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 stationary sales continues in June: Settled tourism sales in June are down 13 percent from 2019, with air travel sales down nearly eight percent for the month. Other revenue is 18 percent higher in June 2022 than in 2019, with revenue from the tourism subdivision cruises hovering 17 percent below revenue three years ago. On a cumulative basis, total billed travel agency sales for January through June are still one-third below 2019, with tourism down 31 percent and air sales down 39 percent. Cruises are down 40 percent compared to 2019. June 2022 tourism new orders are up 15 percent month-over-month compared to 2019, but tourism backlog by travel date through October 2022 still lags by 32 percent. For cruises, new orders improve by nearly a quarter compared to 2019, but backlog still lags by 40 percent. Read more
- Challenging summer also for business travelers: In view of bottlenecks along the travel chain, it is by no means just private travelers who are having a hard time at the moment. The business travel industry is also severely affected by the current situation. This has also been observed by the travel management platform TravelPerk. Naturally, the booking behavior of customers has changed as a result of Corona and continues in the current situation, Eugen Triebelhorn adds. „Companies are still booking at very short notice, says the TravelPerk boss for Austria, Germany and Switzerland. At the same time, the „FlexiPerk“ option is going down well with clients, he said. With FlexiPerk, clients pay only a comparatively small surcharge for full cancelability until shortly before departure. The risk is largely borne financially by TravelPerk. With the new start, the industry would face enormous challenges that now need to be solved. People would want to meet in person again – that would have to be made possible for them. „The patience of travelers is currently being severely tested,“ he sums up. „It is now up to all those responsible to win back this trust as quickly as possible – innovation in digitization is one approach, the other is to get potential employees more excited about our industry again – and that means young talent as well as experienced staff.“ Read more
- OTAs grow significantly faster than travel agencies: In May online travel agency sales were up 53 percent as of May 2019. For the entire summer season, digital providers recorded a 51 percent increase in booking numbers. Stationary travel agencies, on the other hand, were still below 2019 figures, VIR announces after an evaluation of the figures of the market researcher Travel Data + Analytics. „The upward trend for online travel agencies continues throughout the entire summer season, with all months in the plus range compared to the pre-Corona period,“ VIR said. In June and July, the figures were 46 and 47 percent higher than in 2019, respectively. According to the report, the strongest travel month this summer for the online platforms is August. Here, as of the end of May, a plus of more than 65 percent is emerging. For September, there is an increase of 33 percent. Particularly far upward it goes after the current conditions in the autumn. In terms of bookings for October, the figures for online travel agencies are 72 percent higher than in the pre-pandemic year 2019, VIR said. Read more
- Fall business becomes a hanging game: While everything is talking about the mega summer and the recovery in demand, it is apparent that the fall business is not yet where the travel companies would like it to be. In the Travelnews survey, at least almost half (43%) of the participating travel agencies said that booking numbers are still below 2019 levels, the last year before the Corona pandemic. Encouragingly, 23% are between 5 and 10 percent above the figures for 2019, and in 14 percent of cases they are even over 50 percent above the figures for 2019. This at least indicates that things are currently going well for many and that one can actually speak of a „summer boom“ in 2022. The reasons for this are obvious: the great pent-up demand for travel, the many border openings or the dismantling of corona measures, the return of many offers. Somewhat more queasy is the view of the survey result concerning the autumn. There, 65 percent of respondents are still below the level of 2019, but a few lucky ones (27%) are already in the range of 10 to over 50 percent more than in 2019. Here, one seems to be able to deduce that the demand for the fall is still far from equal to the demand for the summer, which nota bene only really started from April, so relatively short term. So will the fall business also be a short-term business? Markus Flick (media spokesman for DER Touristik Suisse) explains: „In the classic beach holiday business, we are recording regular bookings for the autumn season, but not a boom for the time being. Customers are currently focusing on the upcoming summer vacations and September. As a result, availability is still quite good, although the lower flight capacities compared to the previous year can quickly become tight after the summer vacations.“ Whether the fall business will be a hit depends on various factors. Basic travel demand is not the problem here. The resurgence of Corona in various European regions will probably be watched with a wait-and-see attitude. In addition, the effects of the Ukraine war are still being felt, in general inflation and particularly visible in fuel prices. And of course, the price level for travel in general is the most significant factor. This is currently quite high for the fall, especially in the flight sector. A glance at the websites of airlines such as Edelweiss is enough to see that prices have recently increased significantly. It is also known that rental car prices are very high on average and especially in certain (trendy) regions, and hoteliers are also trying to make up for the lost income of the pandemic years with steep prices. The question now is how much the Swiss are willing to pay for their fall vacations. It must be assumed that in some places people will again wait until shortly before the start of the vacation before booking. Read more
