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
- Germany’s new tourism coordinator has been chosen: Dieter Janecek, a member of parliament for the Greens, is to become the Federal Government’s new coordinator for maritime economy and tourism. Janecek comes from Munich, has been in the Bundestag since 2013 and is currently the economic policy spokesperson for the Green Party’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag. He is to succeed Claudia Müller, who has been Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture since the beginning of the year. Janecek is an experienced economic politician, the ministry said. As a member of the Bundestag, he had for many years been responsible for and promoted the topics of climate protection, energy and resource efficiency as well as mobility. Read more
- Travelers Learn to Live With Permanxiety: The term „permanxiety“ describes how social, political, and climate turmoil is coloring consumer expectations, including for travel. Permanxiety has only been compounded since on the heels of war and a pandemic. Travel companies need to make sure newly upbeat services and messages aren’t out of sync with the gloomy mood music in many travelers‘ heads. Travel has always offered an escape from the ordinary. But it has classically offered escapism by creating what you might call “sensory deprivation bubbles.” It conjured the fantasy that troubles didn’t exist within the space of their resorts, cruise ships, theme parks, and first-class cabins. The pandemic poked holes in that approach, forcing the travel sector to acknowledge it with masks, safety protocols, and service disruptions even in the most secluded of its hideaways. Some travel executives are now extrapolating that lesson to apply to how they address the pervasive worries many consumers have on multiple fronts today. “This is the most complex, disparate, and cross-cutting set of challenges that I can remember in the 40 years that I have been paying attention to such things,” said Lawrence Summers, former U.S Treasury secretary and former president of Harvard, in a recent talk. For the travel sector, permanxiety provides an opportunity for travel companies to help alleviate travelers’ concerns by finding subtle ways of recognizing this intense cultural moment globally. There’s a modest, in-between option: Travel brands can move away from their traditional role of wholly repressing troubles to subtly reassuring guests that they’re not alone in their worries. As a general rule, individuals who repress their fears face worse outcomes. The lesson for the travel industry may be to find subtle ways to acknowledge the permacrisis, showing guests that they’re not alone. To quote the proverbial saying, a problem shared is halved. Humor is one method. Online travel company Kayak ran a series of ads in the U.S. in a campaign about so-called “Kayak Deniers.” Characters in the ads engage in arguments with relatives or friends who heatedly deny that Kayak is a source of good deals. Offering relevant products is another way to respond to permanxiety. Take wellness offerings for example. To explain why, consider the analogy of psychologist Abraham Maslow’s concept of the “hierarchy of needs,” where essentially humans must meet basic concerns, such as food and safety, before they can concentrate on higher-level issues, such as developing their personalities. Similarly, when a permacrisis is sounding daily alarms in every person’s smartphone, many people will seek basic comforts first, rather than higher-level “self-actualization.” The menu of offerings that hotels, resorts, and cruise lines provide might need to shift in emphasis during an era of permanxiety. In that context, massage and meditation may have more appeal as wellness offerings than usual. Read more
- Austria – Travel will become eight per cent more expensive but desire to travel is high: According to an online survey of 1,500 respondents, the holiday budget of Austrians is just under 1,700 euros (1,697 euros) and is about 150 euros higher than last year. For the first time, not only the travel plans were surveyed, but also the actual trips taken. According to the survey, long-distance travel was still significantly below the plans. Even in 2023, these are not likely to reach the level of before Corona. In contrast, there is a fundamental desire to travel, which according to Michele Fanton, Managing Director of Ruefa, is „just like before the pandemic“. Nine out of ten Austrians are planning to travel, but significantly less in winter than in the past. When asked about differences to 2019, 61 per cent said that inflation would have an impact on holiday planning. The managers at Ruefa recommend taking advantage of early booking offers. This would save up to 40 percent of the travel costs – especially for accommodation. 16 percent of the respondents also plan accordingly. Others want to switch to cheaper destinations or low seasons. It is striking that only one third of the Austrians‘ holiday dates directly depend on school holidays, but nevertheless 46 percent want to spend their main holiday in July or August. Fanton also sees this as a task for the travel agents to upgrade the low seasons with alternative offers. Read More
- France soon to break world tourism record: France could soon establish itself as the most visited country in the world. The data analytics and consulting firm Global Data estimates that the country will attract 93.7 million international travellers by 2025. The capital Paris, in particular, continues to attract the interest of international tourists. Already in 2020, France recorded 117 million tourists, ranking first in the world in absolute terms. Without taking into account the size of the country, such a ranking may not be very meaningful. If one converts the number of tourists to the inhabitants of France, a somewhat more comparable picture emerges: with 1.7 tourists per inhabitant, France was in 31st place in a global comparison. In Western Europe, it was in second place after the Principality of Monaco. In 2020, France generated around 31.48 billion euros in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 1.3 percent of the gross domestic product and about 37 percent of all international tourism receipts in Western Europe. Read more
