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 77,5 % of the German population are now fully vaccinated, 69,5 % in Switzerland and 74,3 % 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 (part 2): The survey was able to show that 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 does not inhibit the general desire to travel, but potentially influences the way vacations are taken. However, the following applies to both domestic and international travel: sustainable travel options are diverse. It is not possible to make general statements about package tours, all-inclusive hotels or „cheap travel“. In addition to the chosen mode of transport, there are other aspects that influence the sustainability of a trip and are the focus of tourists. For example, 48% of German travelers consider waste avoidance important during a vacation, 40% attach importance to the economical use of resources (such as energy and water) and 39% would like to see fair pay for staff at the vacation destination. Sustainable travel providers already offer a wide range of options for traveling in a more environmentally conscious way. In Germany, these include tour operators such as Forum Anders Reisen, Gebeco and Intrepid Travel. According to the GCS results, the potential is there in all the markets explicitly surveyed (DE, UK, USA). More than 40% of the respondents would be willing to book with a sustainable travel provider, about 36% would even pay a premium for sustainable travel providers. In the past two years, however, only 19% of respondents have done so. Here, too, the future will show to what extent travelers actually live up to their good intentions. In the GCS, 92% of travelers in Germany demand that politicians and suppliers take measures to make vacationing more environmentally friendly. For travelers from both the U.S. and the U.K., the certification of environmentally friendly resorts and the provision of information around the environmental impact of the trip play a major role. Read more
- Four out of five Germans are planning a summer vacation: Germans‘ desire to travel has increased in recent months across all age groups surveyed. This is the result of the „International Vacation Confidence Index“ conducted by the French opinion research institute Opinionway in May 2022. Four out of five German citizens (78 percent) already have firm travel plans, with an average budget of 1680 euros per household. This represents an increase of 21 percentage points compared to last winter. A summer vacation is important to three quarters of respondents (74 percent) (up 26 percentage points). More than two-thirds of Germans (69 percent) are also confident that the vacation can take place as planned. That is 17 percentage points more than six months ago. However, it is also clear from the responses of the more than one thousand respondents that at least one in five Germans (22 percent) have no vacation plans for the summer. Inflationary price rises, which are also hitting travel budgets, play an important role here: 21 percent of those surveyed said they could not afford a vacation due to the increased cost of living and travel. Vacations in one’s own country remain in demand. The majority of Germans (47 percent) planning a summer vacation this year want to spend their vacations in Germany. Vacationing in one’s own country remains in demand. The majority of Germans (47 percent) planning a summer vacation this year want to spend their vacations in Germany. Read more
- Germany’s Travel & Tourism could surpass pre-pandemic levels next year: The World Travel & Tourism Council’s latest Economic Impact (EIR) reveals the Travel & Tourism sector in Germany will catapult the national economic recovery and could surpass pre-pandemic levels next year, nearly 2.5% above 2019 levels. The forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), shows the sector’s contribution to GDP could reach more than €364 billion by next year. Travel & Tourism in Germany is set to boost the national economic recovery with an average growth rate outpacing the overall country’s economic growth for the next 10 years. According to the report, Travel & Tourism’s GDP is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 1.3% annually between 2022-2032, above the 1.1% growth rate for the country’s economy, to reach more than €394 billion (9.7% of the total economy). The forecast also reveals the Travel & Tourism sector is expected to create almost half a million jobs in the next 10 years, averaging more than 47,000 every year. By the end of this year, the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 52.4% to more than €347 billion, amounting to 9.6% of the total economic GDP, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 6.9% to reach 5.5 million jobs. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “COVID-19 wreaked havoc on Germany’s Travel & Tourism, affecting millions of livelihoods and impacting the national economy. However, our data provides a positive outlook that will provide a massive boost to businesses across Germany as the sector finally begins to recover from the pandemic.” Read more
Current major topics within the aviation industry in Germany and Europe
