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
- Price increases for travel in Europe stopped: Overall, global travel prices actually fell by 8% in Q4 2022, after prices had risen in Q1 (11%), Q2 (15%) and Q3 (6%). In Q4, fares in almost all travel sectors covered by Travelperk fell globally compared to previous quarters: airfares by 7%, hotels by 3% and rail travel by 2%. Only car rentals increased in price by 6% compared to Q3. In Q4, inflation was 26% year-on-year according to Travelperk, down from 50% in the summer. Europe is thus showing signs for the first time of following the trend set by the US in Q3 – with prices falling across most travel categories and regions in Q4. Prices for flights in Europe started to fall in Q4 – by 11% overall compared to prices in Q3. Of the ten routes with the highest price declines compared to Q3, nine were to or from London. These include Munich–London (-38%), London–Budapest (-29%), London–Barcelona (-21%) and London–Berlin (-16%). Previously, prices for the same routes had skyrocketed in the third quarter: Flights from the UK were 96% more expensive than a year earlier, from Spain 64%, from France 48% and from Germany 45%. European overnight prices also fell by 7% compared to the third quarter – including Spain (-10%), Germany (-7%) and France (-3%). Cities with notable hotel price declines included Edinburgh (-24%), Barcelona (-18%), Dublin (-15%) and Munich (-12%). Two exceptions to the European trend in the other direction are Lisbon and Helsinki, where hotel prices rose by 10% and 8% respectively in the fourth quarter. Read more
- Winners and losers among German OTAs: Like in many countries, consumers of all ages are booking more and more travel products and services online in Germany. Most (58%) young people (20-29 year-olds), about half of 40-49 year-olds and nearly 40% of 60-69 year-old now book holidays online, according to the latest annual Reiseanalyse consumer survey. In future, online customers want to book more accommodation (66% of respondents), rail tickets (61%), flights (57%), hire cars (53%) and package holidays (53%), a consumer survey by the German OTA association VIR found. As a result, OTAs are winning business from traditional travel agencies, especially on price. „Online Travel Agencies remained open and visible throughout the pandemic. Now they are benefiting from this,“ explained VIR president Michael Buller. According to figures from market researchers Travel Data Analytics (TDA), OTA booking volumes at the end of September 2022 were 46% higher than in the 2018/19 tourism year while physical travel agency sales were 31% lower. Despite this strong growth, however, there are both winners and losers among the leading OTAs serving the German outbound travel market. According to fvw|TravelTalk research, the top-selling OTA remains Booking.com, largely due to its domination of online accommodation sales. The biggest all-round OTA by sales revenues is Check 24, followed by TUI.com which has grown strongly and overtaken Invia. Number five is Holidaycheck, which has fallen back. Expedia no longer features in the top 5 ranking. Read more
- Bicycle tourism market continues to grow: The bicycle tourism market is estimated to be worth $345.1 million in 2022, while sales are expected to increase 14 percent annually in the future. By 2032, this would reach a value of US$1.3 billion. These figures come from a new report by market research firm Future Market Insights (FMI). As reasons for the developments, FMI cites, for example, a higher awareness of sustainability and the increasing demand for e-bikes. Germany in particular should benefit from the trend toward more bicycle tourism: According to the market research company, Germany is the world’s most important destination for bicycle travel, ahead of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The Dutch are responsible for around a quarter of the world’s bicycle trips. Read more
- FUR study: German travel industry on course for recovery despite inflation: According to the results of the FUR study, two-thirds of Germans are already planning one or more vacations – even though significantly more people than in previous years expect to be worse off economically in the coming year. However, around one in four also stated that a trip in 2023 would fail because of money – and thus more than ever before in the more than 50 years of travel analysis. For 2022, only around one in eight had said this. Overall, the number of vacation trips in 2022 (over five days) was an estimated 63 million. That was 13% more than in the previous year, but 12% less than in 2019. Despite some concerns about the travel budget, study author Martin Lohmann expects a slight increase to over 65 million trips for the current year 2023 – in 2019, the number was still 71 million. The president of the DRV travel association, Norbert Fiebig, was also optimistic at the presentation of the study results at the CMT travel trade fair in Stuttgart, saying, „I’m sure that if there is money, people will travel, and Germans will realize their vacation plans in 2023.“ Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- German air traffic recovers only slowly: According to Deutsche Flugsicherung, the number of aircraft movements in 2022 was almost 58% higher than in 2021, but German airspace is lagging behind in a European comparison. In 2019, a good 3.3 million aircraft movements were registered. According to a comparison by the air safety organisation Eurocontrol, air traffic in Germany developed among the slowest in 2022. The number of flights was still 25 per cent below the level of the last year before the Corona crisis. In Europe as a whole, the annual figure was 17 per cent below the record year. Read more
- Passenger numbers in Frankfurt are doubling: In 2022, Frankfurt Airport handled 48.9 million passengers, a good 97 percent more than in the previous year. This is almost equivalent to a doubling of passenger numbers. So people’s desire to travel is great despite inflation, war in Europe and other uncertainties. According to Fraport, passenger traffic grew dynamically, especially from March onwards. Before that, the Corona pandemic still determined market activity. However, the easing of infection control measures and the reduction of travel restrictions then boosted demand. Private travelers are once again very keen to fly. Read more