- The new deal between FTI and QTA: The FTI Group and the cooperation association QTA have concluded a key account agreement. It includes a higher basic commission, a marketing subsidy as well as benefits in the areas of service, support and further training. The prerequisite for classification as a key account and thus for a higher basic commission is a sales volume of more than 200,000 euros in the 2021/22 business year. In addition to the 0.2 to 0.8 per cent increase in basic commission, which can thus rise to 12.8 per cent, the participating travel agencies can expect, among other things, a marketing bonus of up to 2,000 euros. In addition, agencies are guaranteed telephone support as well as the possibility to rebook trips independently. Regular Peps are to be bookable earlier and employees are promised guaranteed places on exclusive Peps, info trips or roadshows. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- Easyjet opens a hangar at BER: The low-cost airline Easyjet has opened a maintenance hangar at BER. The hangar with an area of 10,000 square metres is located south-west of Terminal 1. The airline’s new maintenance hangar was commissioned on Wednesday. It is the first outside the UK. n the hangar, four aircraft can be accommodated at the same time, according to the company, more than 100 people will work at the site. „In this way, we are creating jobs for maintenance engineers as well as technical staff in the region,“ said Thomas Haagensen, Easyjet’s head of Europe, at the opening ceremony in the new hangar. Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Jörg Steinbach (SPD), and the airport’s CEO, Aletta von Massenbach, assessed the construction of the maintenance hangar as a sign of the airline’s confidence in BER as a location. Easyjet had recently reduced its presence at the capital’s airport: with the change to the winter flight schedule, 11 of the company’s aircraft are now stationed there instead of the previous 18. Everything possible is being done to ensure competitive operations, said von Massenbach in her welcoming address. Minister Steinbach said Easyjet deserved thanks because the airline remained committed to the BER site „despite all the economic constraints“. He also pointed out that Easyjet continues to be the largest operator at the airport in Schönefeld, Brandenburg. Read more
- Condor ends cooperation with Smartlynx: After complaints from customers, Condor pulls the ripcord and ends the cooperation with Smartlynx on long-haul routes. Two new wet lease partners step into the breach. Too many delays, defective seats in Business Class, no in-flight entertainment system and poor communication. The list of criticisms of Condor by passengers was long. However, the reason was not Condor itself, but its wet lease partner SmartLynx for various long-haul destinations. It will take several more months to fly in the new Airbus A330neo, and Condor’s own existing long-haul aircraft are not available in sufficient numbers. Wet leasing is not uncommon, but the criticism did not seem to have provided a basis for further cooperation. And the Condor crew should also be happy about this move, so-called representatives were on these flights. Currently Air Belgium jets fly for other airlines. SmartLynx will now have to withdraw its two Airbus A330s, which flew for Condor to New York, Punta Cana and Toronto. Instead, Condor is entering into partnerships with Air Belgium and Wamos Air. Both airlines will take over these connections with one aircraft each, also of the Airbus A330 type. Air Belgium is even providing one of its new Airbus A330neo aircraft for this purpose. Wamos Air will provide Condor with an Airbus A330-300. This also makes it clear that Condor is getting even more variety in the in-flight product in its fleet. Even if this does not seem to be a positive point, a Condor spokesman assures aerotelegraph that with both airlines they would again offer „a product standard comparable to Condor’s“. Read more
- Munich Airport has more than doubled passenger numbers: Munich has more than doubled passenger numbers. Munich Airport, an important Lufthansa hub and the second-largest airport in Germany, has presented its traffic figures for 2022. CEO Jost Lammers can be satisfied: he was able to increase the previous year’s figure by a factor of two and a half. According to the figures, 31.6 million passengers were handled in 2022, an increase of 153.2 per cent compared to 2021, which was significantly more affected by the Corona pandemic. In 2022, the summer months in particular made a strong contribution to the significantly better result. At peak times, there were 48 million passengers at Moos Airport. Read more
- These airlines were the safest in 2022: The risk analysis of the Hamburg air accident office JACDEC shows a change of airlines at the top. Emirates used to lead the international rankings and was considered the safest airline in the world. But now another Arab airline has overtaken it. The desire to travel is unbroken. After the years of the Corona pandemic were a nightmare both for the airlines themselves and for all those who felt a great desire to travel, things were on the upswing again in 2022. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projected that 2022 would end with about 70 per cent of the passenger volume of 2019. In the risk analysis, the 25 largest airlines are listed, measured by commercial passenger kilometers flown. The more of these an airline flies accident-free, the safer it is ranked in the evaluation. The JACDEC risk index comprises more than 30 parameters – theoretically, 100 per cent can be achieved. In the current evaluation, Emirates, the state-owned airline of the Emirate of Dubai founded in 1985, is no longer at the top of the global ranking, as it was the year before. Instead, another Arab airline has secured pole position. This year, the airline Etihad Airways beat its competitors with a score of 95.28 per cent to take the top spot. Ranked 1-5 are: Etihad Airways, Emirates, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Jet Blue Airways and Easy Jet. Read more
- Lufthansa tightens rules for animals in hand luggage: Lufthansa is touching up the set of rules for transporting animals in the cabin. From 1 February 2023, a new form must be filled out for passengers to take a dog or cat on board. According to Lufthansa, more than 100,000 animals are transported annually. Read more
- China: Germany advises against traveling to China. For the first time in many months, a country is again given the status of a virus variant area – but in a weakened form. If it is strengthened, there could be a quarantine requirement again in addition to the testing obligations that now exist.
- Nepal: Nepal has another international airport. Pokhara International Airport was opened at the beginning of the year; it is located at the starting point for the Annapurna trek and belongs to the city of Pokhara with 300,000 inhabitants. The new airport is meant to attract foreign tourists to the region, but so far no foreign airline has been interested in connecting there.
- Mexico: Mexico wants to revive legendary airline Mexicana: The Mexican government has signed an agreement with aviation unions to buy the trademark rights of the defunct airline Mexicana de Aviación and its subsidiaries for almost 40 million euros. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants Mexicana to be operated as a commercial airline by the military.
- Thailand: No covid vaccination for Thailand trip after all – Now there is no need for a covid vaccination to enter Thailand after all. The requirement for proof of vaccination was inconvenient and a panel of experts had decided that it was unnecessary as sufficient vaccinations had been administered worldwide, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul explained the about-turn on Monday. No PCR test results would be required either, according to the website of the tourism authority TAT.
- United States: After the Transportation Security Administration extended the previously applicable regulation by three months until 10 April, visitors to the United States must continue to provide proof of a full Corona vaccination. A booster vaccination is not required.
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