Please note: the following information has been compiled from the most important German-speaking Trade Media.
Short Situational Overview – DACH region
- Entry into Germany is relaxed over the summer months. From 01 June, entrants will no longer have to prove that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested (3G). The measures were designed to facilitate mobility and freedom of movement and travel. Whether it will then be reintroduced from September, however, is open at this stage. The Corona entry regulation amended by the Cabinet is initially valid until August 31. It would then have to be amended and extended again accordingly or else expire completely. However, stricter rules will remain in place for those entering Germany from so-called virus variant areas: They must undergo a 14-day quarantine in Germany, even if they have been vaccinated or have recovered. At present, however, no country has been designated as a virus variant area.
- The COVID infection numbers are currently going down after having reached an all-time high. the occupancy situation in hospitals is relaxed and death rates very low. About 76 % of the German population are now fully vaccinated, 69,5% in Switzerland and 74,2% in Austria.
- On April 3 all restrictions were lifted in Germany, only basic measures (or AdHoc, if necessary) stayed in place. However, most Germans still, for example, wear their masks indoors even where it is not an official requirement.
- Germany’s geopolitical situation because of the war between Russia and Ukraine has led to much anxiety about the Germans‘ planning for 2022. It is not only the peace crisis that worries them, but also various aspects, ranging from the country’s energy supply to the highest inflation in the last 30 years, as well as the threat to the country’s economic activity after two years of pandemic.
Current major topics within the tourism industry in Germany
- Travel agencies confirm strong bookings: Among the 300 travel sellers who took part in the survey, 27 percent say they are experiencing very high booking volumes, and 49 percent say they are experiencing somewhat high volumes. Comments from the travel professionals indicate that not all offices seem to be benefiting equally from the boom in demand. While some Counter-vor9 readers reported higher sales in May than in the same period of pre-Corona 2019, others already recognize dampening factors in consistently higher prices and the war in Ukraine. For 70 percent of respondents, bookings tend to be short-term, with another 12 percent even talking about very short-term bookings driving customer behavior. For longer-term travel plans, there are inquiries, but customers often still take their time with their booking decision, commented a number of survey participants. A good 300 tourism professionals from the sales sector took part in Counter vor9’s survey, which started last Friday. 70 percent of them said they were owners of a travel agency themselves, and just under 15 percent each said they were office managers or travel agents. Read more
- BTW Summit in Berlin – the challenges of tourism: The reboot of tourism is underway in all sectors. „I have never before seen such short-term, high-quality bookings as in the past few weeks,“ said Sören Hartmann, President of the German Tourism Association (BTW) and CEO of DER Touristik Group in his main job, at the 23rd Tourism Summit in Berlin. After dramatic losses in the past two years – tour operators and travel agencies lost almost 50 billion euros in revenue compared to 2019, and the hospitality industry lost almost 75 billion euros – the new start has begun. The upswing is expected to continue. „We demand that politicians ensure that this new start succeeds in the long term!“ He expects a forward-looking plan, no new bureaucratic burdens, and politics should also help with the shortage of skilled workers. In terms of digitalization, Hartmann attested that the tourism industry had been „very slow, sleepy and comfortable“ for a long time. As a result, foreign competitors such as Google, Booking.com and Airbnb „often set the pace and the tone. Sustainability is already a high priority for Hartmann in his role as tourism manager and Rewe board member. „Our industry must approach the topic of climate protection and sustainability with a different consistency than before. The goal of climate-neutral destinations by 2050 at the latest requires immense efforts.“ He added that the tourism industry must take the reins of action into its own hands, „because otherwise politicians will have to put much tighter corsets on us at some point.“ Read more
- Vacationers spend more money this summer: A good two-thirds of the survey participants state that their customers are spending slightly more money on vacations this year than before the pandemic; for 14 percent, spending is actually much higher. An unchanged spending behavior is also noted by 14 percent of the travel sellers surveyed; customers are less willing to pay than before the crisis in the case of only around five percent. 60 percent of the travel professionals who took part in the survey see price increases as the main factor behind the higher travel sales per customer. That customers are booking higher-value trips than before Corona is noted by 15 percent. A good quarter of respondents see a combination of both factors as the reason for the increase in sales. Read more
- ITB Berlin from 2023 pure B2B event: For the first analog edition of ITB Berlin since the beginning of the pandemic, Messe Berlin is planning a number of significant innovations next year: Instead of taking place from Wednesday to Sunday as in the past, ITB Berlin 2023 will be held on the three consecutive days from Tuesday to Thursday, i.e. from March 7 to 9. In addition, the requirements for global trade fairs have changed significantly in recent years, which is why the travel trade show will „join forces in the future“ and focus exclusively on its trade visitors, buyers and media, in addition to the exhibiting companies. „By positioning ITB Berlin as a pure B2B product, we want to ensure the future viability of the platform and once again significantly strengthen the brand as a global ‚catalyst‘ for the tourism industry,“ commented David Ruetz, Head of ITB Berlin. „At the same time, we are ensuring a necessary sharpening of the profile as well as even better customer loyalty and new acquisition. In the past, we have repeatedly found that the majority of our exhibitors have a clear focus on addressing the B2B audience. Their investment can be even better bundled in the future.“ Read more
