Please note: The following information has been compiled from the most important German speaking Trade Media.
Market Update – April 1st, 2022
Please note: The following information has been compiled from the most important German speaking Trade Media.
Short Overview Situation in Germany
- Even though the COVID infection numbers are still high, the occupancy situation in hospitals is relaxed and death rates very low. About 75,9 % of the German population are now fully vaccinated.
- The Germans are very anxious about the changes and relaxations of sanitary protection measures that are due to take place in the coming weeks. The opening measures, which were announced are to come into place from April 2 on in most regions of Germany due to the high numbers.
- 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 developments & influences of the Ukraine war on the industry
- After his tours as a serving travelling salesman through the sphere of the gas states, Economics Minister Robert Habeck is now turning to the obvious: He is calling on Germans to save energy. „Every cubic metre of gas that is not burned helps,“ he said. Habeck has already declared the gas early warning stage, a precautionary measure against the impending Russian supply stop. Gazprom, the monopolist from St. Petersburg, has become the front unit in the war over Ukraine. After Vladimir Putin recently threatened that the bills would have to be paid quickly in roubles, they are now allowed to continue paying in euros and dollars. Read the article here.
Current major topics within the tourism industry in Germany
- TUI and FTI see clear improvement in bookings – Top tour operators TUI and FTI are both seeing clear upturns in bookings for this year, enabling the Hanover-based group to ‚return‘ €700 million worth of unused state financial support provided during the pandemic. Read more
- Travel Compass 2022: The pandemic has permanently changed the travel behaviour of holidaymakers. This is the conclusion of the new Travel Compass 2022 by the management consultancy Dr. Fried & Partner and PayPal. The study examines the changes in booking and payment behaviour in the German holiday travel market and shows what opportunities this presents for the tourism industry. Here you will find some core results:
- Short-term bookings increase significantly – Usually, the German travel market is characterised by strong early booking. But the frequently changing travel conditions and opportunities during the pandemic lead to an above-average share of short-term holiday bookings. This preference demands a high degree of flexibility from tour operators to manage travelable destinations and capacities with shorter lead times.
- Safe forms of travel with high flexibility preferred – The increased need for security and flexibility, as well as the tendency to book more online and at shorter notice, have the potential to have a lasting impact on the travel industry. This development may require adjustments in the business model of tour operators in terms of pricing, payment flows and process agility. Customers are willing to pay more if they can rebook or cancel their booked trip at short notice. Flexible fares have become the norm and are now indispensable for many travellers.
- Paypal as a means of payment is catching up in online sales – The end customer survey shows that PayPal has also established itself as a payment method in the travel market: When holiday trips are booked online, PayPal is used more often than average as a means of payment. According to the assessment of the industry experts, the pressure has grown due to the pandemic to actively offer secure Z5 payment methods such as PayPal. Secure (69%), simple (68%) and trustworthy (66%) – these criteria are decisive for end customers when choosing a payment method. The customer experience influences the purchase decision: the lower the hurdles, the higher the willingness to book and pay. If the payment process is convenient and no payment data has to be entered, this leads to a low cancellation rate. PayPal’s strengths coincide with the customers‘ requirements: In addition to a fast and simple payment process, additional risk protection is provided by buyer protection.
