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
- TUI Group – Reduction instead of compensation: In the future, the TUI Group will focus on reduction instead of compensation when it comes to CO2. The self-imposed environmental targets are to be scientifically and independently verified. To this end, the tourism group has submitted the targets for reducing emissions from its own aircraft, cruise ships and hotels to the non-governmental organization Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Verification of the targets is expected by the end of this year. According to Sebastian Ebel, future CEO of the TUI Group, the group not only wants to achieve its goal of being a „net zero company“ by 2050. It also wants to „set the standard for sustainability and live up to our commitment as a market leader.“ Ebel does not see the desired sustainable transformation as a cost factor: „Sustainability pays off – for society, for the environment and for companies.“ As a group, he says, they therefore also want to motivate and incentivize partners to invest in sustainability. Read more
- Hotelplan recorded a better summer than 2019: Everyone already knew that it was a good summer for travel. Hotelplan Suisse has now taken stock, and it is extraordinarily positive. Not only was there significantly more travel than in the summer of 2021, for example, but expectations for July and August were also exceeded. The highest number of travelers was recorded by the beach vacation providers Migros Ferien and Hotelplan. According to Hotelplan Suisse, a total of even more customers traveled on vacation with the two brands in July and August than at the same time in 2019, i.e. during the last completely pandemic-free year. The most popular Mediterranean destinations were Greece (Crete, Kos & Rhodes), Spain, Cyprus, Turkey and Italy – in that order. „In recent weeks and months, there has been a real pent-up demand, especially for beach vacations around the extended Mediterranean,“ analyzes Nicole Pfammatter (CEO Hotelplan Suisse), „As of today, we expect sales in the current fiscal year to be around 80 percent higher than in 2019.“ The fact that this figure is not higher is partly due to the fact that the two specialist brands Travelhouse and TPT (Tourisme pour tous) have not yet been able to match the pre-Corona level this summer season. Nevertheless, as was the case last year, it was also noticeable this summer that customers spent more money on average on their trips than before the pandemic. Says Pfammatter: „Many Swiss people have not been on vacation abroad for the last two years and have now treated themselves again. For example, a trip of two weeks instead of one, or a higher-class hotel.“ Read more
- Stronger propensity to save is having a strong impact on the consumer climate: In view of the crisis, German citizens are trying more and more intensively to hoard their money. According to the consumer climate index published by market research company GfK, the propensity to save grew in August to its highest level in more than eleven years. This is bad news for service providers and the consumer goods industry. „The sharp rise in the propensity to save this month means that the consumer climate is continuing its steep downward slide. It has once again reached a new record low,“ explains Rolf Bürkl, GfK consumer expert. „The fear of significantly higher energy costs in the coming months is forcing many households to make provisions and put money aside for future energy bills. This is further depressing the consumer climate, as in return there are fewer financial resources available for other consumption.“ For a sustained recovery in the consumer climate, he said, it is necessary on the one hand to fight inflation, for which the European Central Bank (ECB) in particular is called upon to pursue a less expansive monetary policy. Secondly, steps must be taken to find a solution to one of the main causes of high prices, namely the war in Ukraine. Read more
- Is climate change changing travel behavior?: Weather is one of the most important factors in the tourism industry. In search of sun and warmth, tourists have been traveling to southern Europe during the summer months for decades. However, the summer of 2022, and even earlier summers (2003, 2018) show that the coveted sun and warmth is shifting further and further north due to climate change, while the heat in the classic, southern European tourist regions is already becoming unbearable at times. According to Carlos Cendra, Sales & Marketing Director of travel intelligence company Mabrian, the heat wave in the south caused a marked drop in customer satisfaction. In addition, holiday-hungry Central and Northern Europeans have become accustomed to spending the summer on home turf due to the pandemic. Hotels and resorts in hot destinations will have to rethink their offerings. Spas and wellness areas are more likely to become oases of cooling, with fewer saunas and more ice baths. Golf courses cannot be shaded. Accordingly, play times will shift to early morning and even late evening hours, which in turn means demand will have to be managed with technological tools. Technologically, the search based on current average temperatures and for cool lounging zones, both indoors and outdoors, must be included as a filter option in the booking tools. Many destinations in Southern Europe will have to move away from their rigid June to September seasonal times and align the seasons to April to October or even longer. Read more
- Staff shortages cause poor ratings: According to a Holidaycheck study, hotel guests are increasingly complaining about the lack of staff in accommodations. They point to the decline in service quality caused by this shortage. Those who explicitly named staff shortages in their rating awarded an average of 4.4 out of 6 points for the service they experienced between January and July of this year. That’s 0.5 points more than in the same period in 2019. Compared to 2018, the number of reviews in which the staff shortage was explicitly mentioned has increased fivefold, according to a spokeswoman and travel expert at Holidaycheck. As reported by the portal „Business Insider“, that in some destinations hoteliers have long started to hire untrained and unqualified staff. This even includes the hotel chain Accor. According to the management consulting firm „McKinsey“, the core of the problem lies not in the number of workers needed to bridge the shortage, but in their skills, which are crucial for providing a high level of service. The shortage of skilled workers in the industry was already a problem before the pandemic, with the European hotel association Hotrac naming it one of the five most pressing issues for the European hospitality industry. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- 25% fewer passengers than pre-Corona: From April to June 2022, Swiss airports recorded a total of 11.4 million arriving and departing passengers (local and transfer passengers) in scheduled and charter traffic. This is more than four times as many as in the same months of 2021, but still 25% less than in 2019, the year before the Covid 19 pandemic began. The number of aircraft movements also increased significantly in the second quarter of 2022, with approximately 94,200 takeoffs and landings, three times as many as in the same period last year. Read more
