Market trends/destination news:
More summer bookings despite heatwave in Germany: Germans kept booking holidays in good numbers last month despite fears that the enduring heatwave would encourage them to head off on domestic holidays instead, according to the latest monthly GfK sales analysis. Sales revenues for summer 2018 trips grew by 5% in July, the market researchers’ analysis of sales by 2,000 representative travel agencies, OTAs and tour operator websites found. Overall, summer 2018 sales are now 13% ahead of last year. This means that last year’s total summer revenues have been topped three months before the end of the season, indicating that summer 2018 will end up generating good growth. Travel agents, who account for 78% of total summer revenues, have an 8% rise in sales to date while online sales have increased even faster. In terms of departure months, holidays in July (+13.6%) and September (+15.4%) have sold particularly well so far, but October is also showing double-digit growth. One third of July’s total sales were late bookings for July and August, and another third for September and October. At the same time, winter holidays were also in good demand last month with a slight 1% rise, the GfK analysis showed.
Turkey lira slump: The lira has crashed massively against the euro and the dollar over the last week as investors sold off the currency due to worries about the country’s economy amid spiraling inflation and political tensions between Ankara and the US administration. The share prices of TUI and Thomas Cook dropped on Monday because of investor concerns. As a result of the currency devaluation, international tourists in Turkey now get more liras for their own currencies. But the devaluation will have little effect for the vast majority of package holidaymakers who book all-inclusive holidays on the Turkish Riviera coastline around Antalya, according to FVW. They tend to remain mostly in the hotels or at the beach, and normally do not spend much in the destination itself. Tour operators in Germany and other large source markets such as Russia or the UK will also not benefit particularly from the lower lira this year, as they fix hotel rates in euros or dollars long in advance.
German visitor figures to Spain are decreasing: June showed that visitor numbers from Germany dropped by 14% to 1.2 million tourists. For the first half of 2018 visitors from Germany decreased by 5.7% compared to 2017.
Package holidays: L
eading German tour operators, including Thomas Cook, DER Touristik and Alltours, have opened up large parts of their summer 2019 programs for bookings. To date, 25 short- and medium-haul destinations can now be booked, including Majorca, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Tenerife, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Egypt and the Turkish Riviera. More than 6,500 hotels and apartments are also available in European overland destinations, including Germany, Austria, Poland and northern Italy as well as cities and leisure parks. In addition, more than 50 destinations that account for the bulk of the long-haul program are on sale, including the Caribbean (Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic), south-east Asia (Thailand, Indonesia), Indian Ocean (Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles), Dubai, South Africa and Namibia.
Hotels profit from millennials: Around one third of the annual income in the hotel and catering industry worldwide is generated by millennials, born between 1980 and 2000. This emerges from the study «Finding the Balance: Human touch vs. High tech» of the international law firm CMS. According to the study, millennials already account for 28 percent of the income in the hotel industry and 29 percent in the hospitality industry. This result shows: They clearly influence the industry. The CMS survey surveyed 5,000 millennials from 18 countries worldwide, including Germany, and more than 170 leading hospitality professionals from ten countries. According to the study, hotels and restaurants overestimate the value that millennials place on automated processes with apps and tablets. 78% say that they prefer social contact during their restaurant experience.
Eurowings increases flight frequency to the Canary Islands: Starting November 2018, the airline will connect Cologne with La Palma and Stuttgart with Lanzarote. Flights are already bookable.
Frankfurt building control department approves Terminal 3: As the Frankfurt airport operator Fraport announced on Thursday, the low-cost passenger gate at Frankfurt Airport will begin construction next spring. Construction will be completed in spring 2021 and the new terminal will have capacities for four to five million passengers.
Instagrammability of hotels: The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that as more and more guests post photos of their hotel on the internet platform Instagram, the industry is also adapting. Many hotels are now specially designed so that they are suitable for Instagram – that is as photographable as possible, so that it looks stylish on the square tiles in the account view. This is called «instagrammability». Especially with millennials, hotel photos posted on Instagram are often the reason to head for a destination. The holiday home insurer Schofields Insurance surveyed more than 1,000 British between 18 and 33 years, on which criteria they choose their holiday destination. 40% said that the «instagrammability» of the destination was important. «Today’s prestige is no longer measured by expensive watches, but by experiences that one has ahead of friends», says Norwegian hotel designer Erik Nissen Johansen.