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
- Demand for long-distance travel remains strong: Are high air fares curbing demand for long-haul travel? We asked tour operators and travel agents this question. The result: this is only the case to a limited extent. „Due to increased airfares, there is a restraint in long-haul travel in the summer,“ says Nils Wevers, Director Flight at Alltours. Some customers are switching to destinations where the airfare component is smaller and thus the package tour is cheaper.But this is not the case with all tour operators – and certainly not for all destinations. Destinations for which not enough flight capacity is available do less well – the result is higher prices. For other destinations that are well connected by a sufficient number of flights, such as the Maldives and the Emirates, things are sometimes going very well. Travel agents, on the other hand, report good long-haul bookings in unison. „The demand for long-distance travel has risen sharply this year, people have a great wanderlust,“ says Bianca Kühnstetter from Travellers Reisebüro in Wettstetten, for example. This is also confirmed by Bo Diehr from Bo Travel in Titisee-Neustadt: „The demand for long-distance travel is still high, bookings are not decreasing despite the high flight prices.“ Read more
- TUI sees return to longer-term bookings: „The desire to secure a good price early has paid off this summer,“ says Baumert. At the same time, interest in traveling in the coming weeks is so great that TUI has reordered quotas in some destinations, says the TUI manager. TUI is benefiting „above average from the good development“ and is looking forward to a „strong summer season“, which in the last few weeks has also shown guest numbers above 2019 for the first time. The trend towards short- and medium-haul destinations has again increased, Baumert reports. Almost every fifth trip is to Greece. The biggest winner was the island of Crete. Mallorca remains the most popular island. But Turkey is also growing strongly and has a market share of 15 per cent with Tui. Egypt and the Canary Islands, above all Tenerife, also experienced strong growth. According to Baumert, the USA remained the top long-haul destination with the largest volume of customers. Thailand is making a comeback and is now in second place in the ranking. Indonesia and the Maldives follow, ahead of Mexico. The rising star, according to Baumert, is Zanzibar. Read more
- How does Swiss travel confidence influence the travel budget? What is noticeable in tourism establishments is also clearly shown by the Allianz Partners study on travel confidence. Swiss people want to travel. Over 9400 people, including 1050 people from Switzerland, were comprehensively surveyed. Switzerland is to be found at the top of the podium twice. More than 8 out of 10 Swiss are confident or very confident about traveling during the summer holidays. Switzerland is not only the most optimistic nation in Europe – it has also experienced the greatest development since last year. Travel confidence in Switzerland has increased by 8% – more than any other European nation.Not surprisingly, most Swiss people are again attracted to travel abroad this year. But travel within Switzerland is also currently very popular. 46% would like to experience domestic travel this summer.Compared to 2022, another value has changed significantly. Despite the continuing pressure on the cost of living and the stubbornly high inflation: the travel budget in Switzerland has increased by over CHF 500 to an average of CHF 2719. On the other side of the statistics is Austria, where the travel budget has actually been reduced. Austria is the only country where the travel budget has decreased. The shocking images of natural disasters of the last few years are more difficult for the Swiss to bear. These remain in the memory and influence the choice of destination. Among them are the floods in northern Italy and major fires in 2022. More than half of the respondents said that they take such risks into account when choosing their holiday destination. In Switzerland, the figure is as high as 62 % of respondents. The great need for safety on the one hand, a thirst for adventure on the other: around 43% of respondents consider themselves more adventurous than five years ago. 7 out of 10 people expressed the desire to try something new and different on holiday. However, relaxation remains the clear focus for most people. Across all 9 nations surveyed, relaxation is the main reason for summer holidays. Read more
- For the Schengen area – EU wants to digitize visa procedures uniformly: Visa procedures for the border-free Schengen area are to be digitalised. Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU states agreed on this in Brussels on Tuesday evening. In future, people will be able to apply for their visa online. Via a single platform, applicants would then be able to upload all their relevant documents and pay the visa fees, regardless of the country. The current visa sticker in the passport is to be replaced by a digital visa, making visa procedures more efficient and the Schengen area more secure. According to the EU Commission, the application procedures in the various countries currently differ, are very paper-heavy and thus also costly. With physical visas, the risk of forgery, fraud and theft is higher than with digital visas, it says in a statement. In the Schengen area, to which 27 European countries belong, there are no stationary checks on persons at the borders. The agreement must now be approved by the member states. After that, the necessary law can be formally adopted. Read more
