With the 2020 calendar year about two thirds along on its journey to 2021, the recent fvw Kongress, sponsored by the German travel trade publication fvw, seemed to be a logical point at which the travel and tourism industry in the country—it has long been among the top five overseas international source markets for the U.S.—could assess its condition.
Midst all the presentations and discussion during the virtual gathering, one got the sense that domestic tourism within Germany was the only hope for tour operators and travel agents for salvaging any type of meaningful business for the year. Intra-European travel by Germans has been hampered by episodic bans on travel, especially among some traditional summer holiday travel destinations. And long-haul, overseas travel has been non-existent, as travel bans and airline capacity have made this travel sector essentially inactive.
As a result, one impression left by the Kongress was that the rest of 2020 offered limited opportunities for a clean-up operation. The focus instead, was on product and turnover in 2021.
Measuring the Collapse: So far-reaching has been the coronavirus-driven global pandemic and its impact on the world’s tourism industry is that, in Germany, even some traditional sources for information have not been able to publish or produce reliable numbers on the performance of the industry.
What data that do exist have not been encouraging. In the latest monthly edition of the ta.ts travel agency mirror (it is prepared by the Frankfurt-based Travel Agency Technologies & Services) tells us that the total invoiced turnover of the travel agencies recorded in the “Agency Mirror” for August 2020 was minus 83.8 percent, compared to the same month last year. Other data points from the report include the following:
—The billed tourism turnover shows a minus of 74.4 percent in August.
—Sales in air traffic recorded a minus of 99.6 percent.
—The “other sales” totaled minus 69.3 percent; and
—The number of tickets was minus 92.1 percent.
—The turnover from the tourism sub-division cruises in August was minus 75.7 percent.
Viewed cumulatively, the total invoiced travel agency turnover lies in the eight months from January to
—Amounted to minus 71.5 percent;
—Tourism recorded a minus 67.0 percent;
—Air traffic recorded a minus 77.9 percent;
—“Other” sales show a minus of 59.6 percent;
—The number of tickets registered a decrease of 73.8 percent; and
—The cruises segment recorded a minus of 59.2 percent.