According to the German travel trade publication FVW’s annual dossier on the German tour operator market, the three largest tour operators have a combined share of about 43 percent of the market: TUI is the number one with 16.9 percent of market share; Thomas Cook (including Condor) is number two at 13.2 percent, and DER Touristik, which recently acquired Kuoni’s tour operator businesses in Europe, is number three with 12.4 percent. The 55 operators listed in the dossier comprise about 80 percent of the sales volume of the German market, which is estimated at €26 billion ($29.5 billion).
Overall, here are the top tour operators in Germany, along with their share of the market, ranked according to 2013/14 business year figures:
|Tour Operator||Share of German Market|
|Small operators overall||35% †|
† FVW estimate
Source: FVW dossier
What seems most intriguing, the report suggests, is the estimated 35 percent of the market, representing estimated revenues of some €9.1 billion ($10.3 billion), shared by a large number of smaller tour operators. “These are mostly specialist tour operators offering certain destinations, focusing on particular target groups or specializing in specific market segments such as cruises, cultural tours, club holidays, holiday homes and active holidays,” said FVW. “Also many companies with a focus on dynamic packaging like Vtours, JT, LMX or Tropo are expanding.”
According to the FVW dossier information, one can reasonably conclude that, while the tour and travel industry in other major markets has experienced acquisitions and consolidation that have reduced the number of travel companies in recent years, small and mid-sized operators have prospered, comprising a sizable share of the tour and travel market in Germany.
Market Note: It will be some time before the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) can furnish data on 2015 arrivals from Germany for the summer travel season, meanwhile:
—NTTO projected in its spring market forecast earlier this year that arrivals for 2015 will be about the same as in 2014;
—Overall, summer 2015 package bookings in Germany increased 7.5 percent this year, as of the end of July, according to market researchers GfK;
—The German Travel Association (DRV) has put growth at a “single-digit increase; and
—Industry experts believe the market is heading for growth of about 3-4 percent for 2014/15 as a whole.