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
- Sentiment in sales deteriorates: In March, the climate index deteriorated from 149.8 to 139.4 points, and the situation assessment from 163.1 to 153.7 points. The situation is no different for expectations: Here, a decline from 138.5 to 127.7 points was recorded in March compared with the previous month. The up-and-down trend of recent months is thus continuing. In terms of the assessment of the situation, 74.5 percent of the companies (both stationary and online) gave the rating „good“ (February: 77.7 percent). A „satisfactory“ rating was awarded by 22.5 percent (February: 19.6 percent), while 2.3 percent rated the situation as „poor“ (February: 2.7 percent). 46.5 percent of the companies surveyed expect demand for travel services to increase in the next six months compared with the previous year (February: 60.7 percent). That they will remain the same is the opinion of 49.5 percent (February: 33.9 percent). 4.0 percent expect demand to fall (February: 5.4 percent). The fundamental deterioration in sentiment in March is related, among other things, to the fact that travel sales had recorded a boom in bookings for summer 2023, particularly in the first two months of the current year. Demand inevitably declined in March, but this does not mean that 2023 will be a bad travel year for distribution. Read more
- Tourism in Germany reduces its greenhouse gas emissions: Research by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center also shows that the industry’s emissions intensity continues to decline. In 2010, the sector emitted 0.55 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions for every euro generated by travel in Germany. In 2019, when the travel and tourism sector reached its highest level of activity, this value decreased by 22 percent to 0.43 kilograms per euro. The lowest value was reached in 2021 at 0.36 kilograms per euro. Julia Simpson, president and CEO of WTTC, said, „Our data shows that Germany is one of the few travel and tourism countries that is reducing its absolute emissions while continuing to grow year on year. Read more
- Travel and Tourism Deal Activity Down 60.4% in February 2023: The global travel and tourism industry, struggling to recover from the slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is facing another setback with a significant drop in deal activity. The industry, which relies heavily on investment and strategic partnerships, saw a sharp 2023% year-on-year (YoY) decline in transaction activity in February 60.4. Industry analysis shows that deal volume in the sector more than halved from 111 deals announced in February 2022* to 44 deals announced in February 2023. The decline underscores the continued uncertainty and challenges, including changing consumer behavior and economic volatility, facing the travel and tourism industry. For example, the U.S., which happens to be the top market in terms of transaction volume, in February 71.9 recorded a decline in transaction volume by 2023% UK recorded a significant year-on-year decline in transaction volume by 46.2%. Meanwhile, Japan, Germany and Spain did not even see the announcement of a single deal during the month. The decline in deal activity in the travel and tourism industry is a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges and uncertainties in trying to recover from the pandemic. Read more
- Boost for wellness and yoga travel: Treat yourself – since Corona, vacations for many Germans have been under this buzzword. The trend toward taking care of oneself, one’s health and one’s own well-being – even on vacation – existed even before the pandemic. But Corona has reinforced the trend after travel deprivation and deprivation. „People are much more aware of health and a strong immune system, and in fact they continue to be,“ says Claudia Wagner, managing director of Fit Reisen, a specialist in wellness and health travel. That drives the reservations for Yoga and Wellness trips further upward. There is a longing for wellness, time out, relaxation and a stress-free time after the past three years have been really demanding for everyone, Wagner says. This also coincides with the results of the „Travel Forecasts for 2023“ study commissioned by Booking.com. According to this study, many travelers not only want to treat themselves to some time off this year, but also want to go one step further and pamper their body, mind and soul. Meanwhile, 42 percent of travelers want to focus on their mental and physical health. Almost half (44 percent) would like to take part in meditation or mindfulness courses. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- Lufthansa is pushing ahead with the founding of a new airline: City Airlines is the name of the upcoming new airline from Lufthansa. On its own website, the airline presents itself as the „youngest member of the Lufthansa Group“ that is „full of drive. City Airlines will initially be based in Munich. From there, the short- and medium-haul carrier plans to fly to major European cities and remote regions, according to its website. At first, „Aerotelegraph“ had reported. It is not yet clear exactly when the new LH subsidiary will take off. Job postings are announced on the website for the summer. This is no coincidence: June 30 marks the end of the peace agreement reached last fall with the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union. The agreement reached with the union also provided for work on establishing a new airline – until now there had always been talk of a Cityline 2 – to be largely put on hold. It is not yet clear when City Airlines will be launched. According to earlier statements, the newcomer could operate about 40 aircraft. A first Airbus 319 could soon move from the Lufthansa Cityline fleet to the new LH offshoot, Aerotelegraph reports. Read more
