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
- Business climate in the travel industry improves: The Ifo Business Climate Index for this category was 36.9 points in March, 13.1 points more than in the previous month. This is according to Ifo data available to fvw|TravelTalk. In March of the previous year, the index was still at minus 9.4 points. Sentiment in the German economy as a whole has also improved. The general Ifo business climate index rose to 93.3 points in March, up from 91.1 points in February. This is the fifth increase in a row. The main drivers of the upward trend were companies‘ expectations. However, companies also assessed current business somewhat better. Read more
- This is what travel should look like in the year 2070: The report, commissioned by airline Easyjet, predicts innovations in airports, air travel, accommodations and overall vacation experiences. By 2070, biomimetic sensory aircraft seats could become a reality, according to the report. This would involve smart materials that adapt to passengers‘ body shape, size, weight and temperature to provide tailored in-flight comfort. Optoelectronic entertainment projected directly in front of passengers‘ eyes, digital vacation concierges, 3D-printed buffet food, heartbeat passes and time-travel vacation experiences are also conceivable. Likewise, all hotel rooms could have smart features – with precise mattress firmness, room temperatures and music playlists tailored to each guest. Thanks to in-ear devices that translate the local language in real time, travelers in a wide variety of countries could find their way around more easily than today. Other innovations that could become reality in 2070 include: Underground hotels, a holographic personal vacation concierge, vacation previews before bookings are made, and e-vtol air cabs that make getting to the terminal by air more convenient. Read more
- Travel managers paint cautiously optimistic picture for business travel sector: A new report from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and software developer Spotnana fuels hopes for an early recovery in the business travel sector. According to the report, a majority (about 76 percent) of the 151 U.S. travel managers surveyed expect their travel purchases to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. Only one-tenth do not anticipate such a return until 2025. According to GBTA, the main reasons for this view are inflation and rising prices, but also travel disruptions and the possibility of a coming recession. A minority of 19 percent of travel managers are therefore already limiting business travel bookings. While 64 percent do not intend to reduce their travel purchases, savings will be made on travel itself in the future: 54 percent of travel managers and 65 percent of business executives say they will give cost savings a higher priority in the future. Read more
- TUI is tackling the repayment of the Corona bailouts: „Today, TUI’s Executive Board, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, resolved a capital increase with subscription rights of 1.8 billion euros,“ reads a statement issued early Friday morning. For this purpose, 328,910,448 new shares are to be issued with a subscription ratio of 8:3 – eight new shares for every three existing shares. The subscription price is to be 5.55 euros. The period for this measure is March 28 to April 17, 2023. TUI will use the proceeds to fully repay or buy back at market value the „Silent Participation I“ provided by the German Federal Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) with a nominal value of 420 million euros and the outstanding warrant bond including warrants of 59 million euros plus accrued interest. Read more
- Demand for luxury cruises on the rise: „Demand for exclusive cruises on smaller ships is rising sharply,“ reports Steffen Boehnke, Director airtours. „Long since no longer just a guarantee of relaxation and excellent service at sea, luxury cruises offer a variety of unique experiences and intense encounters that will be remembered for a long time. This trend applies generally in the luxury segment, and is developing particularly in the cruise sector.“ Exceptional itineraries are the focus here. „Every fourth cruise guest at airtours books an expedition trip.“ Many expeditions visit places that are mostly inaccessible by land. These include polar expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic as well as expedition trips to tropical countries. Read more
- Motel One reports new records: With sales of 639 million euros in 2022 (2021: 238 million euros), the group is making corporate history. The company continues to grow strongly – also in Germany. This is according to a recent announcement by the company. According to the statement, business has quickly stabilized following the removal of the Corona restrictions in April 2022. For example, occupancy in the second half of the year, including all new openings, averaged 75 percent. In terms of the full financial year, an occupancy rate of 64 percent (2021: 30 percent) and a RevPar (revenue per available room) of 73 euros (2021: 30 euros) were realized. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- Geneva Airport closes in the black again: 2022 is marked by a significant resumption of business activity. Genève Aéroport achieves a positive result again. After deducting the share of profits paid to the Canton of Geneva, the profit amounts to CHF 46.3 million, compared to a loss of CHF 88.9 million in 2021. The number of passengers has more than doubled in one year, rising from 5.92 million in 2021 to 14.08 million in 2022 (+137.8%). This is still 21.4% less than in 2019. The total number of landings and takeoffs amounted to 163,168 movements and increases by 64.4% compared to 2021. This figure remains below (-12.3%) the 186,043 movements recorded in 2019. In 2022, Genève Aéroport records an operating profit of CHF 61.8 million before retrocession to the Canton of Geneva. This good result will allow the airport’s debt to be reduced by CHF 88 million to CHF 685 million at the end of 2022, Genève Aéroport writes. Read more
- Lufthansa Group Joins First Movers Coalition: The Lufthansa Group is leading the way in transforming the aviation industry with the goal of making flying more sustainable. Today, the Lufthansa Group becomes the first European airline group to join the First Movers Coalition (FMC). FMC is a global initiative led by the World Economic Forum and the U.S. Department of State. Since its launch at COP26 in 2021, it has been bringing together countries and companies worldwide to jointly promote the development and deployment of sustainable technologies of the future. By joining the First Movers Coalition, the Lufthansa Group commits itself to the use of state-of-the-art and innovative aviation fuel and propulsion technologies. It affirms its ambition to further advance the future of flying together with partners worldwide through innovation and technical know-how. In this context, the Lufthansa Group is committed to covering at least five percent of its fuel requirements with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by 2030. The Lufthansa Group has set itself ambitious climate protection goals and aims to achieve a neutral CO₂ balance by 2050. Already by 2030, the Lufthansa Group wants to halve its net CO₂ emissions compared to 2019 through reduction and compensation measures. Read more
- Deutsche Bahn expects long-distance traffic to set a record in 2023: Despite all the problems on the railroads, demand for Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance services continues to grow: the federally owned group expects 155 million passengers to travel on its own ICE and IC trains this year, dpa has learned from supervisory board circles. That would be a long-distance passenger record. Last year, according to the report, around 132 million passengers were transported there. In the previous record year 2019, it was 151 million. According to the coalition agreement, the German government wants to double the number of long-distance rail passengers by 2030 compared with 2015. In the view of many experts and the industry, this will require above all significantly more investment in rail. The network is considered to be completely outdated and overloaded in many places. This was one of the main reasons for the high level of unpunctuality last year. This week, the governing coalition has therefore held out the prospect of additional billions. It assumes an investment requirement of 45 billion euros by 2027. This is to be financed in the future, among other things, with the revenue from the truck toll, which is to be increased for this purpose.The governing coalition has therefore held out the prospect of additional billions this week. It anticipates an investment requirement of 45 billion euros by 2027. In the future, this is to be financed, among other things, with revenue from the truck toll, which is to be increased for this purpose. Read more
- Azerbaijan: As of 06:00 on March 28, foreign travellers will no longer be required to present COVID passports for entry into Azerbaijan. The decision was made in recognition of the declining number of COVID-19 cases and is expected to make travel easier for those wishing to visit Azerbaijan.
- China: China is taking the next step in reopening cruises in the country. Recently, the port of Shanghai reopened to a domestic cruise ship for the first time since the Corona pandemic outbreak more than three years ago. Authorities said this was part of an ongoing effort to reopen the port to international cruises as well.
- Germany: Switzerland remains the second most important source market for incoming Germany after Holland. Before Corona, there were 7.1 million overnight stays from Switzerland. In 2022, there were 5.8 million, about 82% of the level from the record year of 2019. The global comparison also shows how Swiss* like to travel to Germany: in 2021, the share from Switzerland of all overnight stays abroad was 9%. However, not only do many Swiss*ins travel to Germany, they are also mostly very satisfied with their stay in the neighboring country. Hiking trails, sports facilities, thermal spas, adventure pools and various events in Germany are particularly popular. Top activities for Mr. and Mrs. Swiss are with 79% city trips, with 74% Christmas markets and with 72% cultural offers. The most popular states for Swiss guests are Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse. The prospects for the rest of the year also look rosy: For the travel period January to June 2023, 10% of the Swiss* name Germany as a travel destination.
