Submitted by Betsy Cooper, International Editor
The latest report from the Nuremberg-based marketing research company GfK had some good news for the German travel trade, reporting that its monthly survey of travel agencies showed a 13 percent summer bookings rise in December, and that demand had picked up strongly in the second week of January, and midst a particularly harsh winter for Germans.
Last fall, European experts announced that the winter of 2016-2017 would be the coldest in the last 100 years as arctic air masses arrive over the European continent. And they were right. And according to German meteorologist Dominik Jung, the lowest temperatures were expected to be recorded in January and February. March will not be any warmer, and temperatures would not increase until April. His predictions were supported by AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bastardi and by Elena Volosiouk, specialist at Phobos Meteorological Centre.
In reporting on the GfK release of the survey results, the German travel trade publication FVW said that Germans already started booking their summer holidays early in good numbers in November and December, and that “this trend appears to have strengthened in the first few weeks of the new year, which is traditionally the strongest booking period of the year.” Some other highlights from the report:
- Alltours, the Number 5 tour operator in Germany on the basis of market share, had a “good” bookings increase compared to last year.
- Schauinsland, Germany’s Number 7 tour operator, said it had a “very satisfactory” December.
- North America specialist Canusa reported double-digit growth for Canada and a single-digit rise for the USA.
- Travel agents are also happy with the start to 2017. For example, Derpart, one of Germany’s largest travel agencies, has a sales increase of about 8 percent compared to last year
- Another major agency, Lufthansa City Center, said it has had a “high single-digit” rise.
- As for destinations, Spain remains the favorite among German travelers. But, with the decline of Turkey as a destination for German travelers, Greece has become popular, with TUI, indicating that it has experienced a 41percent increase rise in bookings for the destination for summer 2017.
- Thomas Cook, Germany’s second-ranking tour operator, told FVW that Greece was an “absolute trend destination” for many different customer groups this year.
- Mexico is performing very strongly with TUI, the Number 1 tour operator in Germany, reporting a 71 percent bookings increase. TUI also reported strong growth for the USA, South Africa, Canada, Mauritius, Seychelles, the Dominican Republic as well as Indonesia.