- Travel agencies fully in vogue: Customers are now looking for the individual expertise of travel sellers even more than before Corona. Digitalised processes are a prerequisite, which then lead to the optimal, tailor-made travel experience with the knowledge of the counter professionals. Another finding of the Accor report „Tailor-Made Touch or Digital Efficiency?“ is that the success of travel agents and advisors depends on anticipating the constantly evolving desires of holidaymakers. This starts with current and future „hot destinations“, to long-term trends such as slow travel, wellness and sustainable travel. The right local partners and local know-how create the added value that travelers want. The full report also covers future trends such as Artificial Intelligence, cryptocurrencies and the Metaverse, as well as some of the top destinations in 2023. „Tailor-Made Touch or Digital Efficiency?“ can be downloaded in English from Accor. According to the announcement, this is the first of three reports that Accor will publish in the coming months. The next topics will be business travel and the mice industry. Read more
- Continued positive turnover development in travel agencies: The cumulative turnover also confirms this, reports the back-office service provider. The tourism sector as a whole recorded a plus of 36 percent, cruises had once again increased compared to April 2023 and were 94 per cent above 2022. According to Tats, the positive trend is also evident in air travel, with May 2023 sales up 15 per cent and the cumulative figure 61 per cent higher than the previous year. The number of air tickets in May is plus seven per cent more than in May 2022 and also in the cumulative values plus 40 percent less than in April 2023. Settled tourism sales in May are seven per cent higher compared to May four years ago. Cruises show a month-on-month increase of 18 per cent compared to 2019, and air travel is also up five per cent on 2019 – as is other sales at plus 26 per cent.At plus six per cent, total cumulative travel agency sales in May are similar to April’s figures, with cumulative tourism sales still six per cent lower than 2019, while cruises are eight per cent higher. Cumulative air travel sales are in line with April 2023 at plus ten per cent. The number of tickets also remained similar in May: minus 18 percent compared to 2019 and also minus 18 percent cumulatively. Cruises continue to perform strongly: May tourism backlog continues to show a 24 per cent month-on-month decline compared to 2022. May tourism backlog for travel through October 2023 is 21 per cent above April 2023 and down slightly from the previous month, but remains above 2022. The cruise’s tourism sub-sector continues to show a very positive trend in backlog by travel date, up 49 per cent. Month-on-month, tourism order book is up nine per cent on 2019, while month-on-month order book for the cruises sub-sector also remains positive at plus 44 per cent. May’s tourism backlog of orders for travel to October 2023 is 14 per cent below 2019 sales levels, while cruises are 20 per cent above 2019 sales levels. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- Verdi cancels planned warning strike at Hannover Airport: A few hours before the start of the planned warning strike of ground staff at Hannover Airport, the trade union Verdi called off the work stoppage.The employer had presented a significantly improved offer, Verdi announced on Wednesday. The union had called on ground staff to stop working from 7pm on Wednesday until the end of Friday. According to the Verdi spokesperson, the parties will negotiate again next week. The union had previously spoken of considerable delays and cancellations in air traffic in connection with already existing impairments due to the air force exercise „Air Defender“. Read more
- Boeing delivers significantly more jets again in May: The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing delivered significantly more aircraft in May after the recent problems with the 737 Max medium-haul jet. A total of 50 passenger and cargo aircraft found their way to buyers, almost twice as many as in April, according to the company’s monthly statistics published on Tuesday. Thirty-five of the jets were the 737 Max model. In April, Boeing had to significantly reduce deliveries of the series. The company cited manufacturing defects and necessary inspections on aircraft that were still in production or had not yet been delivered as the reason. Meanwhile, Boeing received new orders for 69 commercial aircraft in May, but also had to accept 11 cancellations. Meanwhile, Airbus, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, delivered more commercial jets in May than in any other month this year. A total of 63 aircraft found their way to their customers, as the DAX-listed company had already announced last week. Boeing had surpassed this figure in March with 64 jets delivered. Read more
