Market Update – July 27, 2023

Market Update – July 27, 2023

Market Update – July 27, 2023 6912 3456 fame creative lab

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  

  • HOW TOUR OPERATORS SERVE THE TREND TOWARD RAIL TRAVEL: The trend of sustainable and eco-friendly travel is on the rise, with more travel organizers in Germany incorporating train travel into their holiday packages. Lernidee, a specialist with 40 years of experience in rail travel, has noticed a significant increase in demand for train journeys, driven by the sustainability discourse and the appeal of exploring cultural spaces through train trips. Dertour offers various train vacation options, including the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland and luxury journeys on the Rovos Rail in South Africa. Ameropa, another rail travel specialist, plans to expand its offerings by collaborating with international railway companies. Skandinavien is emerging as a popular destination for train experiential trips, and the Golden-Pass-Express-Zug in Switzerland is among the new routes added to the program. While FTI currently doesn’t offer domestic train vacation packages, the focus remains on eco-friendly travel options for destinations. Read more


  • MILLENNIALS IMPACTING TRAVEL: Millennial travelers, born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, have revolutionized the travel industry with their unique characteristics and preferences. Growing up with technology, they rely on it for seamless trip planning and execution, from booking to exploration. Seeking authenticity, they value immersive experiences, connecting with local cultures, and embracing sustainable travel. Social media enthusiasts, millennials share their adventures online, influencing others and becoming vital for destination marketing. Despite being budget-conscious, they prioritize experiences over possessions, seeking last-minute deals and flexible itineraries. Environmentally conscious, they support eco-friendly options, reducing their ecological footprint. Embracing „bleisure“ travel, they combine work trips with leisure for a well-rounded experience. Fearless adventurers, millennials embark on solo journeys, fostering personal growth and self-discovery. Prioritizing memorable experiences like travel, festivals, and concerts, they reshape the travel landscape. As this generation continues to evolve, their impact on the industry will remain enduring and transformative. Read more


  • LGBTQIA+- TRAVELERS COMPLAIN OF DISCRIMINATION: According to a comprehensive survey by, 74 percent of LGBTQIA+ travelers in Germany consider their safety and well-being when selecting a destination, a significant increase from the previous year’s 60 percent. Additionally, 38 percent of German respondents canceled trips last year due to countries not supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals. Despite this, 69 percent of participants feel more confident as LGBTQIA+ travelers, marking a 10 percent increase from the previous year. However, discrimination remains a central concern, with 60 percent of German respondents having experienced it while traveling. Instances of staring, mocking, or verbal abuse were reported by 19 percent, while 14 percent stated they felt threatened or intimidated by local authorities. Looking at the LGBTQ+ Travel Index Score, Sweden topped the list with 98.2 points, followed by the Netherlands, Spain, France, and the UK. Germany scored 95.6 points, emphasizing the need for industry efforts to improve safety and inclusivity. Acknowledging the role of the travel industry, the TUI Group sponsors LGBTQIA+ initiatives globally, aiming to change perceptions and create a more welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ travelers. Read more 


  • WHAT DO TRAVELERS RESEARCH BEFORE BOOKING: Luth Research conducted the „Path to Purchase“ study on behalf of Expedia, surveying 5,713 adult participants in seven countries. The research revealed significant regional differences in travel planning behavior. On average, travelers spend 141 pages on travel content in the 45 days leading up to booking a trip, but in the USA, this number goes up to 277 pages. The study found that travel research is less intensive in the early planning stages (about 2.5 page views per day), but it exponentially increases in the last few days before booking, with an average of 25 page views on the day of booking. Online travel agencies (80 percent), search engines (61 percent), social media (58 percent), airline websites (54 percent), and meta-travel websites (51 percent) are the most commonly used resources before booking a trip. Many travelers seek inspiration as they start their journey, with nearly three in five not having a specific destination in mind or considering multiple options before deciding to travel. The percentage of undecided travelers varies significantly by country, with the UK at 62 percent and Mexico at 80 percent. Cheryl Miller, Marketing Chief of Expedia for Business, emphasizes the importance of multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey, even beyond brand channels, to reach and engage travelers before they make their decisions. Social media plays a vital role in inspiring travelers, with 77 percent of those on the customer journey using it as a source of inspiration. Advertising also influences travel decisions, with 19 percent of travelers stating that ads impacted their booking decision, particularly in Mexico (40 percent). Read more


