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
- BOOKING.COM PRESENTS ITS SEVEN TRAVEL TRENDS FOR 2024: Booking.com, a leading digital travel platform, has identified seven travel trends for 2024 based on a survey of over 27,000 travelers from 33 countries. The study revealed that in the face of ongoing global crises and concerns such as the rising cost of living and climate change, many people need a break from the daily news and events at home. Travel, once a means of escape, is becoming a way of life in 2024. Some 71% of German respondents feel more alive on vacation than ever before, and 64% want their daily lives to more closely resemble their vacation selves. Trends for 2024 include „alter ego enthusiasts,“ where travelers create a new version of themselves while on vacation. Climate change is also leading travelers to seek out cooler locations or water-based vacations more often. Moments of surprise are becoming more popular, with many preferring a trip where everything remains unknown until arrival. There is also a strong focus on culinary tourism, with travelers tracing the origins of food and exploring traditional dishes. Finally, many people are looking to travel for self-improvement and regeneration, whether through sleep concierges or immersion in the simple lifestyle of farming communities. With AI and technology gaining momentum, travelers are increasingly turning to technology to help them plan and enrich their travel experiences. Read more
- TOURIST BOOKINGS CONTINUE TO RISE: The tourism industry is showing signs of recovery in winter 2023/24, with sales even exceeding pre-Corona levels. Despite earlier reluctance to book due to inflation and rising heating costs, the booking situation for the coming winter is extremely positive. The trend continues to be toward online bookings, with stationary travel agencies showing higher average order values. Prices for travel have risen significantly, resulting in fewer customers spending more on their trips. Airlines are approaching their normal capacities again, with vacation airlines in particular becoming more active. In terms of destinations, the Canaries and Egypt are leading the way, while long-haul destinations such as Asia and the Caribbean have yet to match their pre-Corona numbers. In the cruise segment, shipping companies are experiencing strong sales growth. Read more
- IS CLIMATE CHANGE CHANGING SUMMER VACATIONS?: Marriott Bonvoy’s Future Travel Trends 2024 study shows that climatic changes, such as regular heat waves, could affect travel patterns in Germany. 74% of respondents believe this will affect their travel plans, with adjustments expected in destinations and timing. Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a growing role in vacation planning, especially among younger adults. Sustainability will become increasingly important in the coming years; over half of respondents would pay more for eco-friendly accommodations. In addition, alternative destinations that are less expensive or closer are in vogue. One-third of Germans prefer domestic travel to save money. According to Covid-19’s impact on the travel industry, it shows more conscious travel behavior that is more closely linked to personal values and environmental responsibility. Read more
- CLIMATE INITATIVES CREDIT: Three organizations, Futouris, Klimalink and the German Climate Fund Tourism, are cooperating to intensify climate protection in the tourism sector. They plan to make the climate footprint of travel more transparent and to develop a general calculation standard for the greenhouse gas emissions of the German tourism industry. The main goal is to make the climate footprint of vacation travel transparent so that both travelers and sales staff can be better informed about the climate impact of travel. The collaboration between the three organizations aims to leverage synergies, promote scientific exchange, coordinate communication efforts and gain broad support in the tourism industry. With their joint efforts, they hope to intensify climate protection in the German tourism industry. Read more
- PEOPLE WANT TO MEET: The Accor Trend Barometer 2024 shows a positive outlook for the meetings and events industry. After the virtual trend during the Corona pandemic, there is an increased need for physical meetings. The study predicts that the physical meetings industry will surpass 2019 levels in the coming years. A survey found that 78% of professionals noted an increase in their meetings budget since 2022, and 80% expect spending on mice activities to increase in 2024. Accor highlights five key trends: 1) the need for meaningful events, 2) the value of interpersonal relationships, 3) the focus on experiential events, 4) the importance of ecology and sustainability, and 5) the indispensable value of face-to-face meetings. It is emphasized that a sense of belonging is critical to success in the sector. Read more
- TRAVEL STUDY – AI AND SUSTAINABILITY AS MOST IMPORTANT TRENDS: Marriott Bonvoy’s Future Travel Trends 2024 study, conducted in partnership with The Future Laborator, reveals several emerging travel trends. More travelers are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their planning, with nearly 20% of respondents using AI and 86% saying AI results influence their decisions. This is especially true for younger adults between the ages of 18 and 34. Another trend is „slow travel,“ where travelers stay longer in one place to experience the culture and environment more deeply. Additionally, many travelers prefer alternative destinations that offer similar experiences to popular destinations, but are less expensive or closer. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important, with 57% of respondents willing to pay more for eco-friendly accommodations. Climate change is also influencing travel decisions, with 74% of respondents saying they would change plans due to heat waves. Marriott’s Neal Jones points out that travel is now being planned in a more conscious and values-based way, and travel suppliers need to adapt to these trends. Read more