- Singapore: Singapore has been certified as a sustainable destination based on the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The Southeast Asian city-state is the first country in the world to which the certification process has been applied. The GSTC criteria define global standards for sustainable travel and tourism. The city-state was certified in four areas: sustainable management, socio-economic sustainability, cultural sustainability and environmental sustainability. GSTC certification illustrates Singapore’s commitment to achieving the goals of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and is in line with the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) sustainability strategy.
- Thailand: The post-pandemic recovery of tourism on the Thai resort island of Phuket was driven by an increase in Russian travelers during the peak season. An increase in regional visitors from India, Malaysia and Singapore in the fourth quarter of last year also set the stage for hotels and the service sector to pick up. The influx of tourists drove the market-wide occupancy rate for 2022 to 48%, up from a Covid-19-influenced low of 8% in 2021. Although the number of visitors was down sharply from the nearly one million visitors in 2019, length of stay increased by more than 50% from a normal average of 11 days. Despite positive economic indicators, however, Phuket has a new problem with transportation infrastructure, according to Barnett. Population growth, inland development expansion and surging tourism demand have created a massive traffic problem. Meanwhile, Thailand’s north is drowning in smog. For days, large parts of the region have been covered by such a thick bell of toxic smog that many residents are already struggling with health problems. The provinces of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, popular with tourists, are particularly badly affected. In the week between March 19 and 26, more than 3,400 people visited hospitals in Chiang Rai alone to be treated for respiratory problems and sore throats.
- USA: At $15.8 billion, monthly spending by U.S. tourists traveling abroad reached a new high in January. This is according to figures from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office, which is the equivalent of the GNTB in Germany. The amount, which is calculated from both the cost of travel to the vacation destination and on-site tourism activities, is also unmatched in a pre-pandemic comparison. In 2019, U.S. residents spent just $14.7 billion on travel.
- New York City: With a new brand identity, the city aims to attract travelers from around the world and drive tourism in the five boroughs. New York City’s economic boom continued in 2022, with more than 56 million travelers to the city – a 72.5% increase over 2021, and the city recorded 9.4 million international travelers visiting the five boroughs – more than triple the number in 2021. In addition, more than 1,200 events, meetings and conferences were held in 2022, attended by more than 4 million people. This activity marks the return of 85% of the city’s record attendance from 2019. At the annual meeting, President and CEO Fred Dixon unveiled the new name and identity for the official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for New York City’s five boroughs: New York City Tourism + Conventions. The destination’s new brand system, which targets travelers from around the world, includes a new brand strategy and a comprehensive visual identity system with a new logo, color standards, typography, artistic direction and graphic elements. The debut of the new name and brand identity was launched in conjunction with the #WhatsGoodNYC social media campaign, which taps into the strength of opinion of New York’s 8.5 million residents. The campaign offers insights and tips, as well as recommended activities and excursions across a variety of channels to encourage visitors and locals to explore all that New York City has to offer.
- San Francisco: The city enjoys great popularity among travelers. Last year, 21.9 million visitors traveled to the California metropolis, an increase of 29% (17 million in 2021). The return of international visitors, in particular, has been and continues to be exceptionally important to the city’s economic recovery. In 2022, the California metropolis welcomed 1.7 million international visitors. Returning European travelers were primarily responsible for the 211% increase over the previous year. According to initial forecasts, the number of international arrivals is expected to rise to 2 million this year. A record 2.9 million international visitors came in 2019. For the current year, the city expects around 23.9 million visitors. However, these results still fall short of those of 2019. In that record year, the city recorded 26.2 million guests who spent USD 9.6 billion. The tourism organization hopes to match pre-pandemic visitor spending as early as 2024 and visitor numbers a year later.
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