  • EXTREME WEATHER DOES NOT DETER VACATIONERS: Despite extreme weather concerns, EU travelers are not significantly worried about it affecting their vacations. Sustainability and climate protection are important for European tourists, but they are unwilling to give up travel. There is an increasing trend of travel to countries like the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Ireland. Greece, facing wildfires, takes the climate crisis seriously and has committed to CO2 neutrality by 2050. The TUI Group is leading in sustainability efforts, setting emissions reduction goals and implementing green building guidelines. Overall, the European travel industry is adapting to climate challenges with various initiatives and measures. Read more


Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe 

  • RAIL USUALLY MORE EXPENSIVE THAN AIR: Greenpeace’s comparison of ticket prices for 112 European routes revealed that trains are often more expensive than flights. They found that 71 percent of the time, train travel is costlier for customers, with half of the 31 German routes showing higher train prices. The most extreme difference was observed on the Barcelona-London route, where trains were 30 times more expensive than flights (384 euros vs. 12.99 euros). Greenpeace called for a Europe-wide kerosene tax of 50 cents per liter to make flights less attractive and generate 46.2 billion euros in annual revenue. The funds would be invested in expanding rail infrastructure to encourage sustainable travel. Air travel emits around ten times more CO₂ than trains on the same route. Read more


  • FTI AND EUROWINGS LAUNCH SAF PROJECT FOR PACKAGE TOURS: FTI, a travel organizer, introduces a „Leisure Value Fare“ pilot project, available only through travel agencies, for package holidays with Eurowings to Palma de Mallorca. Customers pay an additional €15 per person and flight for the fare, which is 100% used to purchase Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Eurowings guarantees that the SAF portion purchased through the fare will be used within six months after the flight, reducing the passenger’s individual flight-related CO2 emissions. The initiative is seen as a test of customer demand for more sustainable products in package holidays, as previous studies suggest that while travelers express interest in sustainability, their willingness to pay for such products remains limited. Read more


  • FLIGHT DELAYS COST A LOT OF EXTRA WORK: Flight delays and cancellations are not only frustrating for Swiss travelers but also causing significant extra work and frustration for travel professionals in Swiss travel agencies, as revealed in an online survey by TRAVEL INSIDE. Swiss airline reported that one out of five flights experienced delays of more than half an hour in May and June, affecting approximately 3,000 passengers who missed their connecting flights. For travel agencies, this translates to 86% of respondents facing a considerable increase in workload due to disrupted or delayed flights this summer. Over half of the respondents (54%) reported an additional 2 to 5 hours of work per week, while around a quarter (24%) experienced up to 2 extra hours in the office. Nearly one-fifth of the survey participants had to dedicate 5 to 10 extra hours, with 5% even spending more than 10 additional hours dealing with flight disruptions. Read more


  • AIRLINE WARNS OF SLUMP IN DEMAND: Icelandair reports a profit for January to June, driven by a strong US dollar and booming transatlantic traffic. The airline achieved a record number of passengers and its highest profit in eight years, attributing the success to record passenger numbers, high load factors, and improved revenues across all markets. Utilizing Boeing 737 Max aircraft with lower fuel consumption and a profitable leasing business also contributed to the positive results. However, the airline foresees a weakening demand in the European market for the next six months. While the demand from the US and Canada remains strong, increased flight capacities and new competitor Play Airlines may impact revenue growth. Despite uncertainties, Icelandair aims to achieve an operating margin of 4 to 6 percent in 2023, focusing on expanding in North America and replacing its Boeing 757s with Airbus 321LR and XLR aircraft by 2025. Read more


