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
- Travel trends 2023: After a long-lasting pandemic, strict entry regulations and hygiene controls, travelling is now almost as possible as it was before the pandemic began. But how have the last few years affected Germans‘ travel behaviour? Germans are more eager to travel than ever before. At least that’s what the survey conducted by Tourlane suggests. But what constitutes travel in 2023? What do Germans look for when booking a trip and what role does sustainability play? Together with YouGov, 1,056 people aged 18 to 66+ were asked and came up with some exciting results. 56% of respondents have already travelled this year; 20% have travelled more than in 2021 and 92% said they will travel in 2023. The top 5 most popular destinations in 2023 are Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Greece. Beach vacations (22%), as well as active vacations (16%), city breaks (13%), cruises (11%) and group travel (9%) are the most popular types of travel. 39% of respondents have consciously opted for flexible booking conditions since the start of the pandemic. Overwhelmingly, more time is to be spent in nature on vacation in 2023 (54 %), away from mass tourism (41 %). Read more
- TUI – Prices for winter remain largely stable: TUI is looking ahead to the upcoming winter season with optimism. Bookings are picking up speed, explained Hubert Kluske, Sales and Marketing Director of TUI Deutschland, at the winter program presentation on Tuesday. Kluske is particularly confident about a recent snapshot survey conducted by the opinion research institute Yougov. According to this, three quarters of the asked ones want to travel in the winter. Their focus is more on looking for discounts than for alternative forms of travel. In addition, budget security and cost transparency play a major role in times of higher inflation. „We will see a run on all-inclusive offers,“ Kluske is convinced. In the vacation rankings for short- and medium-haul destinations, the Canary Islands again took the top spot, followed by Egypt and Turkey. Senegal, a new destination, came in ninth place. The top long-haul destinations are the Maldives, Thailand and the USA. To meet rising demand, TUI is offering 30 percent more flights to the Canary Islands. There will be 70 weekly flights with around 400,000 flight seats from November. And the product offering for Egypt is also being expanded. In order to focus more strongly on the Nile region, TUI Fly is flying directly to Luxor from Düsseldorf for the first time. In addition, the first Nile cruise ship under the TUI Blue flag departs from Luxor to Aswan. The TUI Blue Nile Imperial has 45 cabins and offers, among other things, a Blue Fit Gym. A total of four five-star ships will depart for one-week Nile cruises for TUI. Regarding winter pricing, Stefan Baumert, chairman of TUI Germany’s executive board, explained that current inflation and rising energy costs „will not fully“ affect prices, as many hotel and flight allotments for winter products had already been negotiated in the spring. Popular destinations such as Morocco, Madeira and Cyprus would therefore remain „stable in price“. Read more
- Travel continues to become more expensive but rise levels off: Due to the crisis, the travel market remains full of uncertainties, and it remains to be seen when the pre-Corona level will be reached again. However, the figures of the domestic tour operator Ruefa show a clear recovery this year compared to the two previous years. This year, by the end of August, a good 70 percent of the sales of the comparable period in 2019 were achieved. Booking demand is strong until November, but still very restrained for the winter. In addition, travel is becoming more expensive. Due to the increased problems at airports outside Austria, Ruefa set up its own emergency hotline, which is also available on weekends from 7 a.m. in the morning. This was strongly accepted and will be maintained, because problems with flying remain possible – especially related to baggage handling, it said. The upheavals in aviation also led to further additional work for the subsidiary of the Austrian Transport Agency. „Colleagues in the travel agencies had to process every fourth booking involving one or more scheduled flights several times,“ Freund said. The price increases now expected will not be as sharp as in previous months. They are expected to be in the single-digit, moderate range, it was said at the press conference. Most recently, inflation was very high. This summer there was an increase in package tours compared to 2021 of 10 to 15 percent. It was and remains advantageous to book early, Freund emphasized. Because then the price holds even if there are meanwhile short-term price increases in the so-called dynamic range for airline tickets and hotels. „Existing bookings were not increased as we announced. With corresponding flex options, customers are always better off when booking early.“ Read more
- Swiss travel industry on course for recovery from Corona slump: The travel industry is on the upswing, with travel agents expecting to generate 76 percent of 2019 sales in 2022. And for the current year, the industry expects to already achieve three-quarters of the sales of a normal year before the pandemic, as the Swiss Travel Association (SRV) told the media in Zurich on Thursday. However, only if „the future does not come up with negative surprises“. For 2022, travel agencies expect to achieve 76 percent of 2019 sales. It is true that the European business is running better in some cases than before the pandemic, explained SRV Managing Director Walter Kunz. There was a booking boom in the summer. But this could not compensate for the lack of long-haul business, whose sales and margins were much higher. Bookings for Asia travel are picking up, but are nowhere near pre-crisis levels, Kunz said. The same is true for Africa, he said. „People are more reluctant,“ he said. Still, a silver lining is now clearly visible on the horizon, SRV wrote. The sentiment index for the near future is higher than ever before for all indicators such as file size, prices or margins, it said. This is not surprising: „The industry is recovering from probably the worst crisis since the Second World War.“ Read More
