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, 69,4% in Switzerland and 74% 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
- ITB Berlin & Statista: How environmental awareness influences travelers‘ behavior: The industry is large – but it also has a tangible impact on the environment: Around 5% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions are attributable to global tourism. An environmental awareness study conducted by the German Federal Environment Agency in 2020 revealed that environmental and climate protection is a very important issue for 65 % of Germans. Over 77% see human activity as a major cause of climate change. According to Statista’s Global Consumer Survey (GCS), a global survey in more than 55 countries with up to 60,000 respondents per country, climate change affects the travel behavior of 65 % of all tourists in Germany. On the other hand, completely foregoing travel for sustainability reasons proves to be a rarity. Of the Germans surveyed who are not planning a trip in 2022, only 6% cited environmental protection as a reason. Accordingly, the threat of climate change is not inhibiting the general desire to travel, but is potentially influencing the way vacations are taken. And although 24% of travelers from Germany in the GCS said they had already changed plans to travel abroad in the recent past for environmental reasons, these are still high on the agenda in 2022. 70% of Germans who have planned a trip for this year (also) want to travel beyond their own country’s borders. Only afterwards will it become clear whether the aforementioned changes in travelers‘ behavior will be actively implemented and whether they will actually visibly forego (long-haul) flights or long-distance travel. Read more
- Tourism gains momentum: Tourism continues to recover at a rapid pace. Worldwide destinations saw almost three times as many international arrivals in the first quarter of 2022 as in the same period in 2021, with Europe leading the sector’s recovery. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism recorded a 182% year-on-year increase in January-March 2022, with destinations worldwide welcoming an estimated 117 million international arrivals, compared to 41 million in the first quarter of 2021. Of the additional 76 million international arrivals in the first three months, around 47 million were recorded in March, showing that the recovery is gaining momentum. UNWTO data show that Europe recorded nearly four times as many international arrivals in the first quarter of 2022 (+280%) as in the first quarter of 2021, with results driven by strong demand within the region. In the Americas, arrivals more than doubled (+117%) in the same three months. However, arrivals in Europe and the Americas were still 43% and 46% below 2019 levels, respectively. The Middle East (+132%) and Africa (+96%) also saw strong growth in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 2021, but arrivals remained 59% and 61% below 2019 levels, respectively. Asia and the Pacific saw a 64% increase compared to 2021, but again were 93% below 2019 levels as several destinations remained closed for non-essential travel. Broken down by subregion, the Caribbean and Southern Mediterranean Europe continue to show the fastest recovery rates. In both regions, arrivals recovered to nearly 75% of 2019 levels, with some destinations meeting or exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Read more
- Business travel and mice are on the rise again: Especially in Asia and America, significantly more people are again planning business trips abroad, says Petra Hedorfer, head of the German National Tourist Board. Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the German Convention Bureau, adds that mice suppliers expect growth in the coming years, across all formats. Hedorfer still sees Germany as very well positioned as a mice location. This is the result of the traditional combination of an industrial location with scientific expertise, infrastructure and geostrategic location in Europe. Digitalization offers the mice industry a great opportunity, but this also applies to foreign providers. In this respect, competition is expected to become fiercer from this aspect. „In order to continue to be at the forefront with innovations, we need ideas and infrastructure – without nationwide broadband coverage and a 5G standard in the locations, we will quickly lose touch. In this complexity also lie the opportunities to distinguish ourselves as a business location and innovation center,“ says Hedorfer. Read more
- May demand significantly above 2019 level: Countries, hotel industry and cruise gradually lift their corona restrictions. This is giving tourism a huge boost – albeit with some unpleasant consequences: Check-in chaos at airports and the run on the railroads because of the nine-euro tickets at Whitsun show that Germans are taking every opportunity to travel. The May sales figures also look pleasing according to the Tats-Reisebüro-Spiegel analysis. Invoiced sales were 378 percent higher overall than in the same month last year, and 483 percent higher in tourism. However, the triple-digit percentage figures are based on a disastrous previous year. In 2021, as is well known, there was little to no travel. A more meaningful comparison is with the pre-crisis year 2019, according to which the drop in total sales fell to 20 percent from 31 percent in April. Read more
Current major topics within the aviation industry in Germany and Europe
- Flight cancellations in Europe take over: Following flight cancellations by major European airlines and thousands of passengers stranded abroad as a result of staff shortages, concerns are growing about chaotic conditions during the peak travel season. According to media reports, thousands of Britons, among others, were stranded abroad over the weekend due to a number of flight cancellations. According to the British news agency PA, PC Agency, a consultancy specializing in the travel industry, estimated that at least 15,000 passengers could be affected by last-minute changes on Sunday. Easyjet as well as British Airways and TUI cancelled quite a few flights, as they had done in the days before. The British government accused the industry of not having prepared sufficiently. Germany is also facing staff shortages – from passenger screening to aircraft handling to flight attendants, there is a lack of employees who have sought other jobs during the pandemic. „Across all locations, service providers involved in passenger handling are short about 20 percent of ground staff compared to pre-Corona levels. Read more
- German Airports – new solution for staff shortages: In view of considerable staff shortages, the German aviation industry wants to deploy 2,000 temporary workers from Turkey at German airports. Several industry associations have submitted a proposal to this effect to the German Ministry of Labor, which is expected to clear legal hurdles. A provider from Istanbul has already been identified who could place „qualified German-speaking employees“ and send them to Germany before the summer vacations. The letter, which was made public on Friday, states: „There is a shortage of 2,000 employees in the ground handling services sector. We see one possibility to cover this personnel requirement in the short term in recruiting workers from abroad.“ The workers from Turkey speak German at A2 level and also have certified dangerous goods training that meets the requirements of the airline association IATA. They also met the requirements of German background checks. Read more
- USA: Brand USA receives a lavish special budget, a national tourism strategy sets priorities in marketing and product development – and extremely ambitious goals.The strategy pursues a four-point approach: First, destination marketing for the USA, including the promotion of regions previously underserved by tourism. In addition, travel to and within the U.S. is to be made easier. Diverse, inclusive and accessible tourism experiences are to be created in the future. The industry should also contribute to climate change and increase resilience to crises and sustainability.
- Japan: Japan is considering resuming its subsidized domestic „Go To Travel“ campaign. It could be revived if the country relaxes border controls for foreign travelers. According to reports, the government will soon make an announcement to that effect. The campaign, launched in the summer of 2020, helped keep tourism businesses afloat during the border closures, but was discontinued as it accelerated the spread of covid in the country.
- Maldives: Visit Maldives and Qatar Airways aim to increase inbound traffic to the atolls. Joint actions and individual campaigns are planned. Under the agreement, both partners will launch joint advertising and marketing activities for end consumers and in the B2B sector in certain key markets, organize information trips for travel partners and media professionals, and address joint activities with trade partners.
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.