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
- How inflation affects the travel habits of Germans: Due to general price increases, three quarters of Germans want to put the brakes on their vacation plans. 56 percent say they want to reduce the number of trips they take this year. One in two is prepared to make sacrifices in terms of comfort, scope of activities and length of vacation. Around 60 percent want to treat themselves to short breaks and events less often this year. In principle, according to the survey, all types of travel are affected by possible savings. However, there are differences when it comes to the choice of accommodation: travelers tend to cut back less on less expensive accommodation such as vacation apartments or camping than on more expensive accommodation in vacation resorts. Thus, 78 percent of respondents would reduce their vacation in resorts and clubs with wellness facilities as a result of high inflation. Hotel accommodation and self-catering apartments are less affected, at 68 percent. If it is financially possible, people still want to travel again in 2022, albeit increasingly cost-consciously. Thus, 60 percent of Germans say that vacations in Germany are an option for them, and for 51 percent also abroad. Read more
- Sentiment maintains high level: Expectations remain good, and the current situation is even significantly better than in May. This is a brief summary of the current sales climate index in stationary sales. In terms of the assessment of the current situation, the „good“ ratings have now improved by almost 20 points compared with May, to just under 65 percent. The „Satisfactory“ assessments also decreased correspondingly to just under 28 percent. „An unchanged 7 percent rated their situation as „poor. Expectations regarding demand for travel services in the next six months have changed little compared with the same period last year. Here, the figure of 74.5 percent of respondents expecting demand to rise – which is not surprising compared with the crisis year of 2021 – is roughly on a par with the May figure. The picture is similar for the answers „remain the same“ and „decline“. Read more
- Hotel occupancy above 2019 level since April: According to data from Amadeus‘ Demand 360 application, global hotel reservations reached pre-Corona levels in March and were above April 2019 numbers in April. In May, occupancy rose to a new high of 63 percent, up from 60 percent in May 2019. According to forward-looking occupancy data, the summer months of June, July and August are currently one percent below 2019 levels, Amadeus said. The last-minute trend continues, with 54 percent of global travel booked up to seven days before departure, so Amadeus said hotel occupancy rates for the summer months could still increase significantly. The proportion of very short-term bookings is particularly high in the U.S., at 55 percent. In Germany, 35 percent of bookings are received up to seven days before the hotel stay. This proportion is similarly high in France (33 percent) and Spain (36 percent). In the UK, it is 39 percent. Read more
Current major topics within the aviation industry in Germany and Europe
- Airlines could return to profit as early as 2023: Airlines all over the world could put the economic consequences of the Corona pandemic behind them sooner than expected. This is the assumption of the International Air Transport Association Iata. Accordingly, the industry could return to surplus as early as next year. The recovery will be driven, among other things, by the airlines‘ good business in the USA, where Iata expects a profit of around 8.8 billion U.S. dollars (8.3 billion euros) for the coming year. The revised Iata forecast for the current year also shows that the airline industry is regaining its former strength more quickly than originally thought. For 2022, the airline association expects an industry-wide loss of only the equivalent of 9.2 billion euros. At the end of 2021, the association was still expecting a loss of a good eleven billion euros. Iata puts revenue for 2022 at 752 billion euros – which would correspond to 93.5 percent of the pre-crisis level from 2019. For European airlines, Iata now still predicts a loss for 2022 of 3.7 billion euros. Capacity on offer is expected to return to an annual average of 90 percent of pre-crisis levels. Read more
- Staff shortage at airport – Vienna Airport & AUA consider themselves well prepared: „In Vienna, we and our partners managed to keep as many staff as possible in employment, especially through the instrument of short-time work, and they are now back on full duty. However, this is not the case at many other airports that we also serve,“ explained AUA spokeswoman Sophie Matkovits. This means that AUA will be able to operate all its aircraft again in the summer. From the current point of view, stable flight operations are possible, but the airlines alone are not responsible for smooth flight operations. The interaction of all partners at home and abroad is necessary. Vienna Airport also emphasized that it is well positioned for the summer. „With a staffing level of 80% from the pre-Corona year 2019, the airport can cover the current and expected passenger volume well,“ said airport spokesman Peter Kleemann. He added that passenger traffic is currently at about 70% of pre-crisis levels and will not reach the record levels of 2019 even in the summer, despite the peak travel season. At Vienna Airport, the entire team – around 5,000 employees – has been back from short-time work since April. „In addition, Vienna Airport is currently taking on new staff on an ongoing basis, especially in the areas of security control, passenger and ground handling,“ Kleemann said. More than 100 new employees were hired recently. Read more