- Almost every third European passenger was delayed: Despite a thinned-out flight schedule, 244 million passengers were affected by delays and last-minute cancellations, according to data analysis by the passenger rights portal Airhelp. Out of a total of 795 million passengers carried, this corresponds to just under 31%. By comparison, in the last year before the Covid-19 crisis in 2019, the proportion was only 24% with 1.125 billion guests. „The summer in particular showed that airports and airlines were not prepared in terms of staffing for the increase in air travel following the pandemic,“ Airhelp chief Tomasz Pawliszyn said. According to the study, up to 40% of passengers had to deal with flight problems during the summer months. Other causes of delays were strikes and unfavourable weather. Read more
- More than 22 million passengers at Zurich Airport: In 2022, 22.6 million passengers flew through Zurich Airport, more than double the 10.2 million passengers in 2021. Compared to 2019, passenger numbers were -28%. After a first quarter that was still marked by the pandemic, passenger traffic at Zurich Airport recovered significantly over the course of the year. In the first half of the year, passenger numbers rose from 15,000 in some cases to up to 90,000 on peak days. Although the total number of passengers is thus still below the figures for 2019, it exceeds the forecasts made at the beginning of the year. The number of aircraft movements in 2022 was 216,584, an increase of 63% compared to 2021, and 79% compared to 2019. In December 2022, 1,904,409 passengers flew through Zurich Airport. This represents an increase of 80% compared to the same period last year. Compared to December 2019, the number of passengers in the reporting month is 82%. Read more
- Delta Air Lines expects strong revenue growth in 2023: In fiscal 2022, Delta Air Lines generated revenue adjusted for special effects of $45.6 billion (the equivalent of 42.2 billion euros). The U.S. mega-carrier thus almost reached the pre-crisis level, when adjusted revenue was $46.7 billion. Delta CEO Ed Bastian expects the business to continue to recover in 2023. In the current year, the airline is targeting a revenue increase of 15 to 20 percent. The profit margin is expected to be between ten and twelve percent. The Delta CEO is optimistic about demand. In terms of bookings, the corporate business alone already reached 80 percent of its pre-crisis level in the fourth quarter of 2022. Read more
- Saudia wants to fly more sustainably: Saudia aims to promote sustainable flying and minimize the company’s own emissions. As part of this objective, Saudia is committed to sustainability projects and new environmentally friendly initiatives. Saudia was the first carrier to introduce a Green Points program, which rewards passengers for their contribution to environmental protection. The program was launched on May 12, 2022, on a flight from Jeddah to Madrid as part of The Sustainable Flight Challenge (TSFC) presented by the SkyTeam alliance. Guests can reduce food waste and packaging that ends up in landfills by pre-selecting their meals during online check-in and reduce the weight of supplies on board, saving fuel. The Green Points program allows guests to travel with less baggage, for which they receive many Green Points. This is because it allows the airline to save a lot of fuel, he said. The airline is also focusing on the Voluntary Carbon Market Initiative. As part of Saudi Arabia’s vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 and reduce its impact on climate change, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) established the Voluntary Carbon Market. The initiative reflects the interests of companies seeking to reduce their CO₂ footprint through initiatives and new innovations such as expanding renewable energy or promoting green hydrogen. Read more
- Israel: International tourism to Israel is recovering rapidly. Nearly 2.7 million visitors arrived to explore the country in the entire past year. However, while there were 397,000 visitors in the previous year, there were 831,000 visitors in 2020. Inbound tourism to Israel in 2022 is back to 60 percent of pre-pandemic travel volumes. In a monthly comparison, December even shows a higher recovery value compared to the record year 2019, here the Ministry of Tourism calculated for 2022 only a 25 percent gap to the December figures from 2019.
- Japan: An overwhelming demand for Japan journeys to the cherry blossom exceeds the available offer „by far“, communicates Japan specialist JF Tours. This had led to overbookings and delays around the turn of the year. Company boss Johannes Frangeberg asked his B2B partners to apologize.
- Mexico: The Central American state drastically expands the national smoking ban. Beaches, parks, sports facilities: Smoking is no longer allowed in almost all of Mexico’s public spaces. The government has also banned all forms of advertising for tobacco products.
- Nepal: After the crash of a domestic flight with 72 people on board, at least 68 bodies have been recovered in Nepal. This was announced by the airport authority on Sunday. The plane of the local Yeti Airlines crashed on Sunday morning on the route between the capital Kathmandu and Pokhara shortly before landing.
- Singapore: Last year, Singapore welcomed 6.3 million international vacationers and business travelers. The forecast of four to six million visitors was thus clearly exceeded. There was also a significant increase compared to 2021, when only 330,000 international guests were registered in Singapore due to strict Corona entry restrictions.
- Thailand: The Ministry of Tourism expects 80 million international visitors to Thailand in the next five years. This optimistic target would correspond to a doubling compared to the pre-pandemic and would exceed the country’s current population of 70 million. Thailand’s administration has been planning to impose an arrival fee on international visitors since the Covid-19 outbreak. This fee of 300 baht per person is expected to be imposed starting June 1 this year. The National Tourism Policy Committee will hold a meeting on Jan. 24 to determine the details of the fee, which will apply to foreign passport holders arriving in Thailand. However, the fee will not apply to foreigners entering the country on border passports, local officials in border areas or people with valid work permits in Thailand, it said.
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