Destination trends:

Turkey overtakes Spain in August: According to touristic media FVW, Germans were more interested in holidays in Turkey than in Spain last month. Turkey overtook Spain to become the most popular destination in terms of booking enquiries in German travel trade reservation systems in August, as TrevoTrend managing director Matthias Lange told some 200 German and Turkish workshop participants. In total, there were 40.9 million booking enquiries for holidays in Turkey, which was a dynamic 46% increase on the same month last year. Spain dropped back to second place with 40.7 million enquiries, a moderate 2% increase on August 2017. Spain remains the top winter destination with 6.3 million booking enquiries, mostly thanks to the popularity of the Canary Islands for winter sun holidays.

Tour operator news:

Germans book winter holidays after long hot summer: Latest monthly analysis from market researchers GfK showed, winter bookings grew by 9% last month as Germans started planning their next big holiday while late summer bookings were up by 3% thanks to higher online sales. Total sales revenues for summer 2018 trips grew by 3% in August, the market researchers’ analysis of sales by 2,000 representative travel agencies, OTAs and tour operator websites found, so FVW. Overall, summer 2018 is 12% ahead of last year in revenue terms while the number of bookings is 7% higher than last year’s total. With two months still to go, this means that summer 2018 will clearly close showing strong growth compared to 2017. Summer sales last month were clearly driven by OTAs selling late holidays while travel agents’ revenues for the summer season dropped back, the GfK figures showed. Summer bookings made up 73% of OTA revenues in August but only 44% of travel agency sales. Overall, winter 2018/19 accounted for more than one third of total sales in August, pushing cumulated growth up to 9%.

Turnover in Swiss travel agencies increases: Following declines in the previous two years, Swiss travel agencies again slightly increased their average sales in 2017. Thanks to stable advisory fees, gross and net returns were essentially maintained. This emerges from the current study of the Swiss Travel Association (SRV) in cooperation with the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance at the University of St. Gallen, which was presented at a media presentation. The past financial year was again marked by major challenges and high pressure on margins for Swiss travel agencies, according to the presentation. Nevertheless, in the year 2017, the average turnover of the Swiss travel agents surveyed increased slightly compared to the previous year, namely by 3.3%, from CHF 2.75 to 2.84 million. The turnover per employee also increased by more than 3%, from 0 , 87 million to 0.90 million CHF. Thanks to slightly decreasing, but long-term, stable advisory fees, gross and net yields were essentially maintained at 15.6% and 1.1%, respectively. In general, it is clear that people haven’t traveled less because of the tighter security situation. They have again increasingly visited the travel agency to be professionally informed about risks in order to then make a good travel decision, which is also the result of the study.

Hotel rates will rise worldwide in 2019: As reported by TourismReview, a new report titled “Hotel Monitor 2019”, published by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) predicts that hotel rates will grow between 3% and 17% for most European cities; while in regions like the United States or Latin America, growth will be more moderate due to the different geopolitical circumstances. The only incongruous territories will be the Middle East, where in some of the main cities prices will drop by 13% due to political instability or the large number of accommodations that has been generated in recent years. Europe: According to the study, the cities with the highest rise will be Istanbul (17%), Ankara (11%), Dublin (7%), and Lisbon and Paris (both by 6%). Spain will also be affected by this trend. United States and Canada: Some of the most visited cities in the country will see how their rates continue to grow, reaching around 5% increases. This is the case of Chicago, Orlando, Boston and Seattle. In Canada, the study highlights the city of Toronto where, according to the report, a 7% increase is forecasted in 2018. Latin America: According to the report, Peru will be the country with the greatest economic recovery. However, the highest growth in hotel rates will be experienced by the cities of Buenos Aires (21%), Sao Paulo (6%), and Monterrey (5%). Asia Pacific and Africa: The economic and tourism growth in Asia-Pacific and Africa will continue throughout the entire region while The geopolitical unrest will be a constant in the Middle East.

Cruise and airline news:

Clear profile and concept count most for river cruise operators: River cruise operators with a clear profile and concept were again ranked highly in this year’s exclusive FVW Cruise Study, although travel agents handed out lower overall scores. According to the media, river cruises are growing well, even though they remain a niche market, the study showed. A strong 48% of German travel agents, including many smaller outlets, expect the segment to keep growing, which is four percentage points more than last year. A major success factor is a clear profile, according to the survey of 200 representative travel agents who rated six river cruise companies in terms of 15 different product and sales criteria (on a scale of 1 to 6). This factor is very important or essential for 59% of travel agents compared to 50% last year. The ship’s concept has overtaken the brand and was the second-most important factor behind the choice of routing and destinations. The clear overall winner was once again market leader Arosa, which has the strongest profile by far.

Lufthansa Group reports double-digit growth in August: According to FVW, Europe’s largest airline group is apparently gaining market share. The airlines of the LH Group carried almost 13.8 million passengers in August alone, ten percent more than twelve months earlier. In the passenger business, the Lufthansa Group is currently performing very well. The offer – measured in seat kilometers – was expanded by 8.1 percent for August. As sales increased by 8.7 percent, the passenger load factor improved slightly by 0.5 points to 86.4 percent. In total, 13.8 million passengers were transported on 111,408 flights in August, which is 10.0 percent more than in the corresponding month of the previous year.It is currently noticeable at which hubs Lufthansa is able to grow particularly strongly. In August, the number of passengers on the Group airlines increased at an above-average rate in Munich, with a plus of 11.2 percent, and in Zurich with a plus of 10.6 percent. In Vienna, however, the increase was 6.9 percent and 5.0 percent in Frankfurt.Lufthansa has grown rapidly, having taken over Brussels Airlines at the end of 2016 and aiming to grow its budget brand Eurowings. The  growth of LH’s low-cost Eurowings is currently evident in intercontinental traffic. On long-haul flights traveled 342,000 passengers in August, or 32.1 percent more than in the same month last year. On shorter routes, it was 3.8 million passengers (plus 15.8 percent). In addition, the low-cost flight division achieved an almost unchanged seat load factor of 86.0 percent (plus 0.3 points) across all routes.

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