As reported by FVW, the German organized holiday market is “enjoying a boom,” with strong double-digit growth rates in January.
Perhaps it has something to do with a stronger Euro—it increased by 18 percent in value against the U.S. dollar from mid-January 2017 to mid-January 2018—as the news from Germany regarding the travel trade is decidedly upbeat, even if there are no specific references to the Visit USA market. (The U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office has forecast a modest two percent increase in passenger traffic for 2018; this would follow an anticipated 1 percent increase for 2017, once official data for the year are available.)
Summer 2018 has generated cumulative revenue growth of 18 percent so far, including a 17 percent year-on-year increase in January, which is the top booking month of the year.
This was one of the highlights for the month, according the Travel Insights survey by the Nuremberg-based marketing research group GfK (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, or Society for Consumer Research) in its restructured monthly sales analysis, which has been broadened to include bookings from 2,000 representative travel agencies (rather than the previous 1,500) as well as sales through OTAs and tour operator websites. It does not cover individual direct bookings by consumers. Other highlights from the report include the following:
—Nearly half (47 percent) of last year’s total summer revenues have already been reached as of the end of January.
—The top growth months are May (up 47 percent), mostly due to spring holidays in several German regions, and September (up by 21 percent); all months in the summer season, however, are higher than last year at present.
—So far, 84 percent of summer 2018 revenues, overwhelmingly generated by package holiday bookings, have been generated by retail travel outlets.
—Winter bookings are also looking good with an 11 percent increase so far, including a 14 boost in January.
—With 97 percent of last year’s winter season volumes already sold and still three months to go, winter 2017/18 is also likely to close with good growth, said GfK.
The GfK findings come in the wake of similarly positive figures in the monthly TATS sale survey of 2,500 travel agencies and OTAs that use its Ibiza reservations system. This showed a 6.9 increase in booked revenues for package holidays and cruises last month, and an overall 8.3 percent increase, including flights and other travel products.
Advance bookings were 13 percent ahead of January 2017, including a 19 percent increase for cruise holiday bookings. Overall, leisure travel bookings for departures up to October 2018 were nearly 10 percent higher than at the same time last year.