Germany and Other European Countries Receive Low Ratings: The psyche of the German consumer who wants to take a holiday this year has taken quite a battering. And it now shows in how the Germans feel about their national government and the EU as well. The country and its people have been besieged by several waves of the COVID-19 virus and the relentless reminders of how they can’t travel much at all, or even think about long-haul travel. (Only in the latest tally of retail sales of travel have the performance numbers show that the year-on-year decline in sales begun to creep up, but still not equal to the healthy figures of 2019.)
The latest Eurotrack survey from YouGov—it took a look at how people in Britain, Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden feel their governments have performed through the coronavirus pandemic—presented one with a view that told us that a was decidedly mixed in terms of their own governments’ performance, but there is one area of clear agreement: a stunning majority of people believe that EU has handled the rollout of the vaccine badly.
In all five countries, a majority believe that the EU has done badly. This is most evident in Germany, where three-quarters (75 percent) of those surveyed gave a negative opinion, including a third (36 percent) who said “very badly.” (YouGov said that It’s worth noting that the fieldwork on the survey was conducted before there was talk of vaccine blockages between the EU and the UK.)
Looking at their own government’s handling of the vaccine rollout, an overwhelming 85 percent of Britons feel their government has handled the COVID vaccination rollout well, much higher support than in the other countries surveyed. Only Denmark comes close, with over half supporting the government’s approach (55 percent).
As for Germany (and France). the polling makes for particularly grim reading for Germany and France – just 13 percent and 18 percent, respectively, think their governments have handled the rollout well, compared to 81 percent and 77 percent who say badly.
These results reflect the stark differences in how many people have been vaccinated in each of the five countries at the time the survey was conducted: Britain had administered over 30 million individual doses, compared to 11 million in France and 12 million in Germany.
EuroTrack: A majority of Britons and Danes say their government has handled the vaccine rollout well, but few in any country think the EU has handled it well. See survey question result below.
• TUI is selling its last shares in TUI Russia: The TUI Group is selling the remaining ten percent in the tour operator TUI Russia to the Mordashov family. (Alexey Mordashov is one of the wealthiest individuals in Russia. Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index puts Mordashov’s worth at just less than $26 billion.) The Mordashov family already owns 25 percent of the shares in TUI. He has backed capital measures which would raise his stake to 36 percent on the condition that BaFin, the German markets watchdog, exempted him from launching a full takeover. The situation is certainly a far cry from the outlook that TUI had in mind in 2012 when it decided to establish its brand in Russia and Ukraine and backed it up with a $60 million investment at the time.
• Recently owned by a German group, a Major Dutch Operator Folds: German-owned until four months ago, the D-RT Group, the parent of Dutch tour operator D-reizen, has been declared bankrupt. “This is a pitch-black day for us,” said CEO Jan Henne de Dijn in a statement. Henne de Dijn, who, along with another executive from bought D-RT Group from German firm Raiffeisen Touristik Group GmbH on Dec. 23, 2020, and had been in talks with creditors to avoid bankruptcy. D-RT Group had sales of 68 million euros ($81 million) and 1,225 employees in 2018, according to the most recent filings available from the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
• DER Touristik Looks to Next Winter Season: Germany’s second-largest tour operator has started to take bookings for next winter (2021/22) amid continuing uncertainty about prospects for summer holidays this year. DER Touristik is offering a lot of discounts for early bookers. The company, which has suggested it is the number one long-haul tour operator in Germany, sells from the U.S. through its New York City-based New World Travel.