- Passenger growth loses momentum in July: The race to catch up in passenger numbers suffered a significant setback at German airports in July. While 17.74 million guests represented an increase of 79.1 percent compared to the weak same month last year, it also represented a 28.7 percent drop compared to July in pre-crisis 2019, according to figures released by the German Airports Association (ADV). In June, the gap to pre-crisis levels had been just 27 percent. That was the smallest figure so far since the outbreak of the pandemic. European traffic was comparatively strong in July, with 78.4 percent of travelers returning compared to pre-crisis levels. Overseas flights were 74.2 percent, while domestic air traffic was 38.2 percent as of July 2019. This reflects the shortage of supply with correspondingly high ticket prices. Read more
- BER airport offers time slot for security check: Passengers departing from the capital’s BER airport can now reserve slots for their security check. The airport company launched the new free service, called BER Runway, on Aug. 25. The airport has set up a dedicated security gate to handle these passengers. This is intended to reduce waiting times for travellers. Passengers can book slots between 72 hours and up to one hour – 1.5 hours for non-Schengen flights – before departure. They have ten minutes before and after the selected time to go through security. However, the airport’s recommendation to be at BER at least 2.5 hours before departure does not change as a result of the schedulable security check. „With BER Runway, however, the time required can be shortened and the stay in the terminal better calculated,“ it said. Read more
- Pilots‘ strike at Lufthansa on Friday: Lufthansa pilots have decided on a full-day strike for this Friday (September 2). All departures from Germany of the core airline Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo are to be struck, as the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union announced in Frankfurt. This was decided by the board after intensive negotiations with the company and at the request of the collective bargaining committee, a spokesman explained. Lufthansa is expected to set up an emergency flight plan.
- Australia: In 2023, WorldPride will take place in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in its history. From February 17 to March 5, 2023, Sydney will celebrate the global LGBTQIA event. Exclusive vacation packages with tickets to the most sought-after events can already be booked with Australia Tours.
- Africa: Since the removal of Corona restrictions in African destinations, tourism has developed positively. Accordingly, the World Travel & Tourism Council is optimistic about long-term job creation in the African travel sector. African tourism has great potential to create jobs in the vacation regions and thus promote sustainable development. The World Travel & Tourism Council’s latest Economic Impact Report shows that the African tourism sector is expected to create around 14 million new jobs on the continent over the next decade. According to the report, gross domestic product from the travel sector is expected to grow by an average of 6.8% per year between 2022 and 2032, more than double the 3.3% growth rate of the region’s overall economy. The tourism organisation is also optimistic about short-term revenues from African tourism, which could approach pre-pandemic levels by 2023 – just 9% below 2019 levels.
- Austria: Vacations in Austria this year are already almost as well booked as in summer 2019 before the corona pandemic. In the first half of the season, from May to July, domestic accommodation establishments recorded 37 million overnight stays this year – that was only 4.6% less than in the same period of 2019 (38.8 million) and noticeably more than in the previous year (25.9 million), according to preliminary data from Statistics Austria. „After two difficult summers for tourism, the first half of the 2022 summer peak season was again particularly strong in overnight stays,“ Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas held. In the month of July, the pre-crisis value of 17.83 million overnight stays this year was „only slightly undercut“ with a minus of 4.9%.
- China: In the northeastern Chinese metropolis of Dalian, a curfew was imposed on around half of the city’s six million inhabitants. The cities of Chengde and Shijiazhuang near Beijing also imposed curfew restrictions for an undisclosed number of people. In the southern Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen, parts of the city were sealed off. Authorities imposed the drastic measures even though only 349 new infections were reported nationwide on Tuesday.
- Greece: Greece has definitely put the Corona-related tourism slump behind it in 2020 and 2021. For the current year 2022, the country is expecting a new travel record. This means that the once economically beleaguered country is holding up better than other EU countries. This is because booming tourism accounts for more than 20% of Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP). The figures speak for themselves: 5.13 million passengers were counted at the 14 most important Greek regional airports in July. That was 14% more than in the previous record year of 2019. In the first seven months of the year, traffic figures were 4.2% higher than in the pre-crisis year of 2019.
- Japan: Since June, tourists have been able to travel to Japan again; however, they have to undertake their trip in fixed groups and practically constantly under the supervision of a tour guide. This will soon come to an end: From September 7, individual travel without a group and tour guide will once again be possible. In addition, as already announced, the obligation to present a negative PCR test, which must have been carried out within 72 hours before departure, will no longer apply to triple-vaccinated visitors. A tourist visa is still required for entry, which means that the trip must have been booked with a licensed tour operator or agent.
- Malaysia: Entry into Malaysia is once again unrestricted. According to the government, this eliminates the requirement to present proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid 19 test result upon entry. In addition, travelers will no longer be required to complete the Traveller’s Card in the MySejahtera app, which is used to track contacts, before entering the country. The requirement to test on arrival (OAT) and before departure (PDT) has also been eliminated. Similarly, home monitoring and quarantine requirements have been removed, according to a statement from the Malaysia Tourism Board.
- Namibia: From now on, anyone wishing to travel to the country in southwestern Africa does not need to present proof of vaccination or recovery or a negative PCR test. This applies at all border crossings nationwide. The epidemiological situation allows the relaxation, informs the Ministry of Health of Namibia.
- Sri Lanka: On August 23, the DFA changed its travel advice for Sri Lanka. After advising against travel to Sri Lanka just a month ago as a result of the economic crisis in the country and related unrest, this is no longer the case. The DFA now only speaks of a „tense situation“ and advises travelers to inform themselves „in the media or with the tour operator“ about the situation on the ground.
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