- Is the summer of strikes about to begin?: A large number of security personnel went on strike at Brussels Airport on Monday, June 20. The security guards participated in a national day of protest of the trade unions. Thus, the airport was out of service, no flights took off. Only landing flights and cargo flights were handled. But that’s not all – the pilots of the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair also want to lay down their work next week and join the strike of the on-board staff. The action at Ryanair is taking place at the same time as the strike at the Belgian airline Brussels Airlines, where pilots and cabin crew will also be striking next weekend. It is also well known that many airlines have ramped up their schedules far too quickly and too optimistically and are now having to cancel many flights again due to staff shortages, as is well known with Swiss. As became known this morning, Easyjet will have to cancel significantly more flights than already announced. Initially it was said that 97 percent of flight operations could be maintained, but now there is only talk of 90 percent according to the BBC. As a reminder, Easyjet carries 250,000 passengers a day. The remaining staff in the airline industry, who now have to shoulder a lot more work because of the staff shortage, have in any case shown themselves willing to strike in these weeks. Further trouble is on the horizon at Ryanair. The Spanish unions are no longer willing to accept the harsh working conditions. They are now planning six strikes starting June 24 throughout Spain, with Palma Airport also affected. Meanwhile, in Northern Europe, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) unions have called for a general strike starting June 29, 2022. If this strike is implemented, there would be no SAS flights to and from Norway, Denmark and Sweden in the middle of the summer holiday season – which in some cases has already started, for example in Norway… Read more
- Passenger numbers approaching pre-crisis levels: In total, the German commercial airports organized in the ADV recorded 15.8 million arriving and departing passengers in May. This represents an increase of a good 386 percent compared with the same month last year. Compared with the pre-crisis year 2019, flight load figures in May were again at 70.5 percent. Even though passenger numbers increased in all segments, the importance of domestic air traffic continues to decline. With just over two million passengers, there was admittedly an increase of almost 346 percent on domestic German routes compared to 2021. However, compared to 2019, May 2022 still lagged behind by 53.6 percent. European and intercontinental traffic developed significantly better. For example, passenger traffic on flights to and from Europe reached nearly 11.4 million passengers in May, 78 percent of the May 2019 figure, and airports in this segment saw passenger growth of more than 395 percent compared to May 2021. Intercontinental demand grew 395 percent year-over-year to nearly 2.4 million passengers. This represents a return to carrying more than two-thirds of travelers (68.9 percent) compared to May 2019. From January to May, ADV member airports recorded more than 51.4 million passengers, just under half as many in the same period of 2019. Read more
- Turkey: The Turkish vacation region of Antalya has made it to the top of TUI’s best-booked destinations in the summer months. „We are very pleased that Turkey is once again one of the most popular summer destinations for our TUI guests this year,“ says David Szabo, Head of Operations TUI Austria.
- Italy: With dramatic curves and steep slopes, Italy’s Amalfi Coast has become an iconic road trip destination, which has meant traffic chaos during peak season. As a result, the region is implementing a license plate system where only cars with even or odd numbers are allowed to drive each day on an alternating basis, cabs and buses excluded. The rules will apply in August and on weekends from June 15 to Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily – including for rental cars. Residents of 13 cities are breathing a sigh of relief, hoteliers are running up a storm against it.
- Thailand: The country is relaxing entry rules, abolishing the Thailand passport and removing the requirement to wear a mask outdoors. From July 1, travelers will only have to present a vaccination card or a negative corona test on arrival. The previously required online registration for the so-called „Thailand Passport“ for entry will be eliminated.
- Fiji: After a two-year break, cruise ships are now allowed to call at Fiji again under certain conditions. All passengers must be vaccinated and undergo a Corona rapid test within 24 hours prior to shore leave. In addition, travel medical insurance is required to cover Corona infection.
- Iran: Iran’s tourism suffers due to dubious arrests. USA, Canada and Great Britain warn against traveling to Iran. According to the State Department in Washington, tourists are also at risk of arbitrary arrest or even imprisonment. Until now, only people with dual citizenship were considered at risk. In recent months, there have been several cases in which tourists have been detained on charges of espionage.
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