- HOW SWISS PEOPLE TRAVEL: A Hotelplan Group survey of 1113 Swiss people in July 2023 shows a growing desire to travel. 28% want to travel more in the next 12 months than before the pandemic, and 38% more than last year. Travel spending has increased for 36% of respondents since the pandemic, with Romands more likely to report decreasing budgets. When planning travel, Swiss people mainly rely on online search engines (51%), recommendations from acquaintances (32%) and travel agencies (14%). Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are also relevant for vacation research. The majority book travel and accommodation separately, with 24% preferring package tours. In terms of transportation, air travel (41%), trains (35%) and RVs (21%) dominate. Comfort (53%) is paramount in accommodation choice, followed by price (49%) and location (47%). Different preferences are evident between the language regions and age groups. Read more
CURRENT TOPICS WITHIN THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY IN GERMANY & EUROPE
- TRAFFIC REMAINS LOWER THAN EUROPEAN LEVEL: In the first nine months, 149 million passengers were handled at German airports, 21.5% more than in the previous year, but fewer than before Corona. In a European comparison, Germany is behind. The „recovery rate“ shows that traffic is 77.6% compared to 2019, which is below the European average. High ticket prices and location costs are hindering recovery. According to ADV CEO Ralph Beisel, German airports are becoming unattractive for international airlines due to increased location costs and intensified international competition. Read more
- LUFTHANSA TO LAUNCH CITY AIRLINES IN 2024: Lufthansa plans to launch a new subsidiary called City Airlines in the summer of 2024, which will offer short-haul flights from its Munich and Frankfurt hubs. The creation of this new airline aims to be more competitive, as Lufthansa’s current cost structures for short-haul routes are considered too high compared to competitors. City Airlines is expected to operate on lower terms than Lufthansa itself, with discussions on working conditions and compensation currently underway with unions. The airline will begin operations with Airbus 319s, with four to five of these aircraft expected to be in service by the end of 2024. It is also considering the use of A-220 aircraft and Embraer E2 jets. Lufthansa plans to purchase 40 short-haul aircraft, some of which may be used by City Airlines. Read more
- STRONG GROWTH IN LONG-RANGE TRAFFIC: In the first three quarters, long-haul flights at German airports recorded an increase of 36.1% to 28.4 million passengers, but are 13.9% below the pre-crisis level of 2019. Despite an overall growth of 21.5% to 149 million guests, air traffic is still 22.4% behind the pre-Corona level. Germany thus ranks at the bottom of the major European aviation markets. High location costs and international competition are hampering recovery, with European airlines potentially leaving Germany and transfer passengers possibly avoiding EU hubs to avoid climate charges. Read more
- EUROPE WANTS THE MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY AIRSPACE: Leading European aviation organizations, including IATA, A4E and ACI Europe, have signed a joint declaration to promote greener air travel. Their goal is to make „Europe the most efficient and environmentally friendly airspace in the world,“ particularly by optimizing Europe’s air traffic management system. The organizations recognize that digital innovations can increase efficiency and provide capacity for expected passenger demand while realizing CO2 savings. The strategy includes implementing new digital tools from the EU’s SESAR research program. A key step will be updating the EU ATM Master Plan to address non-CO2 emissions impacts. The organizations emphasize that a coordinated European approach is needed to achieve rapid and effective changes that matter to citizens, European industry and the environment. Read more
- CARAVANING – DEMAND FOR RECREATIONAL VEHICLES DECLINING: According to figures from the Caravaning Industrie Verband (CIVD), interest in recreational vehicles remains high – but is down slightly overall. With 57,376 new registrations in the first three quarters, the motorhome segment continues to top the pre-pandemic level (+0.8%). However, the caravan segment, with 18,752 new registrations, was well below the previous year’s level (-11%). According to the CIVD, this segment in particular, which is popular with families, is feeling „the economic uncertainty“. Factors such as the higher cost of living and soaring interest rates are causing young people in particular „to postpone the planned purchase of a new vehicle until a later date,“ says CIVD Managing Director Daniel Onggowinarso. Instead, rental vehicles are increasingly being used to take caravanning vacations. Read more
- BALEARES: 2023 is a record year for tourism in the Balearic Islands, with over 12 million tourists expected, with most coming from Germany. Despite higher hotel costs, occupancy during the summer months was 90%. The labor market also benefited, although there was a lack of affordable housing. Palma de Mallorca Airport recorded an 8.8% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers in the first three quarters, and a further 7.2 million passengers are expected in the winter period.
