In a report that comes as no surprise to those who read last week’s issue of the Inbound Report, the latest financials from Germany’s top two tour operators, Tui and Thomas Cook—together, they account for about 30 percent of all travel business in the country—suggest an anemic, sputtering patient who doesn’t seem to get well no matter what medicine s/he takes. This echoes what we heard from two separate discussion Salons sponsored by the NAJ Group (it publishes the Inbound Report) in which nearly all of the two dozen receptive tour operators and travel suppliers who participated indicated that the inbound German market has been weak and is likely remain so during the 2017 travel season.
Although the latest update in the German trade publication FVW noted some hopeful signs in the performance of the market, the overall take is one whose most positive description seems to be, “It could have been worse.” And the latter takes into account that a most popular outbound market for Germany’s operators and travel agents, Turkey, produced next to nothing in business for part of the year following a January 12, 2016 terrorist attack in Istanbul by an ISIS suicide bomber that killed 13 people—12 of them Germans.
Here is a sampler from the FVW update:
—With 97 percent of its summer 2016 program sold, Tui’s revenue and bookings are up by 1 percent, including a 7 percent rise for all destinations with the exception of Turkey.
—Among Tui source markets, Germany has a 1 percent drop in revenues with a 2 percent decline in bookings but a 1 percent rise in average prices.
—For winter 2016/17, Tui Germany has an overall 4 percent drop in bookings but a 2 percent revenue increase due to higher prices
—For Thomas Cook Germany, overall bookings for summer 2016 were down by 4 percent, although the figure is an 8 percent increase when Turkey is excluded
—Condor had a 3 percent drop in summer bookings, a 2 percent average price drop and lower yields due to overcapacity and pricing pressure.