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 SLIGHTLY: The majority of travel agencies (56%) rate the current distribution of travel services as good, with a slight decrease compared to the previous month. Sales have increased for 64% of agencies in the last two to three months, while 26% report no change. However, sales volumes have decreased for 10% of agencies. About half of the agencies expect stable demand in the next six months, while 34% anticipate an increase and 14% expect a decrease. Regarding future earnings, 41% expect improvement, 13% anticipate a decline, and 46% foresee no change. Read more
- 78% OF AUSTRIANS PLAN SUMMER VACATIONS: According to a survey by the Austrian mobility club, the desire to travel among Austrians is higher than ever before. 78% of respondents are planning a summer vacation, with the average vacation budget slightly higher than the previous year at around EUR 1,070 per person. Despite inflation, Austrians are maintaining their travel plans, with 36% making adjustments due to rising costs. Sustainability is also becoming increasingly important, with one-third of participants prioritizing it when traveling. The top vacation destinations for Austrians are Italy, Croatia, and Germany, with 42% planning to explore Austria itself. The mode of transportation varies depending on whether individuals are traveling alone or with their families, with families often opting for private cars and solo travelers favoring trains. Air travel remains popular, chosen by 33% of respondents, while car travel is slightly declining in popularity. Read more
- TRAVEL EXPECTATIONS HIGH FOR THE SUMMER SEASON: Forward bookings data for May to September 2023 shows confidence in travel with a 35% increase compared to 2022 levels. According to a survey of 4,700 travelers in 11 countries, 79% plan to travel between June and August. While disruptions during peak travel season are expected, 80% anticipate smooth travel with resolved post-pandemic issues. The Asia Pacific region is expected to experience the most significant growth, followed by the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and North America. Collaboration and sufficient staffing are crucial to minimizing disruptions, and monitoring labor unrest, particularly in France, is necessary. Overall, industry players must deliver to meet the high expectations for the upcoming travel season. Read more
- MR. AND MRS. SWISS ARE ON THE ROAD MORE AGAIN: Private flight bookings by Swiss citizens increased by 12.5% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year, according to the „Travel Industry Trends 2023“ study by the Mastercard Economics Institute. The study revealed that leisure travel is the top priority, while business travel has also seen an increase since the second half of 2022. Globally, both leisure and business travel have grown by 42% compared to the same period last year. Travelers are eager to explore new places, meet friends and family, and have exciting experiences. Tourists visiting Switzerland have spent more on leisure activities, events, restaurants, and clubs, but reduced their purchases of consumer goods. Overall, tourist spending on experiences at vacation destinations has increased by 58.6% compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Chinese tourists, in particular, have started traveling to Europe again, with their spending nearing pre-pandemic levels. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- WITHOUT GERMANY, EUROPE WOULD BE AT PRE-CRISIS LEVEL: According to the German Aviation Association (BDL), the European air travel industry outside of Germany is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels in the coming months, driven by the Low-Cost Carriers. Punkt-zu-Punkt airlines such as Ryanair, Wizz Air, and Easyjet have significantly expanded their flights, resulting in a comparable seat capacity from May to October 2019. However, German airports will only offer around 84% of their pre-crisis capacity during this period. Berlin (68%) and Stuttgart (69%) have shown particularly weak performance. The analysis of flight schedules reveals that German airports will provide 133.4 million seats from May to October. Domestic air travel within Germany has declined the most, reaching only 55% of pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, low-cost carriers are avoiding German airports due to high fees, resulting in their capacity shrinking to 76% of pre-pandemic levels in the country. Read more
- EMIRATES AIRLINE ACHIEVES RECORDS AGAIN: Emirates Airline achieved a record-breaking profit of €2.75 billion in the 2022/23 fiscal year, showcasing a strong recovery in demand compared to the previous year’s loss of €1 billion. The airline’s revenue reached nearly €30 billion with 43.6 million passengers. They anticipate continued profitability in the current year, benefiting from the surge in travel demand. Emirates credits their success to careful planning, dedicated employees, and strong partnerships within the aviation industry. The airline has expanded operations and formed codeshare agreements with partners such as United Airlines and Air Canada. Read more
- RECORD FIGURES AT ZURICH AIRPORT: Zurich Airport experienced a significant surge in passenger traffic during April 2023, with a total of 2,450,409 passengers, representing a remarkable 34% increase compared to the previous year. This April set multiple records since the start of the pandemic, with passenger numbers reaching 90% of the levels seen in April 2019. The highest daily passenger count since the outbreak of COVID-19, with 95,196 passengers, was recorded on April 28, 2023. Additionally, local passengers accounted for 1,745,811 of the total, while transit passengers represented 29%. Flight movements increased by 15%, reaching 20,529 takeoffs or landings. The average number of passengers per flight increased by 11% to 136 passengers. Furthermore, the seat load factor rose by 6 percentage points to 81% compared to the previous year. In terms of cargo, 31,706 tons were handled at Zurich Airport in April 2023, reflecting a 14% decrease compared to the previous year and a 15% decrease compared to April 2019. Read more
