“German tourism industry faces dramatic financial hit,” shouted the headline above the lead story last Thursday in fvw, the German travel trade publication, as it went on to explain that the country’s travel and tourism industry called for a government aid program in order to prevent a “massive” financial hit “that could result in countless insolvencies within weeks.”
Now, the crisis in the Germany industry is, of course, driven by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global travel and tourism industry. However, sales and marketing professionals in Germany—it is the second-largest overseas market in Europe, behind only the UK—had already received reports of a weakness ahead more than a month beforehand.
It probably would have been a top story at the ITB trade show scheduled for early last month in Berlin, but which was shut down at the lastminute.
For instance, In an article on March 3—it was to have been the day before ITB (scheduled for March 4-8) was to have started, fvw told its readers: “The German travel industry is facing a tough year with summer holiday sales already 3% down on last year and the coronavirus outbreak now starting to impact on travel demand, according to industry chiefs.”
Citing the latest report by the Nurenberg-based research and marketing firm Travel Data + Analytics (TDA), the following points were noted:
—Germans were holding back on their travel bookings, as sales revenues for both the current winter season and summer 2020 were down by three percent, on a cumulative basis, as of the end of January.
—Bookings for summer 2020 were down by 9 percent (although average spending per package holiday was three percent).
—Sales figures for the largest summer holiday destinations were lower than at the same point in 2019.
—The United States remains the favorite long-haul destination for German travelers.
Top 10 Tourist Destinations
(Based on Sales)
3. Balearic Islands
7. Mainland Spain
Source: Travel Data + Analytics
Also, At a pre-ITB news conference the week before ITB was to have begun, Norbert Fiebig, president of DRV (Deutscher ReiseVerband or German Travel Industry Association), took note of the growing menace of the coronavirus, saying, “We can certainly observe a rising uncertainty among holidaymakers and business travelers … this is creating an additional need for advice from travel agents and tour operators.”
Further Information on/from TDA, contact: Dörte Nordbeck ([email protected])