Just as the U.S. was designating Nov. 8 as the date on which qualified international travelers (travelers must be vaccinated) will be allowed to visit the country for the first time in more than a year-and-a-half, the news from Germany was already beginning to show incipient signs that the country’s travel and tourism industry was beginning to stabilize.
As reported by the Frankfurt-based research firm Travel Agency Technologies & Services GmbH (ta.ts), the total invoiced turnover of the travel agencies recorded in the “ta.ts travel agency mirror” in September 2021 is up 65.3 percent compared to the same month in 2020—an encouraging number even if compared to September 2019, the total invoiced sales dropped by 56.9 percent.
Given the attitude of German consumers at the moment—there is a general consensus that there is pent-up demand for travel and accounts from throughout the country have indicated that operators are adding itineraries for near-term travel—reliable data have become crucial toward understanding where the tourism industry is headed. The ta.ts travel agency mirror has proved to be a valuable tool of measurement, as there have been no reliable numbers on tour operator activity for some time. Just follow the figures in the September “mirror,” and one becomes encouraged over the prospects of a re-start and recovery.
Tourism Turnover in Germany
|Category||vs. September 2020||vs. September 2019|
|Total billed turnover||+51.9%||-52.9%|
|Air traffic turnover||+97.8%||-64.3%|
|Number of tickets||+69.5%||-61.3%|
|Subdivision of cruises||+29.6%||-53.9%|
Cumulative Total of January to September
|Category||vs. Jan-September 2020||Vs. Jan-September 2019|
|Total billed turnover||-12.6%||-77%|
|Air traffic turnover||-19.7%||-82.0%|
|Number of tickets||-32.7%||-81.8%|
|Subdivision of cruises||-27.8%||-78.7%|
—Incoming orders for tourism in September 2021 were up 367.5% compared to the same month in 2020. The tourism order backlog by travel date up to October 2021 is was down 26.3 percent compared to 2020.
—In the cruises sub-division, incoming orders are plus in a month-on-month comparison 210.8 percent, and the order backlog by travel date up to October 2021 is minus 26.9 percent.
—Incoming orders for tourism in September 2021 amounted to minus 34.1 percent compared to the same month of 2019. The tourism order backlog by travel date up to October 2021 is minus 72.2 percent compared to 2019.
—In the cruises subdivision, incoming orders are down 43.8 percent compared to the month of 2019. The tourism order backlog by travel date up to October 2021 is minus 71.1 percent compared to 2019.
Germans can be expected to be ready—even on such short notice—to travel in wake of U.S. move to lift travel ban on November 8.
—As reported by Paul Needham of FVW/TravelTalk, one can look at the news and good spirits generated by the U.S. announcement that its international inbound travel ban on November 8th. A major reason is, according to Nuremberg-based TDA. (Travel Data + Analytics, or TDA), that German travelers have been prepared over recent months, to make last-minute, short-notice bookings.
—As the article put it, “Consumers in Germany are continuing to book holidays at very short notice depending on the latest travel restrictions.” These are not usually the kind of words that one uses when describing the travel booking habits of German travels.
Other notes on the TDA data:
—By the end of August 2021, the cumulative decline in sales for this year’s summer season compared to the pre-Corona summer of 2019 has further decreased by three percentage points to a minus of 59 percent compared to the previous month, TDA reported. (This isn’t very far off from the travel agency sales turnover, which declined 53 percent by the end of August vs. August 2019.
—Year-on-year, this year’s sales revenues will be well ahead of the minimal levels seen in 2020. The current increase of 144 percent year-on-year corresponds to almost €2.8 billion ($3.25 billion) more turnover for tour operator holidays organized on a package or modular basis this summer.
—Travel decisions continue to be made predominantly at short notice, TDA explained.
—The USA is allowing international tourists back into the country just in time for the winter season. And more and more destinations are loosening their restrictions, especially for those who have been vaccinated.
(Note: The TDA figures used here are based on booking data from some 1,750 travel agencies as well as leading travel portals and tour operator websites.)