Agency sales down for April vs. April 2020, but outlook is more promising. For the first couple of months of 2021, the ta.ts* travel agency mirror, which reports on travel agency sales for the key tourism sectors showed that, compared to last 2020, sales this year were down 90 percent or more across the board. Now, however, in the latest monthly ta.ts report (for April), one learns that key sectors are not performing as badly as there were in January and April and that, in some sectors, activity is even greater than a year ago. The stats for April follow:
—The total invoiced turnover of the travel agencies recorded in the “ta.ts travel agency mirror” is minus 52.5 percent in April 2021 compared to the same month last year.
—The billed tourism turnover shows a minus of 76.5 percent in April.
—Air traffic revenue was down 20.1 percent in April.
—The “other” sales are plus up 26.9 percent.
—The number of tickets for entertainment, tours, etc. is plus 18.2 percent.
—Sales from the tourism sub-division cruises were down 58.0 percent in April. This is not surprising, since this sub-sector has struggled harder than any other throughout the pandemic.
—Viewed cumulatively, the total invoiced travel agency turnover in the months from January to April is minus 78.5 percent.
—Tourism recorded a decline of 88.1 percent.
—Air traffic recorded a minus of 79.0 percent.
—“Other” sales showed a minus of 59.6 percent.
—The number of tickets were minus 82.1 percent.
—Cruises segment recorded a minus of -84.5 percent.
* ta.ts (Travel Agency Technologies & Services) is a travel industry research company headquartered in Frankfurt.
⦁ Positive news for those Germans who favor rail travel: A new YouGov survey said that almost one out of every four Germans support a ban of short-haul flights. While it does seem that this issue would have any immediate impact on long-haul travel, it seems that it is emerging as a key environmental issue—one that could affect air travel on a broader scale. Consider some of the other findings from the survey:
—A third of (34 percent) favor the of raising taxes on flights to make them less attractive.
—One in four (26 percent) of those surveyed opposed any change to short-haul flights.
—Half of the respondents said they would support a speed limit of 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour or less.
—43 percent of those surveyed would be in favor of a speed limit of 130 km per hour on highways, and
—7 percent would be in favor of a speed limit that is even lower.
—17 percent would be in favor of a limit above 130 kilometers per hour.
—A little more than one in four (27 percent) reject a general speed limit.
⦁ Tourcontact suggests the end of short-time work. “The recovery of the market is not just beginning, it is already in full swing,” says Tourcontact managing director Dirk Bender. That is why the company, which works with more than 100 travel agencies, has called on offices to end short-time work (or Kurzarbeit) as soon as possible.
Kurzarbeit is a social insurance program whereby employers reduce their employees’ working hours instead of laying them off. Under Kurzarbeit, the government normally provides an income “replacement rate” of 60 percent (more for workers with children).
That is, a worker receives 60 percent of his or her pay for the hours not worked, while receiving full pay for the hours worked. So, for example, a worker would only experience a 10 percent salary loss for a 30 percent reduction in hours. The program usually runs for a maximum of 6 months consecutively. But it has been going on much longer due to the lasting nature of the global pandemic.