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- Portugal wants to sell Tap again – to Lufthansa or Air France-KLM: The government of Portugal wants to get rid of the national airline. According to a report, it wants to sell Tap to Lufthansa or Air France-KLM. And quickly. Even before Covid-19 shook up the aviation world, there were rumoured talks. At the time, investor David Neeleman was said to be interested in selling his stake in Tap to Lufthansa. But then the pandemic hit and the deal fell through. Since then, the Portuguese government has bought its shares from the Brazilian-American investor. The government again owns 92 percent of the national airline. A year ago, however, it began to think about a gradual exit and brooded over plans to sell a minority stake in Tap to Lufthansa or Air France-KLM. But that didn’t work at the time, because neither of them was allowed to buy companies because of the state aid they had received. Now, however, the plans are back on the agenda. According to the newspaper Expresso, the government apparently wants to sell Tap again. Lufthansa and Air France-KLM are among the potential buyers. According to the report, various scenarios are currently being calculated in Lisbon. A sale to IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, is out of the question. This is because the market concentration in South America and on the Iberian peninsula would be far too high, especially after IAG’s entry into Air Europa. The competition regulators would hardly approve such a deal without major concessions. A sale of at least half of Tap is apparently favoured. However, some people within the Portuguese government would also be prepared to sell off all state shares. That would be right up Lufthansa’s alley. Because in Frankfurt, they want as little government influence as possible. Read more
- The state exists from Lufthansa: The German government has exited Deutsche Lufthansa and sold its last shares at a profit. Major shareholder Klaus-Michael Kühne is grabbing a stake and expanding his influence.Two years after its rescue in the Corona pandemic, the German government has sold its last remaining Lufthansa shares. „This marks the successful conclusion of Lufthansa’s stabilisation. Lufthansa is once again fully in private hands,“ Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said Wednesday. The state withdrawal brings another major shareholder of the group into focus: logistics entrepreneur and billionaire Klaus-Michael Kühne. Kühne Holding has increased its total stake in Lufthansa to 17.5 percent, a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday. Until now, Kühne was already Lufthansa’s largest shareholder with a stake of 15.01 percent. Earlier, the „Handelsblatt“ had reported that Kühne was expanding its stake in the wake of the government’s withdrawal. The holding company did not want to comment on the question of whether Kühne would occupy a seat on the supervisory board. According to the newspaper report, it is planned that a confidant of Kühne will now be given a seat on the Lufthansa supervisory board. Kühne’s confidant Karl Gernandt is envisaged. A seat on the board is to be vacated no later than the Annual General Meeting in spring 2023. Read more
- Aviation back on the upswing: Flying is becoming more popular again among vacationers, despite Corona and the Ukraine war. But passengers will also have to dig deeper into their pockets, at least according to Lufthansa CEO Spohr.The airline industry continues to breathe a sigh of relief: Rising passenger numbers are allowing airlines to grow back toward their old revenues. At Frankfurt Airport, the past vacation month of August was a complete success for airport operators and airlines. Thanks to the high demand for tourist flights, almost 5.2 million passengers arrived at or departed from Frankfurt Airport in August, Fraport announced today. This represents an increase of 54 percent compared to the same month last year. However, the figure is still nearly 25 percent below that of 2019, before the Corona pandemic.The gap to the level before the pandemic, however, has narrowed further compared to the July figures. In July, however, business had been impacted by a Lufthansa strike, among other things. Freight volumes, meanwhile, fell by 15.1 percent year-on-year. The main reasons for this were restricted airspace due to the war in Ukraine and China’s Corona measures. However, rising demand for travel by air is likely to be accompanied by rising ticket prices in the coming months and years. Read more
- China: The death toll from a major earthquake in western China rose to 93 as the search for survivors continued, authorities said. A magnitude 6.8 quake hit Sichuan province last week, with much of the damage concentrated in Ganze Tibetan Autonomous Region in the province. Another 25 people remain missing as of Sunday evening, rescuers said, according to a state broadcaster. The search for survivors and recovery of bodies were complicated by heavy rains and the risks of landslides, which forced some residents to more to temporary shelters. The earthquake also affected Chengdu, the provincial capital, where residents were under strict zero-Covid controls, meaning they were not allowed to leave their buildings.
- England: Heathrow announces changes for flights. Delays at Heathrow Airport are expected until next Monday, September 19, due to the mourning ceremonies for the Queen’s death. Out of respect for the late Queen Elizabeth II, there will be flight delays at Britain’s main London Heathrow airport this Wednesday. Further changes are expected over the next few days. This applies to the period from 13. to 19. of this month. This is to ensure that the funeral procession with the Queen’s coffin is not disturbed. Flight paths run directly over the city centre and from the west over the royal residence Windsor Castle. „The airlines will inform passengers directly of any flight changes,“ it said.
- Japan: Japan wants to open up fully again. According to Japanese media reports, tourists will be allowed to enter the country again in October, largely without restrictions. Currently, a visa requirement and a ban on individual tourism still apply. With an incidence of over 550 and around 100 deaths daily, Japan currently has one of the highest corona disease rates in the world. Nevertheless, the country plans to make it easier for vacationers to enter the country again as of October.
- Mallorca: Jellyfish plague on the island. The persistently high temperatures in the water off Mallorca also have consequences for the marine world. An unusually large number of jellyfish are expected. The jellyfish glut could even last for weeks. The expert Josep María Gili from the research institute CSIC in Madrid expects that in 2022, not only many animals will be on the beaches on the vacation island of Mallorca. The researcher has a dire fear. He suspects that the flood of jellyfish will continue into November.
- New Zealand: New Zealand lifted almost all Corona measures on September 13. Visitors travelling to the Pacific nation are now no longer required to be vaccinated against the virus. In addition, the mask requirement is also eliminated everywhere except in hospitals and retirement homes. The previous rule for entrants to be tested for the virus immediately upon arrival and on the fifth day of their stay also now only applies on a voluntary basis.
- United States: Past vacations in Cuba can cause problems when entering the USA. For travel to the USA, an Esta visa is usually sufficient, which must be applied for before the trip. However, those who have already vacationed in Cuba could have problems entering the country despite the Esta: cases have been reported in which travellers with a prior stay in Cuba were no longer able to enter with Esta, but had to apply for a full visa. Although this is not the rule, the State Department advises to contact the responsible U.S. representative on this issue before travelling.
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