- CROATIA: Unesco has added the Biokovo Imotski Lakes Nature Park in Dalmatia, which has existed since 1981, to the list of World Geoparks. The park is located on the southern coast of Croatia in the Dinaric Alps and is known for geomorphology, biodiversity and scenic beauty.
- EGYPT: A partial travel warning is in effect for the north of the Sinai Peninsula and the Egyptian-Israeli border area. However, the Foreign Office has exempted the seaside resort of Taba in the border region. Individual excursions and overland trips in the south of the Sinai Peninsula, which includes Sharm el Sheikh, are not recommended.
- EL SALVADOR: El Salvador’s tourism sector is booming, with 2.4 million international visitors in the first nine months of the year, a 27% increase over 2019, making the country the fourth fastest-growing tourism destination in the world, according to UNWTO. The sector has generated $2.79 billion in revenue through September 2023, with the majority of visitors coming from the U.S., Guatemala and Honduras. The majority of tourists arrive by air and stay an average of two to three weeks, spending $167 per day. With events, training and infrastructure projects planned, the tourism minister expects further growth.
- FRANCE: In France, tourist attractions and airports were evacuated due to anonymous terror alerts, leading to a 10% increase in tourist cancellations. The highest terror alert level has been in place since a knife attack in Arras in 2023. In particular, landmarks such as the Palace of Versailles have been affected several times. These threats damage the country’s image and lead to a climate of fear, especially among short-term travelers from neighboring countries. The French government is concerned.
- GREECE: In the first eight months of the current year, Greece recorded an 18.4 percent increase in tourist arrivals to 22.6 million and a 15.3 percent increase in tourism receipts to 14.6 billion euros compared to the same period last year. This increase was mainly due to German travelers, who recorded a 6.1 percent increase to over three million. French and British tourists also recorded growth, with arrivals from the U.S. up an impressive 44.9 percent to approximately 937,000. Overall, arrivals from EU countries rose by 15.9 percent to nearly 14 million and from non-EU countries by 22.6 percent to about 8.8 million, according to data from the Bank of Greece.
- HAWAII: In September 2023, despite an increased supply of vacation rentals in Hawaii, the demand decreased compared to 2022 and significantly more so from 2019. The State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism revealed that while the rental supply rose by 6.5% from 2022, the demand dropped by 4.9%, leading to an average occupancy of 52.7%. By contrast, hotels in Hawaii had an occupancy rate of 75.5%. The Average Daily Rate (ADR) for vacation rentals was $260, a decrease from 2022 but an increase from 2019. The ADR for hotels stood at $346. It’s crucial to understand that vacation rentals, unlike hotels, aren’t always available and can accommodate more guests. Due to the Maui wildfires in August 2023, West Maui saw a significant drop in both supply and demand for vacation rentals in September. Oahu, however, saw an increased supply of 23.1% from 2022, with an ADR of $226. In comparison, hotels in Oahu reported an ADR of $270 with an occupancy of 82.2%.
- JORDAN: Jordanian Tourism Minister Makram Mustafa A. Queisi and the director of the Jordan Tourism Board Abed Al-Razzaq Arabiyat have emphasized in recent days that the safety of visitors to the country is not at risk. The German Foreign Office has not issued a travel warning for the country.
- LIBANON: The State Department and the U.S. Embassy have urged their citizens to leave Lebanon and recommend signing up for appropriate crisis preparedness lists. The British Foreign Office also advises people to leave the country and to exercise caution in demonstration areas. Saudi Arabia has also previously issued a travel warning, asking its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately.
- MEXICO: With sustained winds of nearly 270 kilometers, Hurricane Otis hit Mexico’s southwest coast near the beach resort of Acapulco on Wednesday. As a result, there were power outages and flooding in coastal areas. Trees fell and house roofs were covered.