Current major topics within the aviation industry in Germany and Europe
- Air traffic within Germany apparently declining: While passenger numbers in European traffic in April reached 71 percent of the pre-crisis level and intercontinental traffic came in at 62 percent of its former volume, domestic traffic reached only 42 percent of April 2019. A look at the cumulative figures for the first four months of the year also underscores this trend. From January to April, more than 35.6 million passengers (an+ab) were counted at German airports. At +384.9%, the airports recorded strong year-on-year growth. However, they are still 50.6% short of the pre-crisis level in 2019. At the beginning of the year, the travel market was still in the stranglehold of the pandemic. The omicron variant prevented many travel occasions by air. This has since changed. The desire for mobility and vacation travel continues unabated, causing passenger numbers to rise. Domestic German traffic continues to develop below average. Here, a large part of the offer is still missing. There is a lack of corresponding offers to meet the demand of travelers. Read more
- Sustainability in the booking process: Swiss has integrated the process for CO₂-neutral flying directly into the flight booking process. From now on, passengers can make their flight CO₂-neutral right when booking on swiss.com by purchasing sustainable fuel or by investing in climate protection projects. The payment process takes place together with the flight ticket at the end of the booking process in one step. There are three different sustainability options to choose from. The first is the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SAF is sustainable kerosene that is not of fossil origin. The SAF currently used by Swiss is produced from biogenic residues and thus contributes to the circular economy. Second, Swiss passengers can offset the CO₂ emissions of their flight by investing in carbon offset projects run by the Swiss non-profit organization Myclimate and supporting specific measures for effective climate protection. The third option is to combine both options. Implementation on mobile devices is planned by the end of 2022. Read more
- Europe’s airlines do too little for climate protection: Seven of Europe’s largest airlines are not pursuing credible climate ambitions, according to a Greenpeace investigation. The airline groups examined in the study are not taking nearly enough action to reduce their CO2 emissions, it says. In order to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible, the airlines would have to reduce their flights by at least two percent annually by 2040, according to Greenpeace. However, the corporations studied had not set annual reduction targets for their greenhouse gas emissions, nor had they committed to reducing flights or fully decarbonizing by 2040. In its report, Greenpeace scrutinized Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, British Airways parent IAG (International Airlines Group), Easyjet and Ryanair, among others. „We take note of Greenpeace’s statements and will intensively deal with and examine the contents of the study,“ a Lufthansa spokesman said. By 2030, Lufthansa’s own net CO2 emissions should be halved compared to 2019, the statement added. Read more
- Japan: After the reported easing of restrictions on business travel and other visa-required stays in recent months, holidaymakers are now also allowed to enter the country again. In addition, the airports at New Chitose near Sapporo in Hokkaido and Naha on Okinawa are to be reopened to international air traffic. According to the Japanese Tourist Board, tourism will be resumed in several stages. From June 10, international travelers will be able to visit the country again in organized tour groups and package tours, according to a statement by the Japanese tourist office. For individual travelers, however, Japan remains closed for the time being.
- Canada: In the coming summer, vacations in Canada are in demand as rarely before. But not everyone who wants to explore the second largest country on earth now will get their wish. Because rental cars and motorhomes are fully booked in the high season, but for the Canada business in Germany a must. Rising prices could also weaken the boom.
- Thailand: In Thailand, the number of foreign tourists is increasing again after the relaxation of entry rules. In April, more than 293,000 holidaymakers from numerous countries arrived. In March, it was still 210,000, reports the newspaper „Bangkok Post“ with reference to the authorities. The next few months are likely to bring further growth, as the rules have been further relaxed since May 1 and a Corona test is now no longer required for entry.
- Kenya: Kenya is adopting a new strategy to grow and reposition tourism in the coming years. Entitled ‚The New Vision for Kenya Tourism‘ for 2022 to 2025, it summarizes the future framework for the successful development of sustainable tourism in Kenya, said Najib Balala, minister of tourism and wildlife. „The strategy fully encapsulates the Magical Kenya Tourism brand and emphasizes the opportunities that the sector can leverage to not only ensure growth, but also provide life-changing experiences for the people who experience it,“ the minister said. The strategic plan was created against the backdrop of the upheaval caused by the Covid 19 pandemic and will serve as a guide for the development and expansion of the tourism sector over the next five years.
Just read on and enjoy! And if you have any doubt or would like to talk to us about how to approach these markets better, just get in touch with us. We’ll be delighted to help you.