- FRANKFURT AIRPORT CONTINUES TO GROW: In April, Frankfurt Airport experienced a continued recovery in passenger traffic, driven by the Easter travel wave. The airport recorded approximately 4.8 million passengers, marking a 21.5% increase compared to the previous year. However, passenger numbers were still 20% lower than April 2019, prior to the pandemic. Fraport, the airport operator, expects passenger traffic for the full year to reach 80-90% of the 2019 record level. On the other hand, cargo business declined with a decrease of 8.5% in freight and airmail volume compared to the previous year, totaling 154,926 metric tons. Read more
- SINGAPORE AIRLINES GROUP WITH HISTORY MAKING PROFIT: Singapore Airlines Group has announced its highest-ever revenues and net profit for the 2022/23 financial year, with CHF 11.89 billion in revenues and CHF 1.44 billion in net profit. The group’s proactive measures during the pandemic and strategic decisions have contributed to its financial resilience. Passenger capacity has reached 79% of pre-pandemic levels, with Singapore Airlines and Scoot carrying six times more passengers compared to the previous year. The group expects stable demand for air travel in the coming months and remains focused on its long-term strategy of acquiring new-generation aircraft to enhance its premium brand and reduce CO2 emissions. Read more
- AIR BALTIC WITH RECORD 1ST QUARTER RESULTS: Latvian airline Air Baltic achieved record revenue of EUR 105.1 million in the first quarter of the year, marking a 75% increase compared to 2022 and a 39% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Despite a threefold decrease in net profit to EUR -11.4 million, the airline’s business indicators showed positive momentum. Passenger numbers rose by 77% compared to the first quarter of 2022, with a load factor of 71.0%, up 8.5 percentage points from 2019. Air Baltic aims to further increase revenues and passenger volumes, with a target of EUR 700 million in revenues and 4.4 million passengers by the end of 2023. The airline also announced its new winter flight schedule, featuring 11 new routes, the highest number ever included in a new flight schedule. Read more
- CHILE: Chile has become one of the latest countries to lift entry restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All entry requirements, including the need for vaccination or test certificates, have been removed, even for individuals without permanent residence in the country. The mandatory completion of the C19 form has also been eliminated for some time. The mask requirement has been lifted, except in medical facilities where wearing face masks is still obligatory.
- FRANCE: The sale and filling of paddling pools and pools have been banned in the Pyrenées Orientales département, leading to concerns among local officials and businesses. The mayor of Port Vendres highlights the challenge of balancing the need for water conservation with the dependence on tourism for the local economy. Campsites, like „Camping Les Dunes,“ are making adjustments by limiting water usage and closing water attractions. The region relies on tourism and agriculture, with fruit growers worried about water scarcity affecting their harvest.
- ITALY: Heavy rains have flooded some cities in northern Italy, forcing residents onto rooftops. In Venice, authorities are preparing for a possible flood by activating a mobile barrier in the lagoon. In the city of Cesena in the Emilia-Romagna region, rivers burst their banks, forcing residents to rely on helicopter rescues. Dramatic rescues were carried out, with people swimming through the fast-flowing water to pull children and adults to safety. In total, about 900 people were evacuated, and residents were urged not to get into dangerous situations and to seek shelter in public facilities.
- JAMAICA: Jamaica was honored with the Destination Resilience Award at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace for its efforts during the pandemic and initiatives to build resilience in tourism. The award recognizes Jamaica’s commitment to achieving the UNWTO Sustainable Development Goals and implementing needs-based strategies with public and private stakeholders. Jamaica’s proactive response to the pandemic included establishing a Covid-19 Recovery Taskforce and implementing strict health and safety protocols. The island introduced Resilient Corridors and reopened to inbound travelers in June 2020. These efforts have paid off, as Jamaica has nearly matched its 2019 entry figures and achieved significant growth in 2023, surpassing the million mark one month earlier than the previous year.
- MALLORCA: With the end of the school year approaching in Spain, high school graduation trips to Mallorca are raising concerns due to excessive noise and alcohol consumption. In response, the local police in Llucmajor, which encompasses a section of Playa de Palma, are taking preventive measures. The municipality plans to implement nightly admission controls on the beach, including cordoning off the area and conducting bag checks at a single entrance. Items such as glass bottles and potential weapons will be confiscated, and stricter measures will be taken against illegal street vending. Police presence will also be increased near vacation homes to prevent disruptive loud parties. These intensified controls are expected to be in place from June 9 to July 7, with officers patrolling both in uniform and plain clothes.
- MONACO: The Monegasque Tourist Office has launched a new advertising campaign titled ‚Like Nowhere Else‘ to coincide with the start of the summer season in Monaco. The campaign aims to change perceptions and highlight the values of exclusivity, progress, and pioneering spirit associated with the Principality. It showcases iconic places in Monaco from a unique perspective, emphasizing the destination’s distinctiveness. The campaign consists of minimalist graphic motifs featuring classic and modern architectural details. Additionally, a meetings-and-incentives campaign promotes Monaco as a unique and memorable setting for business gatherings. The international rollout will target key markets such as France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and the Middle East. Tourism is a crucial sector for Monaco’s economy, which experienced a strong recovery in 2022 after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- SAUDI ARABIA: The recent Future Hospitality Summit held in Riyadh provided a platform to discuss untapped opportunities in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the global wellness sector valued at $800 billion in 2022. The Saudi private sector is capitalizing on the growing wellness tourism trend, as international wellness tourists spend 35% more on average than traditional leisure tourists. With projections indicating the sector will reach $1.1 trillion by 2025, Saudi Arabia aims to become a top destination for wellness tourism and is committed to sustainable travel for all, including the youth and future generations.
- TURKEY: Turkey is expected to achieve new record figures in 2023 from the German market, following its success in 2022. Tour operators and travel agencies anticipate strong short-term business, with a significant number of bookings still expected. While some customers may wait for good deals, early bookers are likely to have better options. Although slight price reductions have been observed in certain regions like Belek and Kemer, high discounts are not anticipated. Flight capacities from German-speaking countries are expected to be substantial, with Corendon and Sun Express planning to accommodate millions of passengers. However, the upcoming runoff election for the office of president on May 28 may lead to some customers hesitating before making bookings.
- URUGUAY: Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, is facing a severe water shortage due to months of little rainfall. The city’s reservoirs are nearly empty, and without rain, the drinking water supply will only last for another three to four weeks. The prolonged drought, which surpasses historical records, is attributed to climate change. The mayor, Carolina Cosse, has proposed declaring a state of emergency to raise awareness and encourage responsible actions. The Paso Severino reservoir, for example, currently holds less than 10% of its capacity. In response to the water shortage, the water company has started mixing brackish water with fresh water, resulting in an increasingly salty taste. Residents have protested against the raised limits for chlorine and sodium in the drinking water. To address the crisis, Mayor Cosse suggests implementing measures such as banning car washing, repairing water leaks, and reducing taxes on bottled water.
What else is brewing?
Greetings Travel Industry Professionals!
Lights, Camera, Travel! Did you know that your favorite TV series could inspire your next vacation destination? According to a study by Club Med, popular shows like „Outer Banks,“ „Bridgerton,“ and „Emily in Paris“ have a significant influence on travel trends. Fans of „Outer Banks“ were captivated by the stunning filming locations in North Carolina, leading to increased searches and rising accommodation prices. Meanwhile, „Bridgerton“ enchanted viewers with its scenes set in Bath, England, while „Emily in Paris“ created a magical allure for the French capital. It’s incredible how TV series can ignite our wanderlust!
Speaking of magical destinations, let’s set sail to Dubai’s extraordinary World Islands! This ambitious project, comprising 300 artificial sand islands shaped like a world map, has faced its share of challenges. Despite setbacks, Dubai Tourism reassures us that the islands are still there, visible from flights, awaiting their moment to shine. The Heart of Europe project, led by visionary investor Josef Kleindienst, is set to revitalize the World Islands, offering palaces, villas, hotels, and floating „seahorse“ villas. The Cote d’Azur Monaco Hotel has already opened its doors, delighting guests with its charm. It’s a testament to Dubai’s determination to turn dreams into reality!
Dive into the future of ecotourism with „Dubai Reefs“ – a groundbreaking project by architecture firm „URB.“ This sustainable floating community aims to be a haven for marine research, regeneration, and ecotourism. Imagine living in harmony with the sea, surrounded by housing, hospitality, retail, education, and research facilities. „Dubai Reefs“ will even plant 100 million mangrove trees, highlighting the importance of our oceans‘ well-being. Let’s protect our planet while enjoying awe-inspiring adventures!
Finally, get ready for a new level of comfort on your long-haul flights! Air New Zealand is set to introduce Skynest sleeping cabins on its Boeing 787 aircraft. These innovative cabins will offer fully flat beds, cozy amenities, and separate seat belts for turbulence. Imagine waking up refreshed and ready to explore your destination! The Skynest will initially be available on ultra-long-haul routes to New York and Chicago, starting from September 2024. It’s time to upgrade your flying experience!
That’s a wrap for this edition of our market update! Remember, the world of travel is ever-changing, and we’ll be here to keep you updated on the latest industry developments. Stay tuned for our next edition, where we’ll bring you more exciting news, trends, and insights from the world of tourism.
Safe travels and prosperous business ventures!
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