• Market trends:


  • OTAs are growing significantly faster than travel agencies: While travel agencies increased sales by 4.6 percent last year, tour operator-focused portals and tour operator sites grew 14 percent. With 19 percent, portals which are specialized in products such as accommodation, flights or rental cars grew the most. The market leader in Germany was Booking before Expedia. A big leap forward made Check24. Travel agents increased their combined sales by 4.6% to €26.4 billion last year, according to the annual fvw “German travel sales” dossier based on company figures and calculations by the German Travel Industry Association (DRV). This compensated for a 2.4% decline in 2016 and took revenues above 2015 levels. Tourism sales increased by 5% to €14.8 billion, which did not fully compensate the 5.6% slump in 2016. Flight sales grew by 4.1% to €8.4 billion, building on a 2% increase in 2016, while rail ticket sales declined slightly to under €600 million. Other revenues increased by 5.3% to over €2.5 billion. Although the 4.6% sales growth appears good, two factors need to be taken into account. The German tour operator market, which accounts for a large proportion of travel agency sales, grew by a higher 8% to €33.7 billion last year. Moreover, online travel agencies (OTAs) and tour operator websites increased revenues by as much as 14%, according to the dossier. Traditional travel agencies are thus continuing to lose market share in a growing market.
  • The power of the big franchise systems: The German franchise systems are looking back on a good year.  That was urgently necessary, because 2016 brought a small decrease for the first time after many years. The ten biggest associations will generate sales of €08 billion in 2017. That’s a solid plus of 5.1%. This means that the cooperations have grown somewhat stronger than the market. According to calculations by the German Travel Association (DRV), this shows an increase of 4.6%, with total revenues generated in stationary travel sales of €26.36 billion.
  • Business travel slightly grows: The economy is growing. This is also reflected in the rising business travel expenses of the companies. At the same time, however, the number of business travelers is decreasing, as the VDR Business Travel Analysis 2018 shows. German companies and public authorities spent about €52.5 billion on business travel in 2017. This is an increase of 1.7% compared to the year before. At the same time, business travel increased by 2.3% to 187.5 million. These are the key findings of the VDR Business Travel Analysis 2018, which the association presented today. Despite the increase in travel, the increase in business travel expenses was below the general inflation rate of 1.8% last year, as demonstrated by the persistent cost awareness in the occupational mobility sector. In addition, business travel in the past year took place increasingly without an overnight stay. The year before, the development was still in reverse. At the same time, the total number of business travelers declined – despite an increase in travel. In 2017, companies sent around 11.2 million of their employees on at least one business trip. According to the VDR analysis, there were still around 100,000 business travelers in 2016.


  • Airline/aviation news:


  • Eurocontrol warns about massive delays: The number of flights delayed by up to two hours is expected to increase sevenfold by 2040, said Eamonn Brennan head of Eurocontrol at a congress of the European airport association ACI in Brussels this week. This means that about 470,000 flights instead of currently around 50,000 flights will be affected. This evaluation is based on an annual traffic growth of 1.9 percent, which will add up to 53 percent to 16.2 million flights per year by 2040.


  • Tour operator news:


  • Club Holidays: Aldiana expands with resorts in Europe and overseas. Aldiana, which is operating eight resorts this summer, will expand its portfolio by as much as 50% with four new properties over the coming year. This winter the company will open the Club Cabarete in the Dominican Republic, its first resort in a long-haul destination, and a club in Ampflwang in the Austrian Alps. The latter was formerly a Robinson Club. Two more properties are due to open in summer 2019. One is the newly-built 300-room Aldiana Club Calabria, which lies closes to Lamezia Terme in the southern Italian region. The other will be the Aldiana Club Schweizerhof in the Swiss resort of Vulpera, lying at an altitude of 1,280 metres. This existing property was a Robinson Club until 2016 and will be fully modernised. Moreover, two existing clubs will be modernised. The club on Cyprus will re-open in late February ready for the summer 2019 season, while a club in Spain will follow at a later date.


  • Chamäleon Reisen is German travel agents’ favourite: Germany’s best specialist tour operators are Chamäleon Reisen, Gebeco/Dr Tigges and Wikinger Reisen, according to an in-depth fvw survey of travel agents’ preferences. These were the top three in fvw’s first-ever study on how German travel agents rate 18 leading specialist tour operators in terms of product, pricing, quality, commissions, customer support and other topics. A total of 204 agency owners or branch managers were surveyed by researchers IMA Media-Service in February and March for the study. More than half (52%) of German travel agents believe specialist tour operators will become more important for their own business in the coming years, the survey found. Similarly, more than half (54%) judge the brand of specialist tour operators as “essential or very important” for sales in addition to the actual products themselves.

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