwald and his co-managing director Thorsten Lehmann report. After a record loss of 9.6 million euros in the 2019/20 fiscal year, they had already posted a profit of 7.1 million euros in the following year. Read more
- Green Fares for everyone – except for the no-frills carrier: By 2030, the Lufthansa Group wants to halve net carbon dioxide emissions compared with 2019. In the future, passengers can also contribute to this by using the new Green Fares. These Green Fares will initially be available for all flights within Europe and to Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia – at Lufthansa, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Swiss, Edelweiss, Eurowings Discover, and Air Dolomiti. Although the low-cost carrier Eurowings is not included for the time being, the Lufthansa Group boasts that it is the „world’s first airline group“ to create an „airfare for more sustainable travel.“ But what actually makes the Green Fares special? They already offer included compensation for flight-related CO2 emissions. „20 percent of this is achieved through the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and 80 percent through a contribution to high-quality climate protection projects. There is another advantage to Green Fares: they offer a free rebooking option and additional status miles. And for corporate customers, there is also a CO2 reduction certificate for the CO2 reduction achieved, in keeping with the motto: „Do good and talk about it.“ Read more
- Aruba: With a recovery rate of 98 percent compared to 2019, the Aruba Tourism Authority is pleased to report a successful restart after the Corona pandemic. In addition, Aruba aims to further expand its pioneering role in sustainability. Most recently, Aruba Airport became the first airport in the world to be Green Globe certified. Hotels are also striving to become increasingly green, including waste management systems, the treatment of rainwater and wastewater, the reduction of single-use plastic and the use of biological cleaning agents.
- Bonaire: The Caribbean island of Bonaire will only allow one large cruise ship to dock per day from April. The „one-ship policy“ came into effect last year, but due to existing contracts, two large cruise liners are still allowed to dock per day until the end of March. Smaller ships with up to 700 passengers are exempt from the rule. With the new measure, the island, which belongs to the Dutch Antilles, is trying to relieve the pressure on the island’s tourist infrastructure. In 2019, the port of Kralendijk, the island’s capital, welcomed 458,000 cruise passengers. This represents a growth of 322 percent compared to 2013.
- Denmark: According to preliminary figures from Danmarks Statistik, there were a total of 62.9 million tourist overnight stays in the country last year, 30.8 million of which were by foreign vacationers – a new record. The trend in overnight stays by German vacationers is particularly positive for the country, with 19.5 million overnight stays representing a 16.3 percent increase compared to the pre-Corona year of 2019, which was also already a record year.
- Dubai: The Persian Gulf emirate welcomed just over 14.3 million international overnight visitors last year, up 97 percent from 2021, according to the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism. In the process, Dubai is again approaching the pre-pandemic visitor numbers of 2019, when just over 16.7 million tourists and business travelers came to the country. From Germany, 422,000 guests traveled to Dubai. This represents an increase of 75 percent compared to 2021. The positive development of the tourism industry is also reflected in the high room occupancy rate of the hotel industry in Dubai. This averaged 73 percent for the year. The figure is only just below the 75 percent mark as in 2019 before the pandemic.
- Germany: Despite a significant recovery last year, tourism in Germany has not yet reached pre-crisis levels. Hotels, guesthouses, campsites and Co. recorded 450.8 million overnight stays by guests from Germany and abroad, as announced by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden via Twitter. The record level of the pre-pandemic year 2019 was thus missed by 9.1%. The number of overnight stays by guests from Germany in 2022 rose by 37.1% year-on-year to 382.7 million, while the number of overnight stays by guests from abroad was even more than twice as high as in 2021 at 68.1 million, up +119.6%. Compared to 2021, which was partly affected by Corona restrictions, an increase of 45.3% was recorded. Nevertheless, cross-border tourism was still some way from pre-Corona levels.
- New Zealand: Only a few weeks after the devastating floods in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, the region is again affected by severe storms. Tropical cyclone „Gabrielle“ moved across the North Island on Monday with heavy rain and fierce winds. First offshoots had already reached the Pacific state on Sunday. For the beginning of the week, meteorologists now expected „monster waves“ and a „huge storm“, as the newspaper „New Zealand Herald“ reported.
- Russia: while more than five million foreign tourists visited the country in 2019, this number dropped to 200,100 arrivals after the start of the Ukraine war and the imposed Western sanctions. Before the pandemic, China was the largest source of visitors to Russia, accounting for about 30 percent of the total 5.1 million. But in 2022, only 842 Chinese tourists visited Russia. The number of international tourists in 2022 was even lower than in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic, when the country saw 335,800 foreign tourist arrivals in 2020 and a total of 288,300 in 2021.
- Scotland: Plans by the Scottish regional government for a far-reaching alcohol advertising ban threaten the tourism and whisky industries, according to companies. Association representative Morrison emphasized the role of whisky tourism, which is estimated to contribute about £84 million (the equivalent of 95 million euros) a year. „The distilleries are often in parts of Scotland that are quite remote,“ he said. „There’s often nothing else to do there. They bring visitors into the communities.“
- Singapore: The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) communicates around 6.3 million international visitors for 2022. The original forecast of 4 to 6 million visitors was thus exceeded. Tourism revenue in 2022 is estimated at 13.8 to 14.3 billion Singapore dollars (about 9.65 to 10 billion euros). Tourism in the Southeast Asian city-state is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024. Visitor numbers were driven by demand from key source markets, led by Indonesia (1.1 million visitors), India (686,000) and Malaysia (591,000). From the DACH region, 130,579 visitors from Germany and 36,290 visitors from Switzerland traveled to Singapore. Also: Singapore abolishes the last corona-related restrictions in public life. For example, the mask requirement on buses and trains will be dropped with immediate effect; it will only continue to apply in clinics. In addition, the entry rules are relaxed since February 13, so that even unvaccinated travelers will no longer have to present proof of a negative test from that date.
- South Africa: South Africa’s government has declared a national disaster because of flooding in seven of the country’s nine provinces. According to the information provided, the provinces of Eastern Cape on the coast in the south and Mpumalanga in the northeast, where the famous Kruger National Park is also located, are particularly affected. There was also heavy flooding in the provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape and North West.
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