Always Look on the Bright Side: Last week, the authoritative German travel trade publication FVW wrote: “The German tourism industry is looking ahead optimistically to 2018 after overcoming setbacks such as airline and tour operator insolvencies to generate solid low growth last year.” In digesting a report of the Nuremberg-based research organization GfK (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, or Society for Consumer Research), FVW made the following points:
—The German tour operator market increased turnover by about 4 percent in summer 2017 and by at least 2 percent for the full 2016/17 business year.
—However, several leading tour operators have reported higher growth rates.
—In addition, cruise holiday sales continued to grow strongly last year, probably again at a double-digit rate, according to experts.
Also, the German travel industry association DRV predicts further market growth and similar demand trends again in 2018 as last year as the markets of Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey are expected to recover following a year in which there was no major terrorist activity that would cause anxiety among German travelers.
As well, Thomas Cook Germany reported last month that summer 2018 bookings are strong for Spain, especially Majorca, as well as Greece and Bulgaria, while Turkey is recovering with a double-digit rise in customer numbers, and Egypt and Tunisia are continuing their comeback.
“These figures and predictions have left German travel agents in an optimistic mood, according to the latest monthly FVW ‘sales climate index,’” adding, “This soared to a new all-time high of 120.7 points in December. More than half (57 percent) of the survey participants described their current sales figures as good.”
Air Traffic Expected to Increase: An update from Flughafenverband ADV (German Airports Association) showed that German airports are optimistic about the new year. In its annual forecast for 2018, ADV indicated that:
- There will be growth in passenger demand of 4.2 percent.
- In flight movements, the pace of growth will stabilize at one percent.
- In a number that has particular meaning for the U.S. tour and travel industry, ADV said that intercontinental routes also remained “an important engine of growth” with a forecast increase of 4.6 percent to 43 million passengers.
- Overall, ADV is satisfied with the past year, and it expects a significant increase of 224 million passengers in the previous year to a record level of around 235 million.
Note: For the record, in its 2018 Market Report, INBOUND has forecast a year-on-year decline of 1 to 3 percent in arrivals from Germany for 2018. To access the report, visit: