• Market trends:
    • Summer bookings : May recorded a 8% market growth for summer bookings. 82% of this growth was generated by online bookings and leaves overall sales revenues for summer 2018 up by 14% to date. Half of may bookings were for the months of June to August. Most of the other summer season months, from July to October, have double-digit increases so far this year.
    • Winter bookings: 2018/19 bookings generated 23% of sales revenues in May. Travel agencies were the preferred booking channel, accounting for 76% of winter revenues.
    • Travel agencies: Travel agents in Germany increased their combined sales by 4.6% to €26.4 billion last year but are losing market share to fast-growing OTAs and tour operator websites. This compensated for a 2.4% decline in 2016 and took revenues above 2015 levels. Also a few changes in the top five ranking, the top four are retaining their positions:  DER Touristik is still r Germany’s largest travel agency chain and increasing sales by 3.5% to €4.62 billion. The RT Group and TUI Germany both generated a growth of 2.1% and 2.7% respectively. The TSS cooperation network grew strongly with an 8.6% increase in revenues. The new number five is the Schmetterling cooperation group which overtook Lufthansa City Center. The remaining organizations in the top ten ranking are business travel specialist BCD, LCC, Thomas Cook Partner Group, and cooperation groupings AER and Best-Reisen. In 2017, tourism sales grew by 5% to €14.8 billion, flight sales increased by 4.1% to €8.4 billion, but rail ticket sales declined slightly to under €600 million.

 

  • Airline news:
    • Sundair: the charter airline has doubled its existing fleet by buying two Air Berlin planes. One of the plane should start operating in the late summer 2018 from Berlin/Schönefeld. The fairly new airline is currently operating from Berlin/Tegel and Kassel/Calden to sunny destination at the Mediterranean sea.
    • Germania: Niche airline Germania has ordered 25 brand-new A320neos. The airline flies more than four million passengers a year from 20 airports to over 55 destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. About 60% of the airline’s capacity is contracted to tour operators, including 15% to TUI, the largest single customer.

 

  • Tour operator news:
    • Thomas Cook: the tour operator is already recording a 4% growth for summer bookings with Spain, Greece and Turkey as its top destinations and strong growth for Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Also, bookings for its own-brand hotels is up by 25%. For winter 2018/19, the T/O is offering the biggest winter short and medium haul of all time with an increase of 50% seat capacity on Condor flights to Antalya and Palma, and has added new hotels in the Canaries, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco along with Spain’s Costa de la Luz as a new winter destination. More luxury hotels have also been added for the winter in the UAE, Sri Lanka and Mauritius. For the 60+, Thomas Cook is offering 63 hotels in Turkey for Long-stay holidaymakers. A big focus is also made on millennials and best agers: the company has just opened its first Cook’s Club on Crete, offering inexpensive holidays in a stylish resort for young urbanites to respond to the “staycation” trend.
    • FTI: new flight connection to Salalah for the winter 2019/20 with two weekly non-stop flight from Köln/Bonn aiport. Also, from October 2nd can guest on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday afternoon from Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Zürich, Amsterdam and Nice catch an Emirates plane to Dubai and connect in Dubai with a new Fly Dudai line to Salalah.
    • ETI: additional flights to Hurghada  from Berlin/Schönefeld, Frankfurt and Hamburg for the fall holiday.

 

  • Social Media:
    • Holiday in hotels no longer without Instagram: Vacationers are increasingly choosing their destinations according to what they can record on the spot with their smartphones. Europe’s second-largest tour operator Thomas Cook, the parent company of Neckermann-Reisen and the airline Condor, responds to this growing tourist’s passion. “Today’s vacationers want an Instagram-oriented hotel,” says CEO Peter Fankhauser. Photographic rather than pompous, that’s customers’ desire. “Our new hotels do not have giant swimming pools, but they have the right design,” says Fankhauser of Cook’s Club accommodations, the group is building this year. The first house opened in Crete, in 2019 the group wants to have 15 Cook’s Clubs. They should be aimed at “modern and young travelers” who are most likely using Instagram for a long time. According to the study “Young Traveler Compass”, for which German vacationers up to the age of 27 are surveyed, for 84 percent of them sending of photos and publishing on Instagram are among the preferred smartphone uses abroad. A study in the UK even found that 40 percent of young travelers choose goals for “Instagramability”. Lighting ensembles at the bar, wooden floors instead of tiles by the pool should be good for the look of Thomas Cook. In this way, Fankhauser transfers to the three-star segment what the group started in the premium segment with the Casa Cook houses in 2017. The fact that hotels should be more photogenic is also recognized by architects. “The creation of Instagram moments has become a part of architects’ assignments,” said architect and Harvard professor Farshid Moussavi recently in the trade magazine “Dezeen”. She herself has experienced this several times. For Thomas Cook, the new interest in optics has a positive accompanying effect: “In the first half of our fiscal year, we had twelve percent more customers that we had never seen before,” says Fankhauser. The Casa Cook House in Rhodes even booked 90 percent of customers in the first year, who had never been interested in vacation packages by Thomas Cook and Neckermann before. The group recently set 9 billion pounds (10.2 billion euros) with 20 million customers a year.

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