- NEPAL: Months of increased seismic activity around the Phlegraean Fields near Naples, a city of over a million people, has prompted Italy’s government to revise its existing evacuation plans in the event of a volcanic eruption. It is also recording which buildings in the area are earthquake-proof and what emergency plans are in place at local hospitals. The fields are considered a supervolcano, but experts say an eruption in the near future is unlikely.
- NEW YORK: A new Terminal 6 is being built at JFK Airport in New York, to be completed by 2026. The $4.9 billion project is being realized by the Vantage Airport Group and JFK Millennium Partners. The Lufthansa Group plans to offer flights there. The modern terminal will have ten gates, numerous stores and catering facilities.
- SOLOMON ISLANDS: The South Pacific archipelago of the Solomon Islands has opened the new terminal of its Munda International Airport. The airport’s original infrastructure has been completely transformed by the terminal for domestic and international traffic and has received a runway extension. The $23.6 million construction cost was co-financed by the Solomon Islands government, the World Bank and the New Zealand government.
- SPAIN: The Andalusian city of Seville is struggling with the excesses of excess tourism. The mayor has therefore announced bans aimed at bachelor parties and the like. By the end of the year, „obscene clothing and loud music“ are to be banned from the streets of the historic districts. There is nothing against partying people, but the measure is full. According to the Diario de Sevilla newspaper, an ordinance will come into force as early as the end of 2023.
- TURKEY: The Turkish government aims to make tourism sustainable to generate higher revenues. The goal is to earn over $100 billion from tourism by 2028 and welcome 82.3 million foreign visitors. To minimize environmental impact, water and waste management and digitization of infrastructure will be prioritized. Turkey has become the first country in the world to cooperate with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council to build a fully sustainable tourism ecosystem by 2030. With the Green Sign label, the Turkish tourism industry aims to attract customers who value sustainability.
- UGANDA: Following attacks in Uganda, the German Foreign Office advises against non-essential travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Semliki National Park. Special care should be taken by travelers who want to visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Bwindi Park or Ruwenzori. The same applies to tours to the volcanoes Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhavura and to the area near the border with DR Congo and the Rwandan border in the south.
WHAT ELSE IS BREWING?
Greetings, wanderlusters! As the world opens up its arms to travelers once more, we’re here to give you the inside scoop, from unexpected airport costs to the hidden havens less traveled.
✈️ The Hidden Costs of Jet-Setting in Europe
Beware, European travelers! Before you even leave the runway, you might be feeling lighter in the wallet. Those pesky cab fares, transport tickets, and parking fees can eat into your travel budget faster than you can say „bon voyage“. Alpen Air’s recent study of Europe’s 20 busiest airports found Oslo International topping the list as the priciest, mainly due to its high cab fares. Brussels and Munich followed, with their own set of budget-gobbling factors. And if you’re traveling through Zurich, be ready for pricey cabs and burgers, but at least the coffee is a steal at 2.50 euros!
🏔️ Dare to Tread: World’s Most Dangerous Destinations
For the thrill-seekers among us, the path less traveled often holds the most appeal. But as alluring as danger can be, it’s critical to be well-prepared. From the chilling heights of Mount Everest to the blazing heat of Death Valley, these destinations promise both beauty and peril. And while some might shiver at the thought of visiting places like the radiation-heavy Bikini Atoll or the venomous Snake Island, remember: safety first!
🛫 Oops! That Was a Bit Air-y!
Titan Airways had a bit of a whoopsie moment on a recent flight from London Stansted to Orlando. The crew found it a tad too breezy in the cabin after three windows decided to part ways with the plane mid-flight! Thankfully, the jet safely returned to its starting point without any passengers aboard. Note to windows: please stick around for the whole journey!
🌴 Hidden Gems: The World’s Least Visited Destinations
While many flock to bustling tourist hubs like Paris and Bangkok, there are some beautiful, lesser-known spots awaiting discovery. Topping the UNWTO’s latest list of the world’s least visited places is the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, followed by gems like the Marshall Islands and Niue. If you’re seeking a unique travel experience away from the madding crowd, these destinations might just be your ticket to paradise.
Until next time, may your journeys be filled with wonder, your adventures be plenty, and your travel budget stay intact. Here’s to discovering the world, one hidden gem at a time!
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