In some federal states summer vacation has already started and the other parts of the country will join the wave of travellers soon. And Germans will travel even more than during the previous years. At high-street travel agencies and on online travel portals the number of bookings increased by 11% and sales revenues by 14% during the past months versus summer 2017, according to the evaluations of the market researchers of GfK. This was also based on an extremely good consumption climate with a high propensity to spend as well as a low unemployment rate. “In this connection the Germans booked their summer vacation significantly earlier than before. For the travel industry we expect further growth in sales revenues for the full tourism year,” the President of the German Travel Association (DRV), Norbert Fiebig, reports, based on the GfK evaluations. The travel demand – in particularly also for high-quality travel experiences – has once more significantly increased in 2018 and a majority of the Germans planned their vacation long in advance.
Sun and beach in vogue
During the summer months the coastal regions at the Mediterranean as well as at the North and Baltic Sea are experiencing the highest demand. Spain – and, more particularly, the Balearic Islands with Majorca – remains the most popular foreign travel destination for air travel package tours. Particularly high percentage increases versus prior year have been recorded by Greece with the very popular islands of Kos, Crete and Rhodos, as well as Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey. In particular for the North African countries and Turkey, the crisis seems to have been overcome after two years of very strong declines in visitors and revenues. In 2017, for instance, Turkey ranked third in the favour of vacationers from Germany – after Spain and Greece – as far as air travel package tour destinations were concerned. “For 2018 we see the comeback of Turkey,” Fiebig stressed. Bookings have been significantly higher for months versus prior year – but despite the increase in bookings and revenues they are still far away from the maximum values of 2015. The winners of the travel summer 2018 also include Croatia and Bulgaria. Positive growth rates were, moreover, recorded by tour operator bookings for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Cruises continue to be very popular – both sea and river cruises record constantly increasing bookings. New and larger ships have extended the capacities for 2018 and stimulated demand. During the summer the Mediterranean is in particularly high demand for sea cruises.
Last minute trips still available
Although significantly more Germans booked their summer vacation early this year, the travel agencies and online travel portals still have free capacities for last minute travellers. The tour operators expect that after the German football national team has exited the World Cup prematurely, the demand for vacation trips will once more significantly rise. In this connection it is important to know that the travel prices for an identical trip are the same everywhere – regardless of whether they are booked in a travel agency, on the internet or at the airport counter.
As a top-level association, DRV represents the travel industry in Germany and defends, more particularly, the interests of tour operators and travel agents. DRV is supported by a significant economic strength: its members represent the largest part of the sales revenues on the tour operator and travel agent market. Several thousands of member companies, including many tourism service providers, turn DRV into a strong community which pools many different interests – driven by the motto “The travel industry. All destinations. One voice.”