#1. No change in anemic sales numbers: Retail sales in the travel and tourism industry continue to show the industry’s performance as weak as it has been since the beginning, nearly 10 months ago, of the global pandemic brought on by the COVID-19 virus.
—The total invoiced sales of the travel agencies recorded in the “ta.ts travel agency mirror” in November 2020 are minus 92.2 percent compared to the same month last year.
—The billed tourism turnover shows a minus of 93.2 percent in November. Air traffic revenue is down 93.8 percent. The other sales are minus 82.6 percent and the number of tickets is minus 93.7 percent. Sales from the tourism sub-division cruises were down 89.4% in November.
—Viewed cumulatively, the total invoiced travel agency turnover in the months from January to November is minus 77.0 percent. Tourism recorded a minus of 73.6 percent, while air traffic recorded a minus of 82.4 percent. The other sales show a minus of 64.2 percent and the number of tickets a minus of 78.5 percent. The cruises segment recorded a decrease of 70.0 percent.
2. Is TUI Too Big to Fail? Carrier gets another bailout package to stay afloat: Hanover-based TUI, the largest tour operator in Europe, was able last week to secure a financial package of 1.8 billion euros ($2.2 billion) with private investors, banks and the federal government. Deemed absolutely essential to the company’s cash flow situation—it had been announced earlier that TUI was suspending payments to some hotels—and, ultimately, its very survival. TUI had already received a total of 3 billion euros ($3.65 billion) in state-backed loans in two stages earlier this year.
No one seems to be criticizing the deal, as Germany’s integrated economy, along with the reach of TUI through every level of the distribution model, makes it an essential part of the nation’s overall economic health. Likewise, from a corporate perspective, it is especially important to the economy of the UK, where TUI UK is the country’s largest tour operator. And one must not forget that the UK is still suffering from the failure in September of last year of Thomas Cook, which was the nation’s third-largest tour operator at the time it shut down.
#3. Nowhere to go. The situation is especially difficult for German travelers. Though travel agents and tour operators are working to move incremental product for Q1 and Q2 in 2021—hoping that a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus will save the rest of next year—there is little opportunity in the present for Germans to holiday internationally because of travel bans. One tally late last week (the number changes almost daily) put the number of countries that Germans can visit at 44.
There is no travel permitted at all—to or from—between Germany and the USA. The situation is very much the same for other global source markets or countries who depend on German visitors. These include Canada, China, Japan, India and Australia. Check here to see what the international travel map looks like for German travelers.
#4. Adieu. The tour operator Fox-Tours Reisen, the travel agency brand of Berge & Meer Touristik, is gone from the market after a run of 23 years. It will be merged with the parent company. In a letter to travel agencies, the company said, “We will inform you separately about the exact date of the entry of the merger in the commercial register and the associated entry into effect of the merger.”