According to a couple of regularly released travel trade surveys, bookings for summer holidays have picked up, reports the German travel trade publication FVW, belying the sense of hesitation and anxiety that one sensed at ITB earlier this month in Berlin, and in the longer trend line for German arrivals in the U.S. over the past several years.
U.S. Arrivals from Germany
|Year||USA Arrivals (000s)||% Change vs. Previous Year|
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, U.S. National Travel and Tourism Administration
The Nuremberg-based market research firm GfK reported that, based on its monthly survey of 1,200 leisure travel-focused agencies, holiday bookings for summer 2015 were 10 percent higher year-on-year in February, although it should be noted that February of last year began a period of weak bookings that continued up until the summer of 2014. Cumulative summer sales are now 6.4 percent ahead of last year. Bookings were particularly strong for departures in May and July, said GfK, and there was good demand for June.
Another monthly survey—this one by Frankfurt-based Travel Agency Technology & Service (TATS)—had less upbeat numbers. It showed a sales increase of just 2.5 percent for leisure travel in February, resulting in a cumulative increase of 4.5 percent for the first two months of 2015. The TATs figures suggest a growth in business that is closer to the NTTO arrivals forecast in the above table.