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
- Russia expelled from UNWTO: Russia has been expelled from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) over the war of aggression in Ukraine. The country’s membership will be suspended with immediate effect, the UN specialized agency announced in Madrid on Wednesday following a vote by the majority of its member countries. Earlier, Russia itself had declared its intention to withdraw from the UNWTO. The rules are clear: Only those who adhere to promoting tourism within the framework of „peace and respect for human rights“ can be part of the organization, the UNWTO clarified. Read more
- Travel market continues to recover: After two years of the Corona pandemic, Germans finally want to travel again – preferably to the sun, as shown by Travel Data & Analytics‘ (TDA) analyses of booking volumes in March in both stationary and online travel sales. According to the study, the most popular destinations were the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, each accounting for 13 percent of booking sales, Turkey for 15 percent and Greece for 14 percent. Long-haul travel is also increasingly regaining its former strength, with a 14 percent share of sales. According to the TDA, German citizens spent a total of almost 5.1 billion euros on their summer vacations booked in travel agencies and on the travel portals of tour operators and online travel portals by the end of March. That’s still a good two-thirds of the pre-Corona 2019 level – and the balance of the 2022 summer season is improving from month to month, TDA analysts said. Read more
- Germany remains number one business travel destination: Even in the crisis, Germany remains the most important business travel destination within Europe. This is shown by the latest Meeting and Event Barometer. At the same time, the event and conference industry expects demand to rise in the coming years. The development of hybrid events shows that live events nevertheless have a future. For these, the proportion of attendees who participated in the event on site rose from 12.4 percent in 2020 to 33.7 percent last year. Read more
Current major topics within the aviation industry in Germany and Europe
- Air traffic in Germany recovering visibly: The ADV recorded almost 1.8 million passengers on domestic flights in March. This represents an increase of 252 percent compared to the same month last year. However, the gap to the pre-crisis year 2019 is still huge: Passenger volumes here are only just under 29 percent of the pre-crisis level. In European traffic, passenger volume more than quintupled in March compared to 2021. The nearly 6.4 million passengers represent an increase of more than 423 percent year-on-year. Compared to the pre-crisis level of 2019, this is still more than half of all travelers for the first time, at 55 percent. In the entire first quarter, the airports organized in the ADV counted more than 22 million passengers for takeoffs and landings. This represents an increase of 333.8 percent compared with the same period last year. However, the figure is still 56.7 percent short of the pre-crisis level in 2019. Read more
- Lufthansa shows significant improvement: The Lufthansa Group showed signs of recovery from the effects of the spread of the Omikron variant during the first quarter of 2022. Although the beginning of the year was burdened by the infection, particularly in the home market of Germany, customer demand picked up „noticeably“ in March, according to a statement. In addition to „strong tourism demand,“ there was an increasing recovery in the business travel segment. The group doubled its sales year-on-year to 5.4 billion euros (previous year: 2.6 billion euros). Adjusted EBIT amounted to minus 591 million euros, also a significant improvement on the prior-year quarter (previous year: minus 1.0 billion euros). The net loss decreased to 584 million euros (prior year: 1.0 billion euros). As expected, passenger numbers also improved significantly to 13 million (previous year: three million) compared with the prior-year quarter, when a lockdown and travel restrictions paralyzed business.
- Airlines increase airfares – these connections are affected: Anyone planning to travel by air this year will have to pay significantly more for a ticket on many routes than they did last year. And so Lufthansa passengers will also have to dig deep into their pockets in the coming months. As Lufthansa press spokesman Jörg Waber confirmed in response to an inquiry from RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND), the German airline is raising prices for round-trip flights to South America, Australia, Asia, Africa, Canada and Mexico, as well as to the United States and the Middle East. Just like Lufthansa, Emirates, the Dubai-based airline of the United Arab Emirates, is also raising ticket prices. „Emirates, like other airlines, has been affected by the current increase in fuel prices. In view of this, we have moderately increased fares within our route network,“ an Emirates company spokeswoman said in response to a question from RND. French carrier Air France and Netherlands-based KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, part of an aviation group, are also raising fares: Fahmi Mahjoub, head of Air France-KLM, said in an interview with the BBC that higher fares are currently „pretty unavoidable.“ Condor, Japan Airlines and Ryanair are also following suit and passing on rising fuel prices to their customers.
- Hungary informs expis about tourism news via webinar: On May 17, travel agency employees can learn new things about popular destinations in Hungary at a Visit Hungary webinar starting at 9:30 am. Among other things, there will be details about the new Wizz Air flight from Dortmund to Héviz and about the Veszprém-Balaton region, which will be Europe’s Capital of Culture next year.
- schauinsland-reisen: Sunny side road show through Austria: The sales team will be touring Austria on four dates to provide travel agency employees with everything they need to know about the new 2022/23 winter catalogs, as well as all other news and valuable insider tips. In addition to this, various partners from tourist offices, airlines and the hotel industry will also be there this time to provide information about their offers. The evening events will start at 6:30 p.m. with a cozy „get-together“.
- Bulgaria: In Bulgaria, all Corona restrictions are now no longer in force. In the future, entries are possible without proof of vaccination, regardless of the age of the traveler. The requirement to wear a mask, which previously applied in public places, has been lifted. Five border crossings are currently available for entry by land.
- Fiji: As of May 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to take a Covid19 rapid pre-departure test to enter Fiji. However, the post-departure test, which must be booked and paid for prior to departure, remains in place.
- New Zealand: New Zealand opened its borders Monday, May 2, 2022, for the first time in more than two years to dual-immigrant visitors from 60 visa-waiver countries, including Austria, Germany and Switzerland. However, the tourism industry does not expect the sector to recover until October – partly because winter is just beginning in New Zealand. In addition, authorities continue to require a negative Corona test prior to departure in the home country and a second upon entry into New Zealand.
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.