As the German travel and tourism industry machinery—the long-haul market included—launches into 2020, all the instruments seem to agree that it is going to be a strong and stable year. Just after the last issue of INBOUND was published, ReiseAnalyse came out with its much-awaited annual report, “Vacation Travel Trends, 2020.”
And though it looks like the overall industry, both domestic, inbound and outbound will be “stable and strong,” it will still be about the same as it was as far as visitor traffic to the U.S. is concerned. This concurs with the most recent edition of the U.S. National Travel & Tourism Office’s (NTTO) long-term forecast indicating that total outbound travel should total about 2,080 German visits, which is almost identical to what the number was in 2018 and 2019.
But, as one mines the information in the ReiseAnalyse report, one will come across nuanced data supporting such findings as one that that says many Germans (more than 40 percent, in fact) are itching to try a new destination in their travels this year. Could this mean that some travelers will opt for a different long-haul destination besides the USA?
The Mindset of the German Travelers: Although Dr. Martin Lohmann, the long-time scientific advisor to ReiseAnalyse, did not use the term “mindset,” he alluded to the point that it is important to take into account how German consumers assess their own economic condition is when considering and analyzing travel-driven data. (The numbers cited below come from ReiseAnalyse research and surveys.)
Lohmann noted that “the indicators for tourism demand in 2020 show (again) a positive starting position. As for German consumers, he said, “With regard to their own situation, they are in a positive mood, albeit somewhat more subdued than last year.” For instance, nearly 80 percent of Germans expect their personal economic situation to state the same or improve (57 percent and 22 percent, respectively), while the other 22 percent—the figures are rounded, so do not add up to 100—fear deterioration.
Conclusion? “The overall individual economic situation is perceived as stable (which) is an important prerequisite for holiday tourism 2020.”
They’re planning early: Four out of five Germans (78 percent) have already thought about vacation trips in 2020. Whether someone actually starts a trip is then a question of ability (time and money?)
The desire for vacation is evident, with 57 percent indicating a slightly increased desire, with important factors time (66 percent) and money (62 percent).
Overall, these results express a positive holiday mood and signal good starting conditions for 2020 on the demand side.
What Will This Year’s Vacations Look Like? The overall picture of vacation trips will hardly differ from 2020, both at the travel destinations as well as the types of travel. The preferences expressed in surveys speak to this. That is why 2020 holiday trips in Germany will be in first place with around 30 percent with Spain, Italy, Turkey and Austria following.
The constant overall picture must not hide the individual flexibility and the tendency of holidaymakers to take turns: 42 percent plan to visit a destination this year, in which they have not yet been.
But it also becomes clear that holidaymakers are attracted to many of the numerous tourist offerings. They are multi-optional, and have more desires and interests than they are in one year into a trip. This basically secures demand, but increases competition in the industry and makes developments in detail difficult to predict.
Trends to Watch: Sustainability, “flight shame” and vacation travel sustainability has become an important topic in Germany and around the world, which always receives more attention, not least against the background of climate change. The tourism does not automatically look good here. On the one hand, certain offers are questionable because of their emissions or the resulting social burdens; on the other hand, the vacation area seems to be implicitly classified as something that is somehow unnecessary and that you could just leave it.