  • LAST MINUTE PRICES FOR RENTAL CARS SHARPLY REDUCED: Rental car prices fall drastically for summer vacations, according to analyses by Holidaycheck and Sunny Cars. The cost of rental cars on popular vacation islands such as Majorca and Sardinia has fallen by around 60 percent year-on-year and in some cases is even below pre-pandemic levels. The reason for this is the low demand compared to the supply of rental cars. However, experts advise not to gamble on prices falling further and recommend booking the vacation car early, as the attractiveness of current prices remains uncertain. In addition, travelers should carefully examine the overall package, as differences in fuel arrangements and insurance can affect the final price. Read more


  • SAF WILL REMAIN EXPENSIVE FOR YEARS TO COME: Lufthansa doubts that the cost of sustainable fuel (SAF) will soon decline compared to fossil kerosene. Currently, alternative fuels produced from biomass or power-to-liquid are scarce and expensive. The airline fears that the cost of SAF will remain high in the future and may even be two to four times more expensive than fossil kerosene, even if aviation becomes climate neutral. Lufthansa rejects blending quotas for SAF and instead calls for a European climate levy on all passengers. It also doubts the timetable for the introduction of electricity-based fuels (e-fuels) and emphasizes the need for incentives and support programs for the development of SAF and e-fuels. Read more


