Please note: the following information has been compiled from the most important German-speaking Trade Media.
Short Situational Overview – DACH region
- 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 76 % of the German population are now fully vaccinated, 69,4% in Switzerland and 74% 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
- Future of travel agencies depends on success with hybrid customers: The younger the clientele, the higher the proportion of those who book exclusively online, according to a survey by the Centouris research institute. Vacationers who book exclusively at travel agencies are now in the minority in all age groups. Two-thirds of 18- to 26-year-olds book trips exclusively online; among 27- to 41-year-olds, the figure is still 60 percent, the market researchers found. Among 42- to 56-year-olds, half book exclusively online, while baby boomers and the post-war generation still account for 40 percent. Only among the over 77s are online-only bookers a clear minority at 28 percent. The most important motives for booking at a travel agency are personal advice (77%) and an offer that is individually tailored to personal wishes (51%). Behind it follows with large distance that journeys were so not bookable in the net (18%) or the concern of a possible uncertainty of on-line reservations. For on-line reservations speaks in the eyes of the clientele that they can take place from at home (65%) and the expectation of lower prices (49%). Above all, travel agencies could make up for the convenience aspect if, in addition to the usual store opening hours, they offered advice by appointment and optionally by telephone or video conference, says Mang. In addition, it is important to keep attracting customers‘ attention. The best way to do this, he says, is to provide customers with targeted, suitable offers and to keep in touch with them before, during and after their trip on the channels of their choice. This is of great importance not only for younger customer groups, but also for the large segment of baby boomers with high purchasing power. Read more
- German vacationers book trips to EU destinations: German vacationers book trips to EU-According to an Emarsys survey, more than half of the German citizens surveyed want to take a vacation this year despite the effects of the Corona pandemic. About one-fifth of respondents have already booked a trip, with 22.8 percent still undecided. 13.6 percent of trips are still in the planning phase. 33.9 percent of respondents said they plan to spend this year’s vacation in Germany, while 27.6 percent want to travel abroad. It is striking that only 7.7 percent of respondents want to spend their vacation outside Europe. Travelers expect high safety standards from travel providers. 28.1 percent want to be covered for corona-related changes when they book. For 20.9 percent, compliance with hygiene regulations is particularly important. 33.4 percent of respondents want their travel providers to offer a money-back guarantee, while 26.8 percent expect flexible rebooking options and 15.8 percent regular updates on changes to corona measures in the destination region. Read more
- Vacation travel in part significantly more expensive than 2019: Since tourism has picked up again this year, tour operators have been rejoicing over higher sales per guest. However, they recently did not attribute this to price increases, but explained that average prices were significantly higher than in the previous year because more package tours were booked instead of individual services and customers often chose higher room categories. A current evaluation by Holidaycheck for Reise vor9 now shows that vacationers in the most important travel countries are definitely facing price increases. For the period from November 1 to April 30, the portal compared the prices per person and night with those of 2019. It turned out that by the bank a strong price increase is to be registered. Thus the tariffs in Egypt rose by 27 per cent. But also stays in Greece and Spain are significantly more expensive than before the Corona pandemic, with an increase of 16 percent. In Turkey, overnight rates are 15 percent higher than in 2019, and in Portugal, 14 percent higher. There are many possible reasons for this. For example, hotel capacity in some places is lower than before the Corona crisis because not all establishments have survived the shutdown. In addition, staff shortages tend to lead to higher salaries. High fuel prices are also likely to contribute to further price increases because they drive up suppliers‘ costs. For the upcoming summer, most experts expect that customers will not let rising prices dampen their desire to travel. Current booking data seems to confirm this. Read more
Current major topics within the aviation industry in Germany and Europe
