With a large delegation of German tour operators set to arrive in New Orleans in a little more than three weeks from now, the atmosphere for doing business in the USA’s fifth largest overseas market needed a psychological boost after flat-to-dismal month retail sales figures since the end of 2015. The boost came last week with the release of some strong numbers in several surveys that take the monthly pulse of the German travel.
It seems that trade managers are actually very optimistic about sales for 2017, and they believe that—despite the fear of terrorism at some destinations—German travelers will take the risk if the price is low enough. Some highlights from those surveys, as first reported by the German travel trade publication, FVW, follow.
From the Nuremburg-based research firm Gfk:
—Holiday sales in German travel agencies grew by 6.6 percent in April breaking a five-month downward trend
—This follows a similar 6.7 percent growth figure in the monthly survey by IT services firm TATS.
—The 6.6 percent growth figure for April means that cumulative sales for summer 2016 are now “only” 6 percent behind last year’s levels, compared to -9 percent in January.
—In terms of individual departure months, however, July is the only month with higher sales than last year
—August is still down sharply, 18 percent below 2015 levels.
—These figures mean it will be a challenge for summer 2016 sales to recover sufficiently to return to 2015 levels.
—Only 64 percent of summer 2015 revenues have so far been reached for this year.
—The winter 2015/16 season closed with a slight 1 percent increase in travel agency revenues.
—One sign of hope is the high level of early bookings for next winter, for which advance bookings are up by 24 percent.
—Winter 2016/17 revenues already accounted for nearly 17 percent of total revenues last month.
From the Tourism Industry Club (TIC), whose members are mostly top managers and other decision-makers, survey results come out looking like this:
|Believe the recent drop in demand is due to fear of travelling following terror attacks in various destinations.||94%|
|Expect Islamic countries to increasingly disappear from the tourism map||58%|
|Those who include Turkey in the above category||42%|
|Do not believe that the destination will make a recovery in the short term||63%|
|Expect Germany to have a record tourism summer||87%|
|Believe that consumers are prepared to take a certain risk in return for cheap prices||64%|
|Source: TIC. Based on 186 responses to survey.|