- Changed booking behaviour requires new business processes – With the current market development, the relevance of online payment services is increasing. These offer advantages and opportunities to the tourism industry: for example, higher conversions, the development of new target groups, the reduction of expenses and costs for accounting as well as a low risk of payment defaults. Conclusion: Online payment services are worthwhile for a variety of tourism business models. Read more about the Travel Compass 2022 here
- Booking peak shifts to February – Nearly €1.9 billion worth of holidays were booked in February – 13 per cent more than in pre-Corona 2019, with the trend towards online booking continuing, according to the TDA’s sales analysis. This improves the winter balance sheet, but the outlook is uncertain. At first glance, the figures sound very pleasing: according to Travel Data & Analytics (TDA), in February 1.9 billion euros were spent on holiday trips booked over the counter or via online portals. That is 24 per cent more than last January and 13 per cent more than in February 2019, the last pre-Corona month. Read more
- The new VIR Travel & Fakten Study and Travelport Retailing Report 2022 share some news on the traveller behaviour – The desire to go on holiday is obviously great. So much so that consumers are even prepared to forego other things in daily life or activities, like regular entertainment activities or even buying new clothes. For the Travelport Retailing Report 2022, it was determined, among other things, what people would do without for at least six months so that they could travel. Also during the pandemic, many Germans looked for alternative occupations. The consumer portal Vergleich.org has determined the most popular leisure activities based on the increase in online searches. According to the report, hiking, which is relevant to tourism, is in first place, followed by going for a walk. Cycling follows in fourth place. Read more
Current major topics within the aviation and hotel industry in Germany and Europe
- High oil prices: When will fuel surcharges rise – After Asian airlines introduced fuel surcharges or increased ticket prices at the beginning of March because of the Ukraine war, Lufthansa is now one of the first major Western airlines to adjust its prices. Read more
- Because of fuel prices, tickets should be issued immediately – Once booked and paid for, the risk for fuel surcharges could decrease. The oil price is going crazy. The swings towards the top are violent, while those towards the bottom are barely noticeable. The price increases in flying can be passed on to consumers less quickly. Nevertheless, fuel surcharges and above all higher ticket prices in general are inevitable if the oil price does not fall quickly and rapidly. Read more
- Qatar Airways: 17 weekly flights to Switzerland – Qatar Airways has been connecting Geneva with Doha since 27 March. The 4 weekly connections are handled at the recently opened East Wing of Switzerland’s second largest airport and will be increased to daily frequencies from June. With the ten weekly flights from Zurich, Qatar Airways will connect Switzerland in Doha 17 times a week in the summer timetable. From there, passengers have access to the worldwide route network of more than 140 destinations. Read more
- Less Asia, more America: Finnair takes significant change of course – Finnair has realigned its flight programme. Due to the closure of Russian airspace, destinations in Asia have been thinned out and transatlantic flights significantly expanded. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hit Finnair harder than other airlines. The closed Russian airspace meant that the airline’s flights, which had specialised in the Far East, were suddenly no longer worthwhile because of the longer routes. Hopes of being able to continue flying the Asia programme quickly melted away in view of the complicated situation in Ukraine. Read more
- TUI Blue to grow quickly with new partners – TUI operates 96 hotels under the TUI Blue brand so far. Now, a big expansion is imminent. More than 300 hotels are to be opened worldwide. TUI CEO Fritz Joussen and TUI Hotel CEO Erik Friemuth are courting investors at an event in Dubai. Read more
- Travellers will no longer have to fill out a digital travel declaration to enter Turkey. While the 3G rule will continue to apply for air travellers, it will be dropped when entering by land or sea. In addition, the mask requirement will be partially abolished. Read more.
- Vaccinated international guests will be able to travel to New Zealand again from 1 May without having to go into self-isolation on arrival. Another long-haul destination is opening up: from 1 May, New Zealand will welcome international tourists again, provided they are fully vaccinated. Previously, self-isolation was mandatory after entry. This will now be dropped. However, several negative tests are necessary. Before departure, tourists must show a negative Corona test, as well as on the day of arrival in New Zealand and on day five or six after arrival. Read more
- Singapore abolishes Vaccinated Travel Lane – From 1 April 2022, Singapore will abolish the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme. Fully vaccinated visitors from all over the world will no longer need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) and will only need a PCR test or rapid pre-departure test conducted by a certified testing centre (max. 48 hrs before departure) and the applicable visa requirements. Read more
- Ambitious emirate impresses German travel agents – Forthcoming World Cup host Qatar clearly impressed German travel agents with its mix of culture, heritage, attractions and tourism investments at the recent fvw|TravelTalk workshop in the Gulf state. Read more
- Studiosus Reisen is back in Israel after two years – After a two-year break due to Corona, Studiosus Reisen has been operating tours to Israel again since mid-March. In the process, the German market leader for study tours is also offering a compact eight-day tour. Read more
- Where Germans want to travel at Easter – In the first quarter of 2022, the travel book publisher Michael Müller, together with the market research institute Argyou, took a close look at the search queries of 71 million German internet users when planning their trips. Destinations in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, France and Great Britain are particularly popular. Some people are even looking further afield: the Indonesian island of Lombok is leading the way in island holidays. Australia, on the other hand, was typed in least often. Read more
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.