- Aviation groans under personnel bottlenecks: Lufthansa was hit cold in April. The carrier canceled a number of domestic flights, citing staff shortages at Frankfurt Airport as the reason. Now, competitor British Airways has to cancel planned connections on a larger scale. IT glitches and thin staffing levels are said to have already led to the cancellation of 1,400 flights at the British airline since the beginning of April. The airline is now foregoing five percent of its planned summer capacity. This means British Airways will offer 80 percent of its pre-crisis capacity in the summer, said the head of parent company IAG. Most of the cuts will affect European traffic. Easyjet is taking a different approach. „This summer we will operate our British A319 fleet with a maximum of 150 passengers and three cabin crew members on board,“ the airline said. To do so, the low-cost carrier is taking one row of seats off the plane. This is because with a capacity of more than 150 passengers, four cabin crew members must be on board for safety reasons. TUI Airways in Great Britain has a problem with the caterer. According to Travel Weekly, the airline is experiencing staff shortages, which is why fewer meals and drinks can be offered on some short- and medium-haul flights. A similar phenomenon also plagued Lufthansa in the second half of April. Because the catering company Gate Gourmet was short of staff, no catering could be offered in economy class on some European flights from Frankfurt. Read more
- High fuel price pushes first airlines towards the abyss: With the price of fuel already nearly quadrupling this year, Nigerian airlines threatened last Friday to suspend all domestic flights in protest starting Monday, May 9, 2022, according to the BBC. Currently, a liter costs 700 naira ($1.69). „No airline in the world can cope with this sudden shock of such an astronomical increase in such a short period of time,“ said a statement from the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), which represents Nigeria’s nine national airlines. Due to intense pressure from the government, consumer advocates and customers, AON canceled the planned protest just hours before it was to be implemented. Ibom Air said passengers had already paid for flights and that the airline intended to meet its obligations. The main reason for the price increase was the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February and accompanying international sanctions, it said. According to AON, the airlines had already had to subsidize their own service in the past four months. Due to a fuel shortage, there had been many flight cancellations and delays since March. Ticket prices have also increased threefold on some routes in recent weeks, he said. Nigerian passengers pay for tickets in the local currency, the naira, which has lost value. AON has asked the government, members of parliament, the state oil company and the Association of Oil Sellers to do something to reduce costs. The price increases cannot be passed on one-to-one to passengers, who „already have enough difficulties,“ according to AON.
- Fraport starts the year with quarterly loss: The Frankfurt Airport Group Fraport has written down a high double-digit million amount in connection with its minority interest in St. Petersburg Airport. This had a negative impact on the quarterly results now published. With revenue up 40 percent to just under €540 million, Fraport shareholders incurred a loss of €108 million in the first quarter (Q1 2021: -64.9 million). The company thus performed worse than analysts had expected on average. Read more
- Destination La Palma invites to the webinar: The German-language online training informs interested parties on June 9 about sights, numerous vacation activities and the special characteristics of „La Isla Bonita“, the authentic and greenest Canary Island La Palma. Mild year-round climate, rugged volcanic terrain, the largest sinkhole in the world and black sand beaches make the island a popular destination especially for those seeking relaxation and hiking. Traditional arts and crafts and a wide range of cultural events round out the portfolio.
- Gebeco with four webinars in May: The operator wants to inform the travel agencies in May in four webinars about news and important topics. On 12. it concerns new journeys, approximately to Belgium, into the Provence or to Viet Nam. Which highlights Turkey has to offer culture travelers, is explained on 17. Sustainability is on the agenda on the 18th and Israel on the 31st.
- Abu Dhabi launches 2022 summer campaign: Abu Dhabi aims to become a leading international cruise destination. Cooperation with international tour operators is to be deepened. Abu Dhabi’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism aims to drive its summer campaign at the Arabian Travel Market with a series of new initiatives and global partnerships. Above all, Abu Dhabi aims to become a leading international destination for cruises.
- Brazil: Ceara Region on Roadshow: What the Brazilian state of Ceara has to offer besides the capital Fortaleza and the surfing mecca Jericoacoara will be presented to tourism professionals at a roadshow in May. This will take place in Hamburg, Berlin, Leipzig and Munich.
- Laos: Laos was one of the last countries in Southeast Asia to relax entry rules for international tourists. Travelers who have been twice vaccinated against the Corona virus can now visit the smallest country in the Mekong region without restrictions. Corona tests are not required before or after entry. However, German citizens must apply for a visa at a Laotian embassy or via the online visa systems before traveling.
- New Zealand: New Zealand will reopen its borders to travelers from all over the world for the first time on July 31 – two months earlier than initially planned. The testing requirement could also be dropped by the end of July, but no final decision has yet been made on this, as New Zealand media reported.
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.