Destination news

    • ALBANIA: The European travel industry is optimistic about the emerging destination of Albania, with plans to open the new Vlora Airport next year. However, environmental organizations are raising concerns about the project, citing climate-related issues and potential damage to protected areas. The airport’s location near the Narta Lagoon, known for its birdlife and flamingos, is particularly contentious. NGOs have filed a lawsuit against the Albanian authorities, questioning the validity of the airport’s construction permit. Critics argue that the new airport is too close to the existing Tirana Airport and could lead to unsustainable coastal resort development, diverting tourists away from the country’s inland ecotourism aspirations. The project is important for Albania’s tourism growth, but its environmental impact is generating opposition and calls for more sustainable alternatives.
    • AUSTRIA: From January to June 2023, there were 75.3 million overnight stays in hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals in Austria, showing an 18.8% increase compared to the same period last year and coming close to the 2019 level of 76.35 million stays. In June, bookings rose by 3.4% to 12.4 million compared to the previous year, driven by growth from smaller source markets compensating for a decline in German guests‘ stays. The Netherlands, the US, and the UK showed significant increases in overnight stays. Overall, the number of guests in Austrian accommodations rose by 7.1% to almost 4.2 million in June, with a majority of approximately 70% being international visitors.
    • CANADA: Tourist operators from Québec welcomed partners from key source countries and Canadian provinces for a homecoming event after seven years. During the event, they prepared for the upcoming tourism season and the years ahead. Québecois presented an extensive program highlighting the province’s unique features and advantages, successfully convincing international partners to explore new regions and destinations within Québec. Various tour operators, including Canusa and Tourlane, expressed interest in developing new off-the-beaten-track programs. Go2Travel plans to increase Québec’s presence in its Eastern Canada programs and boost awareness of the province in the German-speaking region. The organizers of Bonjour Québec are optimistic about expanding portfolios and achieving higher sales figures.
    • GEORGIA: Georgian tourism has seen a surge in popularity as a destination for quality tourism. The country aims to promote ethical and responsible tourism, with a goal of achieving a fully climate-neutral tourism industry by 2030. To support sustainable economic development, Georgia has developed an ecotourism strategy in collaboration with neighboring countries. The focus is on protecting natural and cultural heritage, increasing protected areas, and promoting the local economy. Renewable energy initiatives, eco-friendly transportation options, and preservation of Georgian culture and cuisine are also prioritized. The country’s diverse landscapes and attractions make it an appealing destination, with access provided through three major airports.
    • GREECE: Wildfires continue to ravage the southeastern part of Rhodes, with around 3,000 volunteers arriving to assist in Gennadi and Lindos. Tourists are safe, but travel companies like FTI and TUI have canceled bookings and flights to the affected areas. The situation remains critical as Wednesday is expected to be extremely hot, reaching up to 46 degrees Celsius. Fires are also spreading in Euboea and Corfu. The EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid warned of an extremely high fire risk in the Mediterranean region for the next two days.
    • HOLLAND: The Amsterdam City Council has decided to ban cruise ships from the city center, citing their inconsistency with the city’s sustainable goals. This move will result in the closure of the central cruise terminal near the Amsterdam Central Station. The decision is part of the city’s efforts to curb mass tourism and address issues related to over-tourism. In the past, the city has taken steps to tackle problems like cannabis smoking in the Red Light District and launched campaigns to discourage bachelor parties from visiting Amsterdam. The ban on cruise ships was approved with a significant majority, with the council expressing concerns about the environmental impact of these ships and their incompatibility with plans for a new bridge between the historic South district and the Noord district, a focal point of recent development projects. The move is seen as an effort to preserve Amsterdam’s sustainability and address the challenges posed by its popularity as a tourist destination, attracting around 20 million visitors annually.
    • INDIA: India is reviving its tourism advertising efforts to tap into its untapped potential as a vacation destination. The „Visit India Year 2023“ initiative aims to promote India as a „365-day destination“ with the responsibility now lying with the country’s embassies and consulates instead of a dedicated tourism office. They plan several B2B events to showcase India’s offerings on a global stage during its G20 presidency. The „Incredible India“ brand will be refreshed, and a new website will showcase the country’s diverse tourist attractions through personal travel stories. India is focusing on high-end tourism, including golf and luxury train tours like the „Palace On Wheels,“ as well as rural travel. The MICE segment will be strengthened, and India aims to position itself as a cruise destination with the „Incredible Cruises in India“ strategy. The country is targeting travelers seeking new and exotic experiences and plans to attract cruise lines like Silversea for world tours that include ports in Cochin and Mumbai.
    • ISRAEL: In the Teomim Caves near Beit Shemesh, archaeologists have uncovered ancient artifacts that suggest the cave was used for necromantic practices around 1,700 years ago. The discovery of human skulls and oil lamps in the inner chambers points to the possibility that the cave served as a gateway to the underworld for ritualistic communication with the dead. The presence of numerous oil lamps also indicates the practice of lychnomancy or lampadomancy, where flames from the lamps were used for divination. The cave’s physical and ritualistic elements align with those typically associated with sites used for communicating with the dead. While the researchers believe necromantic practices might have occurred in the cave during the late Roman period around 300 AD, they acknowledge that definitive evidence is lacking. Parts of the Teomim Caves are open to the public during specific times of the year, but the areas where the skulls and oil lamps were found require advanced cave exploration techniques and are not accessible to visitors.
    • ITALY: A large fire broke out in the mountains around Palermo airport, reaching the airport grounds and leading to its closure until 11 a.m. on Monday. Eight flights were canceled, and the A29 highway was also affected, with three entrances closed. The flames also threatened the „Cervello“ hospital. Firefighting teams, including helicopters and planes, have been battling the fires since Monday evening. The heatwave in Italy has exacerbated the situation, with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius in Sicily. The airport in Catania has already been shut down for days due to the wildfires.
    • SEYCHELLES: The Government of Seychelles has introduced the Seychelles‘ Tourism Environmental Sustainability Levy as part of its commitment to preserving the archipelago’s natural beauty and promoting sustainable tourism. The levy, charged per person/night in Seychelles Rupees, will be collected by accommodations upon check-out. Certain categories, such as children under 12 and Seychellois citizens, will be exempt. The proceeds from the levy will support environmental conservation and rehabilitation initiatives to protect the unique environment that attracts visitors to the islands. Seychelles remains dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism practices and preserving its natural wonders. The levy aims to enrich the experiences of all visitors to the Seychelles.
    • USA: In the USA, tipping has become almost ubiquitous, even in places where minimal service is provided, and it can now amount to up to 25% of the bill. It is seen as a crucial part of income for service workers, compensating for low hourly wages. Due to a „tipflation“ phenomenon exacerbated by the pandemic, guests are increasingly expected to leave high tips, making travel in America even more expensive. Tourists report spending more on their trips than planned due to the high tipping culture. The practice of tipping has extended to self-service kiosks and other non-service-related situations, making it challenging for guests to avoid paying tips. The trend is reinforced by credit card payments, and screens in stores and restaurants encourage customers to leave tips, creating a sense of obligation. Delivery drivers now have access to information on tipping amounts and may prioritize orders based on tips received. Some hotels are even imposing automatic tipping charges, leading to concerns that the „tipflation“ trend may spread to Europe. However, in Europe, higher minimum wages generally make tipping less essential to workers‘ income.

