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
- IMEX FRANKFURT: HOW DID IT GO?: With over 3,500 buyers and 55,000 appointments, IMEX Frankfurt showcased industry pride and renewed confidence. Exhibitors and buyers enjoyed the convenience of scanning badges through the IMEX app, resulting in more business opportunities. Positive outcomes were evident, with significant events finalized and a surge in enquiries for incentives and congresses. The show’s intentional design, sustainability focus, and inclusive spaces contributed to a memorable and enjoyable experience. Looking forward, IMEX America aims to expand its partnership with the Google Experience Institute, offering innovative learning concepts. IMEX is also set to publish its Net Zero Strategy, emphasizing its commitment to positive change. Read more
- SKIFT TRAVEL HEALTH INDEX REACHES RECORD LEVEL: The Skift Travel Health Index reveals a significant milestone for the travel industry, surpassing 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic. With a score of 101, indicating complete recovery, the index demonstrates the resilience and strength of the global travel sector. The comprehensive Index tracks the performance of 22 countries and four travel sectors, providing valuable insights for strategic planning. While some countries and sectors are still on the path to full recovery, the demand has returned strongly, accompanied by higher prices and increased seat capacity. As event planners, it’s crucial to stay informed about these dynamic shifts in demand and supply across destinations and source markets. Skift Research continues to enhance the Index, incorporating additional data partners and indicators to provide a holistic view of the industry’s health beyond the pandemic. Read more
- SUMMER SEASON EXCEEDS 2019 SALES: Booking sales remain above 2019 levels, indicating continued growth. However, the pace is slowing compared to last year, as current vacation bookings are not growing as strongly as last year. Year-over-year summer growth is now 31 percent, down eleven percentage points. The winter season failed to reach pre-crisis levels in April, closing with a four percent decline compared to 2018/19. Six percent of sales were accounted for by trips booked at short notice during the Easter period. Popular destinations are the countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, which account for a 44 percent share. Turkey and Greece are in a tight race, while Tunisia and Egypt are also seeing strong growth. Spain continues to top the list, with the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and destinations on the Iberian Peninsula. Read more
- EVERY SECOND SWISS PREFERS DOMESTIC VACATIONS: The travel behavior of the Swiss population is proving more active again after the Corona pandemic. Over 80% spent at least three nights outside last year. Half, however, plan to spend their vacations in Switzerland. Although travel activity is increasing, the desire to travel abroad remains stable. Safety and basic local amenities are key factors when choosing a destination. Strikes play a less important role, while short communication routes to Switzerland are gaining in importance. The flexibility of the car as a means of transport remains popular, while environmental concerns are declining. Rising energy costs have led one-third of respondents to adjust their travel plans to the economic situation. Read more
- EXPENSIVE VACATIONS ARE A MAJOR CONCERN FOR SWISS: Rising prices for vacations have become one of the Swiss population’s biggest concerns, with fear of inflation overtaking fear of climate change. A survey by the comparison portal Comparis shows that the cost of travel ranks second among financial concerns, directly after heating costs. Despite these concerns, vacations still seem to be of great importance to the Swiss. Retailers and tour operators report satisfactory bookings in the current year, with sales in some segments even above pre-pandemic 2019 levels. However, this trend could be due to fewer people traveling but choosing higher-priced options. The Comparis survey indirectly confirms this trend. People with higher incomes say they save less, while those with monthly incomes below CHF 4000 say they have to turn over every centime and have hardly any money left over for vacations. Those with a monthly income of CHF 8000 or more, on the other hand, have more leeway for more expensive vacations. However, savings are also being made on travel, and on the climate of all things, which has lost its top spot in the worry barometer. Only 8% of respondents now say they want to offset their CO₂ emissions when traveling by air and on cruises, compared with 13% in the previous year. This suggests that concern about climate change is decreasing as prices rise. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- LUFTHANSA JOINS ITA AIRWAYS: Lufthansa is taking a minority stake in Italy’s ITA Airways, as both sides announced when the contract was signed in Rome. For the time being, Lufthansa is taking over a 41 percent share in the previously state-owned company. In return, the German group will pay 325 million euros, while the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance will contribute another 250 million euros. Lufthansa is expected to take over operational management of ITA Airways. The agreement also provides for the possibility of a further increase in shares up to a full takeover by Lufthansa. ITA Airways, which was established in November 2020 as the successor airline to Alitalia, flew in a loss of 486 million euros in its first full year of operations. The deal is still subject to competition law reviews at national and European level. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr sees the investment as a win-win situation for Italy, ITA and his company to bring ITA into the black and win back market share in Italy. Read more
- THIS IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL AIRLINE OF THE YEAR: Etihad Airways was named Environmental Airline of the Year in the „Airline Ratings“ for the second year in a row. The airline also received third place in the „Top 10 Airlines“ category. Etihad was recognized for its commitment and innovation in sustainable aviation, as well as for its results and changes. Etihad’s sustainability strategy focuses on reducing emissions through internal actions, industry collaboration and transparency. Etihad has reduced its CO2 emissions per revenue tonne kilometer by 26% and is pursuing other goals such as adding A350 aircraft to its fleet and operating carbon-neutral flights. The airline is also committed to sustainable aviation fuel and has implemented various waste reduction and water conservation initiatives. Read more
- FIRST ‘CLIMATE NEUTRAL’ CRUISE: MSC Group is demonstrating that a carbon-neutral cruise is possible with the MSC Euribia’s four-day voyage from Saint-Nazaire to Copenhagen via Amsterdam. The company has purchased 400 tons of bio-LNG to demonstrate the use of renewable fuels. The voyage will use the mass balance system to take advantage of renewable biogas. The entire supply chain complies with the EU Renewable Energy Directive, and the bio-LNG has been certified by International Sustainability & Carbon Certification. MSC Cruises is working with Gasum, a leading producer of biogas, to implement carbon-neutral travel. MSC Cruises‘ ships can run on LNG or synthetically produced gas and already show a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional marine fuels. MSC Euribia’s itinerary has been optimized to minimize fuel consumption, and energy efficiency specialists will be on board to monitor and optimize energy use. The company emphasizes the need for alternative fuels to be widely available to enable the transition to sustainable shipping. Read more
- GREEN FARES ARE IN DEMAND AT LUFTHANSA: Lufthansa is taking positive stock of its Green Fares, which have been offered since February. Within the first 100 days, around 200,000 passengers have opted for a Green Fares flight in Europe or to North Africa. The airfare includes compensation for CO₂ emissions and enables more sustainable flying with a click. With Green Fares, 20 percent of emissions are offset through the use of sustainable aviation fuels and 80 percent through contributions to climate protection projects. Although the demand for sustainable travel is increasing, only three percent of Lufthansa’s passengers make use of the compensation offers. The Lufthansa Group’s goal is to get five percent of its passengers to travel more sustainably by the end of the year. In addition to Green Fares, the airline also offers other options, such as compensation during the booking process or the individual contribution to more sustainable flying during or after the flight. Read more
- ASIA: Forecasts for 39 Asia Pacific destinations predict strong growth in international visitor arrivals (IVAs) from 2023 to 2025. Sponsored by Visa and developed by Euromonitor International, the reports provide insights for destination-level strategies. Predicted IVAs in 2023 range from 705 million to 390 million, exceeding pre-pandemic levels by up to 3.3%. By 2024, IVAs are expected to surpass 2019 levels, with a 6.7% increase projected under the medium scenario. Mainland China’s growth is of particular interest, but under the severe scenario, it is predicted to lag behind the 2019 peak by around 6% by 2025. The forecasts cover source markets and air capacity changes for each destination.
- BHUTAN: Bhutan, one of the last countries in the world, has separated itself from the Corona regulations and now allows unconditional entry. Previously, all measures had been lifted only for vaccinated individuals, while unvaccinated individuals were still required to present a negative PCR test upon entry. This regulation has now been lifted by the government. Travelers from Germany are currently no longer subject to pandemic-related restrictions, according to the German Foreign Office. However, local lockdowns may take place at the border with India to contain pockets of infection.
- CROATIA: Croatia’s tourism is booming and the pre-season tourism figures have already surpassed the highs from the pre-crisis year 2019. In the months of January to May, 3.5 million vacationers visited the country and accounted for 10.7 million overnight stays. This represents a 3% increase compared to 2019 and a 27% increase compared to the same period last year. Austrians are among the top 3 foreign vacationers in Croatia. Expectations for the peak season are high, with excellent results expected due to good announcements from key markets, including Austria. The elimination of border controls due to Schengen accession and the introduction of the euro are expected to further boost tourism.
- GERMANY: Tourism can be both a boost to the local economy and a burden on locals. According to the German Institute for Tourism Research, there is no widespread problem with overtourism in German resorts. On the contrary, most places actually want more tourism. Nevertheless, there is an increased sensitivity and a slight decline in acceptance that must be taken seriously. Citizens‘ initiatives have been formed on Sylt, Föhr and Göhren on Rügen to represent the concerns of locals more strongly. Those responsible are increasingly relying on a dialog with the local population to promote harmonious coexistence between guests and locals.
- INDONESIA: The regional government of Bali has decided to issue a special „tourist card“ with rules of conduct after several recent incidents of inappropriate behavior by holidaymakers. The guide will be given to all arriving travelers at the airport and attached to their passports along with their visas. It lists rules of conduct regarding temple etiquette, dress and behavior at sacred sites such as banyan trees. Tourists are asked to respect the sanctity of temples and religious symbols and refrain from inappropriate behavior. Respecting traffic rules and renting vehicles from legal vendors are also emphasized. These measures are aimed at protecting Bali’s reputation and image. The decision to introduce the tourist card was made in response to several incidents of inappropriate behavior, including posting nude photos at sacred banyan trees and on Gunung Agung volcano, revered as the seat of the gods. Bali is the only Hindu-majority island in Indonesia, and the beliefs of its inhabitants are unique and complex.