- Low-cost airline Play flies to the third German airport: From Düsseldorf to the land of magical natural wonders: Since 8 June 2023, the young low-cost airline PLAY has been taking off from Iceland three times a week from DUS Airport to Keflavík Airport near Reykjavik. With this route expansion, travel enthusiasts from North Rhine-Westphalia can not only discover the unique capital of the volcanic island, but also tick New York, Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore and Toronto in Canada off their travel wish list. Under the motto „Pay less, PLAY more“, the Icelandic airline offers such long-haul trips even for a small budget. The low-cost airline, which was founded during the pandemic, is on an expansion course shortly before its two-year anniversary: PLAY has been flying year-round from Berlin to Iceland since the end of June 2021. The first flight from Hamburg in an Airbus a320neo followed in mid-May, and since last week the international flight schedule also includes regular connections on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to and from Düsseldorf. PLAY operates Europe’s youngest airline fleet and always focuses on the basic pillars of safety, punctuality, simplicity and satisfaction. Under these conditions, the airline offers its guests access to fair fares even in price-sensitive times: Flights from Düsseldorf to the North of America can be booked for as little as 200 euros. Read more
- Free drinks & snack – Eurowings Discover gives away Sunny Seat: Passengers on board Eurowings Discover can look forward to a surprise since Monday: A „Sunny Seat“ is awarded on every flight. Whether it’s free blankets in Economy Class or the expansion of the lounge offerings of Eurowings Discover – Lufthansa’s popular holiday carrier is always striving to improve the flight experience for passengers. Now, guests in Economy Class can look forward to another exciting innovation, Eurowings Discover announces.A bright yellow headrest cover marks the new place of honor in Economy Class with Eurowings Discover. Since 12 June, the cabin crew has chosen a seat in Economy as the so-called „Sunny Seat“ before boarding. The „seat in the sun“ is drawn at random. It offers the ticket holder and an accompanying person pleasant little advantages on the flight. The enclosed greeting card informs the guest of honor on the „Sunny Seat“ about the surprise. Both the „Sunny Seat“ guest and another traveling companion can look forward to a free alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink and a salty or sweet snack of their choice from the Eurowings Discover Business Class selection. Eurowings Discover offers 25 short- and medium-haul destinations and 19 long-haul connections in the current summer flight schedule. From now on, a „Sunny Seat“ in Economy Class will be allocated on every connection offered. According to Eurowings Discover, the holiday airline strives to create surprise moments through small attentions that make the flight „a special experience“. Read more
- New direct flight from Zurich to North Iceland: The Swiss people’s desire to travel is also clearly noticeable at tour operator Kontiki. The specialist for travel to the north is experiencing unbroken demand. „After the challenging pandemic years, we are now above the 2019 result,“ says Kontiki managing director Bruno Bisig about the current course of business. As a result, depending on the destinations, dates and offers, availability for summer, autumn and in some cases even winter 2023/24 is tight. The late summer in Finland called „Ruska“ with an exclusive Kontiki direct flight from Zurich or Geneva is particularly popular. This offer was developed during Corona and extends the summer season in Lapland. The combination of natural spectacles is particularly popular with guests, for example the legendary Northern Lights, colorful forests, plump berry bushes and mushrooms as far as the eye can see. Read more
- Condor – From November again to Barbados: After a pandemic-related break, Condor is flying again from Frankfurt to Barbados between 5 November and 9 April 2024. Every Tuesday and Sunday, the airline will fly its newest aircraft, an A 330 Neo, to the Caribbean island. Holidaymakers can choose between seats in Economy, Premium Economy and Business. On both days, the aircraft makes a short one-hour stopover – on Tuesdays in Tobago and on Sundays in Grenada – before continuing to Barbados. The return flights are then non-stop from Bridgetown to Frankfurt in just under nine hours. Read more
- Ikarus Tours – New Expedition Cruises: Ikarus Tours has published the expedition travel programme for the 2024/2025 season. The tours to the Arctic and Antarctic as well as to warm water areas can initially be viewed on the tour operator’s website. The printed catalogue „Polar Worlds“ will be published at the beginning of August. In addition to tried and tested routes such as Iceland or Spitsbergen circumnavigations or expeditions to East Greenland, it also contains some new features. These include, for example, an Alaskan voyage through the Inside Passage and an Antarctic adventure in which the notorious Drake Passage can be avoided by flying directly to the Antarctic Peninsula. A warm-water exotic in the new expedition programme is the Australian region of Kimberley, which Ikarus explores with a Ponant yacht. Read more
- China Airlines orders more Dreamliners: The Taiwanese airline China Airlines wants to expand its future Dreamliner fleet even further. The airline will order a further eight Boeing 787-9 aircraft for delivery from 2026. According to China Airlines, the planes will be used on regional, Oceania and long-haul routes to meet the increasing demand following the Corona pandemic. The Asian airline had already ordered 16 jets powered by General Electric’s Genx engine in August last year to join the fleet from 2025. According to the plan, all 24 new Dreamliners will be delivered by 2028. If necessary, the orders can also be switched to the higher-capacity Boeing 787-10 model, China Airlines adds. Read more
- ALBANIA: Albania expects a „fantastic“ season. European tourists are mainly attracted to the beaches of Albania. Thus, the country celebrates large influxes of foreign tourists – especially from Europe. But there is also a shortage of skilled workers in this destination, which causes problems.