What else is brewing?

Hey there!

Summer is in full swing, and we’ve got some sizzling news for all you vacationers out there! A recent study compared ice cream prices at beaches in 20 different holiday hotspots, and boy, are there some jaw-dropping differences! Turkey takes the crown for the most budget-friendly scoop, offering creamy delights for a mere 47 cents. But don’t get brain freeze just yet, folks! If you’re planning to satisfy your sweet tooth in France, be prepared to fork out a cool 3.30 euros per scoop – talk about a luxurious treat! Somewhere in the middle, Germany offers ice cream lovers an average price of 2.07 euros. So, whether you’re indulging in Turkish delight or feeling fabulous with French gelato, one thing’s for sure – ice cream expenses are worth considering, especially for families, during those summer vacations!

Aviation’s bouncing back post-COVID-19, but uh-oh, we’ve hit some turbulence – a shortage of flight crew! Don’t panic, though, flying is still a rock-solid safe way to travel, pinky promise! According to the swanky Bundesverband der Deutschen Luftverkehrswirtschaft (BDL), safety has skyrocketed over the years. Back in the funky ’70s, we had one sad face for every 264,000 passengers, but hey, in 2022, it was more like finding a needle in a haystack – one bummer for almost 16 million thrill-seekers! Now, here’s the juicy scoop: airlines are a colorful bunch, and their safety records vary like shades of neon! Cue the heroic Jacdec safety index, superhero of airline evaluations! It crunches numbers like a pro, ranking airlines based on past shenanigans and overall vibes, shooting for a perfect 100% score! But hey, we ain’t throwing shade, ‚cause Handelsblatt came up with a list of airlines with a few safety wobbles. Keep in mind, though, these rankings just flash past incidents and safety vibes.

In other news, it’s getting hot in here, and not just because of summer! Forest fires are blazing around the globe, and it’s no fairy tale. Human-made climate change and arson are fanning the flames, especially in the Mediterranean region. From Italy to Canada, Mallorca to Rhodes, the scorching heatwaves are turning up the heat on tourism. But hey, cool heads prevail – travel agencies are on high alert, ensuring your safety during your summer escapades. And with cooler destinations becoming the new „it“ spots, Southern Europe might see its peak vacation season shift from summer to Easter and autumn. So, if you’re chasing those perfect beach days, you might just find them in new places!

And finally, let’s light up your travel plans! Schloss Neuschwanstein is stealing the spotlight with its enchanting illumination. Picture this: 47 eco-friendly LED spotlights making the castle glow like a fairy tale wonderland. It’s pure magic! Hotel Rübezahl in Schwangau even offers a front-row seat to this dazzling spectacle, so you can soak in the enchantment from your own balcony or poolside. But hold on – it’s not just Neuschwanstein that’s stealing the show! Hotels like Schloss Mönchstein, Shangri-La Hotel Paris, Hotel Cort, Oberoi Amarvilas, and Hôtel de Paris have their own star attractions, from Salzburg Castle to the Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal to Monaco Palace – the views are absolutely dreamy! And for those on a budget, Hotel Riffelhaus 1853 and Hotel Edelweiss are your mountain havens, offering breathtaking vistas of the Matterhorn and Watzmann. So, get ready to feast your eyes on the best views that Europe has to offer!

That’s a wrap on the hottest vacation news! So whether you’re chilling with your ice cream on a beach, soaring through the skies with a safe airline, or basking in the beauty of breathtaking landmarks, let your summer adventures be full of fun, excitement, and unforgettable memories! 


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