- Air France summer schedule 2023 at pre-crisis levels: Air France publishes details of its 2023 summer schedule, led by more flights to Asia, North America and East Africa. In total, the airline will again fly up to 835 times daily to 191 destinations in 89 countries from April to October. The 2023 summer season marks a turning point in Air France’s long-haul schedule in particular, it said, with the resumption of service to China also leading to the return of several Asian flights. As the airline informs, this will see flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong gradually increase over the course of the spring to reach one daily flight per destination or 21 flights per week by July 1. Read more
- Masses of lawsuits against airlines: According to the German Judges‘ Association, the numbers increased by around 40 percent to more than 70,000 cases in 2022 – with an upward trend. Customers mostly demand compensation for canceled or delayed flights. At just under 18,000 cases, the highest volume was at the Cologne District Court, according to a survey conducted by the „Deutsche Richterzeitung“ and referred to by the association. It is followed by Frankfurt am Main with more than 11,300 and Düsseldorf with just under 9,000 such complaints. Behind them is the Königs Wusterhausen district court, which is responsible for the capital’s BER airport, with more than 7000 cases. According to Stephan Lehmann, the director of the local court, the trend is continuing this year: of the total of 2808 new civil lawsuits, around 90 percent of the cases involve claims by airline passengers. A large proportion of these cases are „filed in a professional manner,“ Lehmann described. According to the Frankfurt district court, flight and travel claims accounted for 44 percent of all new civil cases last year. The average length of proceedings is 5.9 months, a court spokesman said. After the corona year of 2021, air traffic in Germany picked up significantly last year. The ADV airport association counted 165 million passengers in 2022, a good 110 percent more than the year before. The pre-crisis level of 2019 was still 34.1 percent short of the number of guests. Despite the low volume, there were a large number of flight cancellations and delays in the summer because airports, airlines and other service providers had not hired enough qualified staff for the restart after the pandemic. Read more
- SunExpress expects another record year: SunExpress, a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, has already welcomed 10.7 million passengers on board its flights in 2022, setting a new passenger record. According to the airline, 6.48 million of these came from the DACH region. In the 2023 summer season, the vacation specialist is now expanding its route network by 26 new routes, 9 of which are in the DACH region alone, which corresponds to the largest expansion in the company’s history. As a result of these expansions, SunExpress therefore expects more than 12 million passengers by the end of the year – of which more than half – 7.35 million – are to be passengers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Read more
- Flight restrictions in German airspace in June: The German Armed Forces will host the largest redeployment exercise of air forces since NATO came into existence from June 12 to 23. This is the „Air Defender 2023“ exercise, which will take place over Germany. „In the exercise areas described, all flights, including the operation of model aircraft and unmanned aerial systems, are prohibited with the exception of aircraft participating in the exercise. Exempted from the flight restrictions are state aircraft, flights of the federal and state police forces, flights in rescue and disaster control operations, as well as ambulance flights and flights according to instrument flight rules after prior approval by the responsible air traffic control unit,“ the Bundeswehr explained in a letter. Read more
- Ecuador: At least 15 people were killed in a major earthquake in southern Ecuador and northern Peru on Saturday. According to the Ecuadorian presidency, at least eleven people died in the province of El Oro. Two more fatalities were reported in Azuay province, according to the report. The center of the 6.8-magnitude quake was in Balao, south of the port city of Guayaquil, authorities said. The tremors were also felt in other cities such as Quito, Manabí and Manta, according to users on online networks. The quake also shook northern Peru.
- Israel: The Israeli Ministry of Tourism and the Israel Land Authority (ILA) have joined forces to promote wine tourism in the land where water became wine. The ILA is planning two complexes in the wine park in Zichron Ya’acov. The wine park tourist complex covers a total area of about 606,000 square meters in Zichron Ya’acov. In addition to 265 hotel rooms and accommodation units, the program also includes approximately 200 residential units under construction for wine industry and tourism employees, as well as public facilities. Israel is one of the oldest wine-producing countries in the world. The cultivation of vines can be traced back to biblical times. The six wine regions extend from north to south over a total of 13,600 hectares of cultivated land.