Current major topics within the aviation industry in Germany and Europe
- Longer waiting times, but no chaos: Once again, passengers at German airports had to put up with longer waiting times at times over the weekend. But the queues dissolved, passengers reached their flights. Also at Cologne/Bonn Airport, the waiting time was up to two and a half hours at the security check, then it had relaxed again, said a spokesman for the Federal Police. According to the airport, however, the harried guests remained patient and everything proceeded in a calm and orderly manner. A spokesman from Düsseldorf reported a similar situation. Longer queues had formed at the airport in the early hours of Saturday morning, but by 6:00 a.m. they had already been dispersed. A similar picture is emerging at Hamburg Airport. At Frankfurt Airport, baggage reclaim was delayed, in some cases considerably, but the feared chaos did not materialize. Read more
- Frequent flight cancellations could become the norm: According to an analysis by the credit insurer Allianz Trade, air travelers in Europe will have to prepare for continued hard times. According to a study now presented, ticket prices will rise sharply this year. Nevertheless, the airlines would have no financial leeway to remedy their staff shortage. The flight cancellations that are so frequent at the moment could thus become the norm. In the medium term, the financial experts also expect advantages for the more environmentally friendly railroads in European traffic. Airlines have already increased ticket prices significantly as a result of the sharp rise in jet fuel prices since the beginning of the year (up 89 percent), the study found. „Airlines are trying to make up for two years of Corona pandemic losses,“ said Milo Bogaerts, Allianz Trade’s head of German-speaking Europe. He said an average price increase of 21 percent year-on-year was expected for the year as a whole. Together with higher passenger volumes, the companies‘ revenues should thus more than double compared to the corona-ridden previous year, but not nearly enough to offset the losses since 2020. Most companies are not expected to return to profitability until 2023. Read more
- This is how bad the flight chaos in Switzerland really is: Overall, travelers will have to be prepared for more delays this summer. This is nothing new. However, the fact that the flight chaos in Switzerland is so pronounced is somewhat unexpected: On average, almost every second flight at Zurich Airport has been delayed since the beginning of June, according to an analysis by the AWP news agency. Between June 1 and July 10, an average of 46% of the aircraft at Kloten Airport took off with a delay of more than 15 minutes. This is shown by an analysis of arrival and departure data on the website of Zurich Airport by the news agency „AWP“. On average, passengers had to wait about 40 minutes. Among the airlines that operated more than 50 departures during this period, passengers of the Polish airline LOT in particular had to wait frequently. Here, just under 78% of flights departed late. Air Canada, Sunexpress, Scandinavian, Aer Lingus and Air Serbia also recorded delay rates of over 60%. At Swiss, the figure was around 48% and at its sister airline Lufthansa just under 41%. The most punctual airlines included Iberia (17%), Air Europa (20%), Qatar Airways (25%), Croatia Airlines (29.9%) and Edelweiss (30.7%). Delays and flight cancellations are not a new problem. While there were far fewer delays in the past two years, this was primarily due to airlines‘ thin schedules due to the pandemic. Last year, the rate of flights departing more than 15 minutes late was only 19.7%, and in 2020 it was only 13.6%. But even at the beginning of the year, across all airlines, aircraft were significantly more punctual; by the end of May, only one in four flights from Zurich had taken off late. However, summer is usually when most air traffic delays occur, as this is also when frequency is at its highest. Nevertheless, it is evident that the staff shortage has consequences: As recently as 2019, around 40% of departures were delayed at their peak in June, about 6 percentage points less than currently. Over the year as a whole, the delay rate was just under 29%. Read more
- Indonesia: Fully vaccinated holidaymakers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland now also no longer need Corona health insurance to enter Indonesia. Previously, the obligation to provide proof of a negative Corona test had already been dropped; in addition, tourists can now move freely in the country.
- Australia: As of Wednesday, July 6, 2022, tourists no longer have to show proof of vaccination or fill out a digital passenger declaration or sea voyage declaration when entering Australia. This means that even the unvaccinated are allowed back into the country. However, one should not enter Australia completely carefree: Different health regulations apply to the various states and territories of Australia.
- Poland: It is a very special event for Poland’s meeting and travel industry: For the first time, the international mice industry will meet in the country this year. More than 1000 participants are expected to attend the 61st Icca Congress in Krakow from November 6 to 9, 2022. The ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) is considered the world’s largest association of meeting and event experts: 1200 companies and destinations belong to it.
Just read on and enjoy, and tell your colleagues about our newsletter! Send them the link http://eepurl.com/g9wsQT and they can subscribe for free and also receive information about our markets! And if you have any doubt or would like to talk about how to approach these markets better, just get in touch with us. We’ll be delighted to help you.