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 approaches pre-Covid level in summer bookings: Overall, bookings for the summer season currently stand at 12.9 million, representing 1.4 million new bookings since the last update in August, says outgoing TUI CEO Fritz Joussen (pictured). Currently, the number of bookings is equivalent to 91 percent of the level in summer 2019, and things are looking even better in terms of revenue, with average prices 18 percent higher than in 2019, Joussen said. This development will „help cushion the impact of the current more inflationary environment,“ the TUI CEO explained during his latest presentation of current business figures. Around 5.3 million guests had started their TUI vacations in the main summer months of July and August, twice as many as in July and August of the previous year, when the figure had been 2.6 million. This means that bookings in this period would have reached 94 percent of the level of summer 2019. Popular summer destinations continued to be the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Greece, and Turkey. Read more
- Many travel agencies want to see advance payment for flights received: Many travel agency managers and employees do not think much of the initiative to abolish 100 percent prepayment when booking flights. Among employees at tour operators, the mood is different. Should there be any change to the common practice of travellers having to pay the full travel price immediately when booking a flight?“ was the opening question of the current survey, in which around 500 travel professionals took part. Now that the state of Lower Saxony has submitted a motion to the Bundesrat (the upper house of the German parliament) on Friday asking it to support an abolition of the current practice, this question is by no means merely theoretical. Since the repayment backlog for paid customer money during the Corona pandemic and after the flight chaos of this summer, consumer protectors, but also politicians, have been demanding that the legislator put an end to the practice that the full travel price has to be paid immediately when booking a flight. This is rejected by 52 percent of the travel agencies that took part in the survey – 43 percent, on the other hand, are in favour of a change. Read more
- Autumn vacations – tour operators promise stable prices: Off to the south, away from the wet and cold: that’s what the ideal fall vacation looks like for many. Countries such as Greece, Turkey and Egypt are in corresponding demand. Prices are still relatively stable for the fall. Despite inflation and rising energy costs, travellers can still expect stable prices for the fall vacations, as a survey of major German tour operators suggests. Also, for this autumn the sun destinations Greece, Turkey, Spain, and Egypt are in great demand according to the information from the travel industry. „In particular Crete, Rhodes and Kos, as well as the Turkish Riviera, currently record a very good demand and continue the strong trend of the summer.“ Turkey and Egypt offer a particularly good price performance ratio, writes Alltours. And: Who is somewhat flexible with the travel dates and places, finds also for Spain and Greece still „genuine last-minute bargains“. According to Alltours, there are still enough hotel and flight capacities available for all destinations during the fall vacations. Read more
Current topics within the transportation industry in Germany & Europe
- One in three flights in Europe does not arrive on time: In June, July, and August, more than one in three flights departing in Europe was delayed or cancelled, according to a survey by the passenger portal Airhelp. According to the company, a total of 68 million travellers were affected. In Germany, the balance is even worse. According to the portal, 3.7 million passengers were affected by flight cancellations across Europe. Most of the problems occurred with flights from the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Hungary, Airhelp continues. More than half of all flights from there were delayed. In Germany it had been with 45 per cent of the flights likewise above average. Compared to before the Corona pandemic, delays and cancellations had increased noticeably, it found. In 2019, there had been punctuality problems on 30 percent of flights, but now it was 36 percent, it said. 3.6 million passengers would be entitled to compensation. Read more
- Düsseldorf Airport plans new concept for connecting flights: Düsseldorf Airport and the Berlin-based company Airsiders want to use a new type of virtual interlining solution to enable more connecting flights at the airport. Baggage is also to be checked through thanks to the new technology. Connecting flights are to be made easier at Düsseldorf Airport. The „seamless combination“ of flights, even without interline or code-sharing agreements, is intended to create completely new transfer and connection connections for passengers via DUS, the airport announced. The highlight is an „innovative handling technology“ that automates the screening of baggage. Passengers would only need to check their baggage once to their destination airport, even if they are travelling with several airlines that do not have an interline agreement. The concept of the technology provider Airsiders is to integrate offers and content from airlines and airports on one platform via an API interface. This includes ticket sales, onward baggage transport, flight-related insurance and minimum connection times between connecting flights without an interline agreement. Travellers are thus to be provided with a high level of transparency on flight options, maximum security for connecting flight times, and a whole new comfort experience. Read more
- Costa Cruises simplifies COVID-19 protocols: Costa Cruises is updating its COVID-19-related health protocols, making its vacations even more accessible. Starting Oct. 8, new simple procedures will allow guests to enjoy onboard and shoreside activities without restrictions, the Italian company said. The main changes concern Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the United Arab Emirates, where fully vaccinated guests will no longer have to undergo pre-embarkation testing. In addition, in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, unvaccinated guests with negative pre-embarkation antigen tests will also be able to embark. In Mediterranean (excluding Greece) and the Caribbean cruises lasting less than 14 nights, guests who have completed the COVID-19 vaccination will be able to embark on the ships without having to undergo any more pre-embarkation tests. Guests have not been vaccinated or cured from COVID-19 will also be able to travel with Costa in these destinations, simply showing at the embarkation an official certification of the negative result of an antigenic swab (or also RT-PCR molecular swab, at guest’s choice) performed within 48 hours of embarkation time. Read More
- Brazil: Brazil allows entry of foreigners not vaccinated against Covid-19. The federal government has amended health regulations for foreigners entering Brazil through a joint decree issued by four ministries. The measure allows entry of unvaccinated travellers who tested negative, following stricter measures taken in the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The new rules specify that travellers can choose between presenting proof of vaccination or testing negative when entering Brazil and already apply to passengers and employees of air, sea and land transportation companies.
- Dominican Republic: After travel restrictions were lifted in many countries, a pent-up demand for travel is evident among Germans. The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic is pleased with the development of visitor numbers. August was the best month in the history of tourism, according to the Tourist Board. A total of 622,000 guests from around the world travelled to the Caribbean destination in August. That’s about 125,600 visitors, 27 percent more than in August 2019. From January to August, about 4.9 million tourists travelled to the island.
- Greece: Greece’s Tourism Minister Vasilis Kikilias wants to further boost tourism in his country. And he wants to do so by extending the travel season. There is great interest in starting the 2023 season as early as the beginning of March and extending it to the end of November, he explained, referring to contacts with German tour operators. Germany is the main source market for Greece’s tourism, the country’s most important industry. With the extension offensive, Kikilias is going into direct competition with Mallorca, the Germans‘ favourite destination, even in winter, „although the climate is better on Crete, for example,“ as the tourism minister maliciously notes. He now wants to motivate hoteliers, tavern owners and other tourism players in Greece to build up an infrastructure for winter tourists that is just as extensive as that on the Balearic Island.
- Hawaii: Waipio Valley on Hawaii open again for guided tours. The popular valley on the Big Island, which was closed due to poor road conditions, is partially open to visitors again as of Monday. However, it may only be visited as part of guided tours; it remains closed to individual tourists.
- Panama: Panama’s Ministry of Health declares the pandemic state of emergency to be over, and the corona-related requirements for entry are dropped with immediate effect. Thus, Panama opens the borders to the unvaccinated and eliminates the mask requirement. It now only applies in public transport, clinics and nursing homes.
- United States: Orlando’s Terminal C is now open: The first flight will arrive at Orlando International Airport’s new Terminal C from Manchester, England. Terminal C represents a major expansion for Orlando Airport, which was the ninth-busiest airport in the country in 2019, the last year for which the Bureau of Transportation Statistics published rankings.
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