- Italy: After long years of back and forth, the Italian government plans to build a bridge connecting mainland Italy with the island of Sicily. The cabinet of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni approved a decree to this effect on Thursday evening, which provides for „urgent measures for the construction of a stable connection between Sicily and Calabria“. At about 3.2 kilometers long, the bridge would be one of the longest cable-supported bridges in the world, according to Salvini. The idea of such a bridge dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. Until now, the only way to reach Sicily from the mainland has been by air or ferry.Parliament now has two months to turn the decree into law. According to Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, construction is to begin as early as 2024.
- Lithuania: This year, Lithuania’s capital Vilnius celebrates 700 years of existence. A long time – which has left behind a rich treasure and great attractions, especially in cultural terms. The old town with its almost 1,500 historic buildings is a World Heritage Site.
- Oman: Oman counted 3.5 million international guests before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. The sultanate wants to get back there – and fast. „We are counting on reaching the 2019 numbers again this year,“ says Haitham Mohammed Al Ghassani, director general of tourism promotion at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism. Oman has been on a good path recently: in 2022, the tourism office already registered a good 2.9 million visitors again. Among them were almost 82,000 German guests (2021: 17,000). Well over half of them – 49,359 – came to the country only briefly as cruise travelers. The remaining 32,470 German travelers reached Oman by plane – and generally stayed longer than the average cruise guest. „Germany did better than many other source markets,“ says Al Ghassani. Although here, too, there is still a significant gap with pre-Corona figures. In 2019, for example, more than 67,000 German travelers visited Oman by air. In addition, there were nearly 112,000 cruise guests. However, Al Ghassani now wants to close the gap quickly.
- Tanzania: Africa’s Biggest festival, FESTAC Africa 2023, sets stage in Tanzania’s Northern Tourist City of Arusha in May of this year, with expectations to draw key African big names from all corners of the world. FESTAC is a celebration of Cultures and Heritage in the form of arts, fashion, music, storytelling, poetry, film, short stories, travel, tourism, hospitality, food and dance, through live performances from various countries of the continent and across the world, sharing and showcasing their richness in their culture. The forthcoming FESTAC Africa 2023 – Destination Arusha to be staged from May 21 to 27 is the World’s Fourth Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. It provides a platform for businesses to connect with the right network.
- Thailand: In the long term, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) wants to move away from mass tourism. So-called sustainable high-quality travel would be targeted. With this strategy, the tourism advertisers want to offer more experiences for the guests on the one hand, but at the same time also protect nature and safeguard the interests of the local population. To ensure that the shift away from volume tourism is successful, TAT has identified four target groups with high purchasing power: The wealthy from around the world, as well as well-off retirees, digital nomads and highly qualified professionals. Furthermore, TAT has three generations in mind: baby boomers, as well as generations Y and Z. Looking at travel behavior, tourism advertisers want to woo health and wellness, honeymooners and responsible travelers. With green tourism in mind, 17 goals have now been defined for gradual implementation to improve products and services. In the hotel industry, the Green Leaf program is intended to be the first step in establishing ecological standards. Around 250 hostels in the country now bear the certificate.
- UK: The United Kingdom will introduce a travel authorization requirement – the electronic travel authorization (ETA) – in November. The list of countries that will have to submit to the ETA from November 15, 2023, currently includes Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Immigrants who receive the ETA are allowed to stay in the United Kingdom for up to six months to visit family or friends, as well as for business, travel or study purposes, reports „Schengen Visa Info News.“
- USA: Almost six weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate the Corona vaccination requirement for foreign air travelers. US President Joe Biden now wants to retain the presentation of the vaccination certificate, probably until May 11, 2023. While almost all other anti-Covid measures in the USA have already been abolished, this is one of the few that are expected to remain in place for a few more weeks. The requirement that generally people entering the United States by air must also test negative for Covid-19 was already removed in the middle of last year. The testing requirement also no longer applies to travelers from China.
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