- ITALY: A new panoramic elevator has opened at the Colosseum in Rome, transporting visitors from the second to the third floor of the monument and offering impressive views. The elevator blends harmoniously into the structure and takes up minimal space. The third floor of the Colosseum is also open to visitors again following restoration work. The inauguration of the elevator took place in the presence of the Minister of Culture, who stressed that the Colosseum is now accessible to all up to the third floor and represents an exceptional world heritage site. Every year, about eight million tourists visit the Colosseum, which was used for public executions and gladiator fights during the ancient Roman period.
- USA: The 68,500-seat arena in San Francisco will once again host the Super Bowl in 2026. It is the NFL finals and takes place annually in February. The city is also excited about a new global advertising campaign with the tagline „Always San Francisco“ and the reopening of the AirTrain stop at San Francisco International Airport. The campaign features the city’s landmarks, neighborhoods and attractions, as well as its culinary offerings and cultural diversity.
What else is brewing?
Greetings, Travel Industry Experts!
We hope this newsletter finds you filled with wanderlust and excitement. We have some fantastic updates and events to share that will take your travel experiences to new heights. Let’s dive right in!
Hold on to your seats because Emirates has just announced an incredible collaboration with the one and only Oscar-winning actor, Penelope Cruz! Get ready to be swept away as Penelope graces the screen in Emirates‘ latest TV ads, set to air globally from June. You’ll catch her in the lap of luxury, experiencing Emirates‘ renowned first and business class cabins, all while reminding us that travel is about more than just reaching our destination—it’s about savoring every moment of the journey. And that’s not all! Look out for additional adverts featuring Penelope as she explores Emirates‘ new premium economy class. Directed by the talented double Oscar-winning director, Robert Stromberg, this campaign promises to be an extraordinary visual experience. Keep an eye out for these star-studded ads on TV news channels and Emirates‘ digital platforms. It’s a collaboration you won’t want to miss, following the footsteps of successful campaigns with Jennifer Aniston and other renowned figures.
Calling all travel industry enthusiasts! The Association of Internet Travel Distribution (VIR) invites you to the highly anticipated „Talk Tourism“ event in vibrant Munich, taking place in mid-June. This two-day extravaganza is designed to bring together inbound and outbound businesses, fostering valuable exchanges and collaborations within the tourism industry. Prepare to be inspired and gain insights from industry leaders.
The „Talk Tourism“ program is packed with captivating sessions that cater to your thirst for industry knowledge and trends. On the first day, kick-start your experience with an inspiring talk by Zeitgeist researcher, Kristine Fratz, as she delves into the creation of Zeitgeist and its impact on the industry. Explore sessions focusing on tourism recipes for success and the fascinating role of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping the future of travel. Discover future-proof target group models and gain insights into the dominant travel behavior that will shape the industry’s landscape. On the second day, indulge in a delightful social brunch while immersing yourself in sessions dedicated to atmospheric urban and spatial design. Witness the magic of „on demand“ AI facilitation, exploring its potential for revolutionizing the travel industry. Dive into thought-provoking discussions on the future opportunities of Web 3.0 in tourism and the growing importance of Big Data in shaping travel experiences. It’s an event you don’t want to miss!
Attention, travel aficionados! We couldn’t forget to share the latest winners of the prestigious Tripadvisor Travelers‘ Choice Awards for best hotels. Drumroll, please! Taking the coveted first place is the enchanting Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, India. With a stellar rating of 5.0 based on 5745 reviews, this historic luxury resort transports you to a world of opulence. Explore its 78 exquisitely furnished rooms and suites, once the chambers of the former Maharaja, and indulge in lavish decor and unforgettable culinary experiences.
In second place, we have the breathtaking Ozen Reserve Bolifushi in the Maldives. With a perfect rating of 5.0 based on 1971 reviews, this paradise offers over-water and beachfront villas, each with a private swimming pool and a plethora of culinary delights. And securing third place is the luxurious Hotel Colline de France in Gramado, Brazil. With a rating of 5.0 based on 3279 reviews, this magnificent hotel boasts 34 elegantly appointed rooms and a rejuvenating spa area. These remarkable properties exemplify excellence in hospitality.
As the list continues, you’ll also discover exceptional hotels like the iconic Shangri-La The Shard in London and the luxurious Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong, alongside other remarkable properties from different corners of the world.
That’s all for now, esteemed industry experts! Stay tuned for more exciting updates and remember to keep the spirit of travel alive in all your endeavors. Until next time!
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