As March closed out with the Euro remaining stubbornly stuck at less than $1.10 on the currency exchange markets—this is down more than 20 percent what it was trading at the close of March 2014—at least one major travel marketing research firm released numbers showing that German travelers are growing reluctant to make bookings for this year’s peak travel season.
The Nuremberg-based market research firm GfK reported that, in March, based on its monthly survey of 1,200 leisure travel-focused agencies:
- Bookings for winter and summer holidays increased by just 1.7 percent,
- Summer 2015 sales were slightly better with a 2.8 percent rise; and
- The resulting cumulative increase was 5.9 percent.
The German travel trade publication, FVW, had its own take on the numbers calling the 1.7 percent monthly increase “surprisingly low” in contrast to a 10 percent increase for February and 6.4 percent cumulative increase, and taking into account the weak comparative month of March 2014, which marked the start of a weak bookings period through until last summer. For individual months, summer 2015 sales trends were relatively stable in March, said FVW. According to GfK:
- May now has a cumulative 20 increase rise in bookings;
- June is down by 4.6 percent; and
- Demand was also strong for August, which registered a 1.3 percent increase over last year, even though sales were 20 percent higher for the same month last year.
In contrast to the GfK report, another monthly survey—this one by Frankfurt-based Travel Agency Technology & Service (TATS)—had strikingly upbeat numbers. TATS, which evaluates figures from 2,400 flight-oriented travel agencies, reported that:
- The number of leisure travel advance bookings in March was 14.3 percent higher than a year ago;,
- Revenues for departures in March were 10.7 percent higher than the previous year;
- Leisure travel sales had a cumulative 6.2 percent rise for the first three months of 2015.