Not since the dark days of the global pandemic set itself in place in March 2020 has the outlook for inbound travel to the USA from Germany been so encouraging. Reporting on monthly travel agency sales released by, the travel trade publication fvw l TravelTalk noted that sales continue to grow in April, according to the monthly report of the ta.ts travel agency mirror (tats = Travel Agency Technologies & Services): “The tourism business is recovering noticeably. This shows (in) the sales development in April. The gap in sales compared to the pre-corona year 2019 is also getting smaller and smaller, as the current tats travel agency mirror shows.”
Because the tats travel agency mirror is a retail tool, its survey of retail travel agencies measures the immediacy of the travel industry’s sales—not projected activity by wholesalers. This year, it has shown continued industry sales year-on-year.
But it’s not just travel agency sales that are making the tourism industry in Germany breathe easier; it is the ancillary activity of the industry. Tour operators have been staging road show educational sessions and—as are other economic sectors—scrambling to fill job slots.
Another sign that the health of the industry is coming back came was the announcement by TUI (the largest tour operator in Germany and Europe) that the company has started paying back the €700 million ($740 million) which was loaned mainly by KfW. (It is part of the KfW Bankengruppe, a German state-owned investment and development bank.) TUI said the “rescue umbrella” was important during the pandemic but that now was “the right time to reduce the first credit lines.”
As well, other German tour operators have taken steps to add to, or reorganize and/or increase sales staff. And at the industry’s largest international marketplace, IPW, which takes place June 4-8, Germany has one of the largest delegation of buyers scheduled to attend.
And then, as far as the U.S. overseas international travel market is concerned, there is level of business that is already sending German travelers to the USA. In the latest report from the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office, German arrivals to the United States totaled 78 thousand in March. Only the UK attracted more arrivals. The number would be considered weak in a normal year, but remember: we are still in a recovery mode.
From tats: Current Key Figures from the Travel Industry in Comparison, April 2022 vs 2021 & 2019
While the initial stages of the current recovery show that 2022 business is still running behind the business level of 2019 (which was a record for a majority if NTTO’s Top 20 Overseas Source Markets), the tats mirror are encouraging to industry analysts who realize that recovery won’t occur quickly.
The invoiced total turnover of the travel agencies recorded in the “ta.ts Reisebürospiegel” (travel agency mirror) was up 394.7 percent in April 2022—compared to the same month in 2021. Compared to April 2019, the invoiced total turnover was minus 31.6 percent.
Invoiced values April 2022 vs. 2021 & 2019: The invoiced total turnover of the travel agencies recorded in the “ta.ts Reisebürospiegel” was up 394.7 percent in April 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. Compared to April 2019, the total invoiced turnover was minus 31.6 percent.
—The invoiced tourism turnover showed an increase of 1,140.0 percent in April compared to 2021. Compared to April 2019, the invoiced tourism turnover was down 30.4 percent.
—Air traffic revenue this month is up 392.3% vs. 2021. As of April 2019, air traffic revenue is down 34.6 percent.
— “Other” sales were up 86.56 percent in April 2022 vs. 2021 and down 19.9 percent vs. 2019.
The number of tickets was up 323.8 percent compared to April 2021 and down compared to April 2019 46.6 percent
—Sales from the tourism cruises sub-division in April were up 709.2 percent compared to 2021 and down 36.9 percent compared to April 2019.
By Year-to-Date 2022 vs. 2020 and 2019
—Cumulatively, the total invoiced travel agency turnover in the months from January to April was up 367.9 percent compared to 2021. For the period January to April vs. 2019, the cumulative invoiced travel agency turnover was minus 48.3 percent.
—Tourism recorded an increase of 810.5 percent compared to 2021 and minus 44.5 percent compared to 2019. Air traffic recorded an increase of 399.7 percent compared to 2021 and compared to 2019 a minus of 51.8 percent.
—“Other” sales showed an increase of 92.9 percent compared to 2021 and a decline of 38.4 percent compared to 2019. The number of tickets is an increase of 345.7 percent compared to 2021 and minus 60.1 percent compared to 2019. The cruise sub-sector shows a cumulative increase of 518.8 percent compared to 2021 or a minus of 53.8 percent compared to 2019.
Order Intake Tourism 2022 vs. 2021 & 2019
—In April 2022, the incoming orders in tourism amounted to 478.2 percent in a monthly comparison to 2021. The tourist order backlog by travel date up to April 2022 is up 275.0 percent compared to the previous year.
—In the cruise subdivision, incoming orders are up 89.7 percent month-on-month, and the order backlog by travel date up to April 2022 was up 105.4 percent.
—In April 2022, the incoming orders in tourism amounted to 10.1 percent in a monthly comparison to 2019.
—The tourism order book by travel date until October 2022 was down 38.3 percent compared to 2019.
—In the cruise sub-division, incoming orders in a monthly comparison to 2019 are minus 2.6 percent.
The tourism order book by travel date until October 2022 is minus 46.3 percent compared to 2019.