- CROATIA: Croatia is one of the Germans‘ favorite travel destinations. The country on the Adriatic Sea with almost 2,000 km of coastline attracts several million tourists every year. The city of Split alone recorded almost 20 million overnight stays by travelers last year. Split is known for its dazzling nightlife with numerous bars and clubs. The city council has introduced some new regulations. According to this, wild peeing, drinking alcohol in the old town outside of bars, bathing in fountains or sleeping in public will be charged with 300 euros.
- EGYPT: After the surprising and short-term cancellation of non-stop flights from Germany to Sharm el Sheikh last winter, the destination is returning to the German market this year. This is made possible by flights with Air Cairo. They start on 1 November, departure airports in Germany are Berlin and Munich (once a week) as well as Düsseldorf and Frankfurt/Main (twice a week).
- GREAT BRITAIN: From 2024 onwards, EU citizens and other Europeans will only be able to visit London with an entry permit. Next year, an electronic entry permit (ETA) will become mandatory for European citizens in the UK. This is what German travellers will have to face.A fee of about ten pounds is expected to be charged for the entry permit, which is the equivalent of 11.66 euros at the current exchange rate (as of 12 June). The ETA is valid for two years. Travellers can visit Great Britain as often as they like during this period.
- ISRAEL: After a three-year renovation programme, the David Tower Museum in Jerusalem reopens its doors to visitors. During the works, numerous technological novelties were installed to make ancient Jerusalem an interactive experience with the help of the latest technology. These include ten new thematic galleries on the history of the city, a twelve-metre-high multimedia wall, digital 3-D models and a 360-degree video installation.
- JAPAN: Japan fears record rush to Mount Fuji. Japan fears a rush to Mount Fuji, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. During the official climbing season, which lasts only two months from early July to early September, thousands of people climb the slopes of the mountain every day. This year, local residents are sounding the alarm, fearing that more than 300,000 people could come after CoV restrictions were lifted. Municipal representatives of Yamanashi Prefecture have submitted a request to the authorities to limit the number of climbers, the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported today.
- SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa is now on the upswing again. In the country at the Cape of Good Hope, guest numbers are on the rise again. However, the tourism upswing is not a foregone conclusion; challenges remain.
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!
The holiday is planned and the flight booked? There’s great news for all travelers taking off from Berlin Airport this year: Berlin Airport has further improved its „BER Runway“ service, which can be used to reserve appointments for security checks. From now on, travelers no longer have to show their QR code from the booking, but instead go to the boarding pass control with their boarding pass. The boarding pass control recognises if a reservation has been made. According to the airport, passengers can now book appointments seven days before their flight. Previously, this was only possible three days in advance. Sounds like a good innovation!
…and for all those who have not yet planned a holiday or are looking for a warm destination in the winter months, we have a wonderful new opening: since 1 June, the new Cayo Levantado Resort in the Dominican Republic has been welcoming guests. The luxury domicile occupies the islet of the same name (Cayo), located about five kilometers outside the Samana peninsula in the northeast of the country. The owner, the Pinero Group, has extensively renovated the former Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado for the new luxury resort. The resort offers 218 rooms in ten categories. Half of the rooms, for example, have a plunge pool. Adults who want it even more exclusive can book the single-storey beachfront villas with pool. For families, there are 100-square-meter villas with a pool that can accommodate up to eight people. Click here for more information!
For the younger ones among you, we also have some happy news! Travel sellers under 30 years of age can look forward to a new edition of the Counter Complicity Camp in Cologne at the beginning of February: From 9 to 11 November, they will go to Disneyland Paris, report the initiators of the event, Christiane Blaeser and Berend Rieckmann.
Once again, short, crisp workshops are planned – plus experiences in Disneyland Paris including evening shows, meals in special restaurants and an after-show party in „Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon“. The journey will be by train or plane. The detailed invitation will go online at the end of July.
And even if we are sometimes a bit annoyed when we have to wait for our train, we can already look forward to the European Championship 2024, because: there are discounts for all football enthusiasts! As the official partner of the 2024 European Football Championship in Germany, Deutsche Bahn is making a special offer: all teams as well as ticket holders from Germany and a further 32 European countries will be able to travel to the ten host cities by rail at reduced rates during the European Championship from 14 June to 14 July 2024. Attention: Tickets for the journey can be booked from mid-January 2024, after tickets for the games go on sale on 3 October 2023.
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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