- Flight search is almost back to 2019 levels: The recovery in demand in the airline sector is exceeding all expectations. This is now also supported by a study by „Amadeus Travel Pulse“. According to this, global searches for flights in the last week of April were only 3% behind the figures for 2019 – for North America, the search volume for domestic flights was even above the level of 2019. In general, it can be said: the search volume in 2022 clearly exceeds that of 2021; the first four months of 2022 are on average 69% above the same period last year. The search volume in the first four months of 2022 had even almost reached the level of 2019. The data also shows that more than half of the top city routes have fully recovered from 2019. Of the 16 most popular routes, nine are seeing search volumes comparable to 2019, with searches for domestic flights leading the recovery, reaching a positive 4% increase in the last week of April compared to 2019. Markets such as India, up 47%, and Italy, up 82%, showed the largest increases. While the domestic segment has recovered the most, other segments are also showing significant increases. In the last week of April, inter-regional searches were down just 4% from 2019, with the UK (+35%) and France (+38%) showing impressive growth. International searches are also performing well. Argentina is showing one of the best recoveries, up 24% from 2019 levels. Regional leaders are Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/Pacific, dominated by searches to and from London and Seoul, respectively. It now remains to be hoped that aviation can also reasonably serve the rapidly growing volume of demand, which is still questionable, at least in the summer of 2022. Read more
- No improvement in sight at German airports: There have been massive problems at Germany’s airports for weeks: According to Verdi, the shortage of staff in all service areas on the ground, such as security control, check-in or baggage handling, is particularly affecting the major airports such as Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf. Lufthansa alone plans to cancel 900 flights in Frankfurt and Munich in July. However, German Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) does not expect the situation at airports with numerous flight cancellations and delays to improve soon. „The situation in the European air transport system is an enormous challenge for everyone,“ Wissing said. The shortage of skilled workers is increasingly reaching people’s everyday lives, he added. Short-term solutions are rather unlikely, he said. „The summer will be chaotic,“ was the assessment of Verdi deputy chair Christine Behle. The cause, she said, is the forced European competition at airports and the resulting savings in personnel costs of 30 to 40% through outsourcing and tariff evasion. The lockdown at the airports during the Corona pandemic had also led to short-time work and layoffs at service providers, and employees had sought other jobs. That staff is massively lacking now, when bookings are up significantly again, he said. „It’s going to be dramatic,“ Behle warned. Read more
- Wizz Air expects operating loss: The chaos at airports as a result of staff shortages is causing problems for the loss-making low-cost airline Wizz Air: The board of directors expects an operating loss in the first quarter of the financial year, Wizz announced. Company CEO Jozsef Varadi stressed that the airline is „fully staffed“ and that the problem is not with its own staffing, but with airports not having enough air traffic controllers and security personnel, leading to flight delays. The Hungary-based carrier reported a loss of EUR 642.5 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, compared with a loss of EUR 576 million a year earlier. Read more
- Galapagos: In April 2022, around 26,500 tourists arrived – around seven percent more than in April 2019. This trend also continued in May with 22,972 visitors. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, more international than national guests were counted. From January to May, 108,244 tourists visited the archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. According to national park statistics, visitor numbers from Europe are also on the rise again. From January to March 2022 alone, the national park registered almost 2000 German guests (after a total of 2700 in 2021). Another encouraging aspect for local tourism managers is that the length of stay is increasing. On average, Galapagos guests now stay six nights.
- Myanmar: The military junta in Myanmar wants to attract vacationers from all over the world again, despite the ongoing violence in the country. Recently, interested parties from 100 countries have again been able to apply online for a tourist visa, including from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. However, experts urgently warn against visiting the former Burma.
- USA: The Biden administration lifted the Covid 19 testing requirement for inbound air travelers from foreign countries on Sunday, ending one of the longest-running travel restrictions related to the pandemic. The change went into effect Sunday Eastern Time. Airlines and other travel industry representatives not only in the U.S. but also in key source markets had repeatedly called on the U.S. government to lift the rule, saying it was hurting demand for international travel both to the U.S. and abroad.
- Israel: Israel joins the World Tourism Network. The WTN represents small and medium-sized enterprises with members in 128 nations. Tourism in Israel accounts for 2.8 percent of the country’s gross value added (GVA) and 3.6 percent of total employment. About 141,000 people are employed in Israel’s tourism industry, according to the OECD. According to Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, the coronavirus crisis disrupted growing tourism rates, which peaked in 2019 with more than 4.5 million visitors.
- Mexico: Mexico has set a new record for tourism revenue so far this year. According to the national statistics agency INEGI, inbound tourism spending in the first four months of the year exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Between January and April, the country recorded USD 8.67 billion in tourism receipts. This is 3.7% more than the same period in 2019, and more than 90% of this came from air arrivals to the country. International air arrivals spent an average of USD 1153 per person, up 9.8% from pre-pandemic figures.
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.